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Zipper Interactive, the creators of the SOCOM series, are bringing a new third-person shooter to the PS Vita called Unit 13. Players choose one of six spec-ops operatives, each with unique load-outs and specialties, to tackle 36 total missions and 4 mission types. The goal comes at not only completing the mission successfully, but also obtaining the highest score on the leaderboards.
Unit 13 could easily be mistaken for a SOCOM game, just with a few more bells and whistles added thanks to the Vita. The game contains all of the standard features we’d expect from a third person shooter. Press the circle button near a wall or crate and the character pops into cover. From there we were able to pop out with aimed shots or just stick our gun out and blind fire. Grenades are tossed instantly by tapping an icon on the touchscreen, veering away from the measured, arching throws of SOCOM. There are even iron sights, provided a scope or red dot sight is equipped, that can be positioned over a target using either the analogue sticks or motion sensor controls.
The Direct Action mission we played was a fairly standard objective based level where we were required to infiltrate an enemy base and set explosives in three separate locations. Getting passed the enemies within the set time limit proved to be the most challenging. We were required to be quick and efficient. If we ducked behind cover for two long we wouldn’t have enough time to reach each objective, but if we ran out all gung ho, we would be shot down in a burst of enemy gunfire. There are four mission types with a variety of objectives and gameplay settings including: “Covert,” which plays up the stealth aspects of the game, and “Elite” – Unit 13’s take on hardcore mode.
The goal of each mission is to rack up the highest score by taking out enemies in a variety of ways while completing the mission in the least amount of time possible. High scores are achieved by chaining kills to increase a score multiplier. Pump an enemy’s guts full of lead and get bonus points for each successive bullet that makes contact, headshots nab extra points, and stealthy melee kills give a nice boost up the leaderboards.
Once a mission is completed, players will be able to view their results and compare them with friends’ and top players on the leaderboards. Friends’ stats and recent activity (like missions completed) will constantly update as long as the Vita is 3G or Wi-Fi enabled, making it easy to keep things competitive. Players can also compete for the highest score in daily challenges that generate completely new missions every day.
With 36 unlockable missions, four mission types, persistent character leveling, two-player co-op, and other modes like “High Value Target,” which unlock for the most hardcore, high scoring players, there seems to be a ton of game packed into Unit 13.
Unit 13 is set to be available in the PS Vita’s launch window, but has yet to receive an official release date.