Brought to you by Sony Computer Entertainment and Zipper Interactive, the same team behind the legendary SOCOM series of games, UNIT 13 is a tactical cover based third person shooter set around an elite team of soldiers as you try to complete a wide variety of missions, ranging from full on assault to stealth, with a lot of sabbotage and destruction along the way. Sony have since closed Zipper down, so how will that affect your decision to buy this game?
Well, it shouldn’t. But what could affect your decision is how much of a shooter you are looking for. Underneath the shell of Unit 13 is an arcade shooter, built around high scores over 36 different missions and 9 HVT missions, which unlock as you progress through the levels, but they all feel a little samey. Your “team” is a selection of different classes, all with differnt stats and you choose one of them before a mission, with the game telling you the recommended choice, from the Commando, with all round stats, the Technician, who is fast at the expense of health regeneration and has electronics awareness, the Pointman with his resistance to explosives and machine gun skills, with a cap on ammunition, the Gunner who has maximum health and ammo at the cost of speed, the Infiltrator, with low health the pay off for stealth, and of course the Marksman, with his sniper skills.
But to be honest, I pretty much played between the Gunner and Infiltrator as most of the other characters were useless to me.
By using your agent through four different mission types, The kill everything Direct Action, the don’t be seen Covert, the timed Deadline and the challenging Elite, with no health regeneration and no checkpoints, you will find yourself traipsing all over the same environments over and over as you complete the missions in different ways. Altough it is summed uop to grab this intel, kill this target, rescue this hostage and so on.
There is ultimately no plot or character development to speak of whatsoever, and once your guy is in, that’s it. No support, you versus the enemy. Now then, the enemies. They are not particularly smart, and can be picked off with relative ease, but if you get spotted, be prepared to die. A lot. The soldiers may seem tough, but a few shells make short work of them and then it’s back to the mission start. it all gets very frustrating and very difficult to not throw the Vita at the wall.
There is a form of multiplayer, in Online Co-operative, and I was able to complete a few missions online, any of the 36 main chapters can be chosen to complete, and it can be quite fun if you are lucky enough to find anyone on. But for a game that features an online pass, a little lackluster really, so be warned those buying second hand, as it’s not worth the £8.
Visually it is OK, it looks and feels acceptable, and Zipper have tried to utilise the Vita features somewhat by having you tap the screen to disarm bombs and so on, and to reload or vault and all works quite well. The quips from the soldiers will grate though, so be warned!
I was lucky enough to obtain this as part of a sale for £14.99 from PSN. At that price, I would say the game is probably worth a go, especially if you are after some shooter action, just don’t expect anything with any depth.