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CGRundertow UNIT 13 for PlayStation Vita Video Game Review

Ever since the PS Vita was still the Next Generation Portable, everyone’s been talking about how we can finally play a console-quality shooter in the palm of our hands. The dual analog sticks would finally make the dream of playing games like Call of Duty on a handheld a reality, and while we haven’t seen that game yet, Zipper Interactive gave us their last game when this was released just weeks after the launch of the Vita. This is the first dual-analog stick shooter on the Vita, except it isn’t, because Uncharted beat it to the punch. Well, it’s here anyway. It’s Unit 13! Unit 13 doesn’t really have a plot. Instead, the game has a large number of short, independent missions for you to play through using a variety of different operatives from Unit 13, such as a gunner, commando and infiltrator. To be honest, this might actually not be such a bad thing, as the overall vibe for the game is so generic that including a similarly generic story probably just would’ve hammered that point home. Still, the individual missions are exciting and vary from missions where you can’t get spotted to missions where your health doesn’t recharge.

Gameplay in Unit 13 is surprisingly crisp for a title released so close to the launch of the system. Aiming and shooting both work really well, melee combat and interactions also work solidly and touch control is, for the most part, optional, although having to touch the screen to use optics was a bit of a pain. In addition, some buttons are just mapped strangely, with the square button being a melee attack and the circle taking cover, which is probably the weakest aspect of the game’s controls. It feels very stiff and often won’t let you go to a corner without detaching yourself from the wall. Enemies in Unit 13 also have some pretty nice AI. They won’t keep their heads out to let you shoot, and they’ll fire at you if you keep yours out too long.

They also seem to be able to take quite a few hits, while you can only take 3 or 4, so staying out of their line of fire is a must. Luckily, Unit 13 has great hit detection system, so the whole thing still feels fair. This is also one of the sharpest looking games available for the Vita right now. Characters and environments all look great, and although the color scheme doesn’t do the game any favors, it does what it sets out to do well. The game’s music is also excellent, with lots of bass, but the voice acting feels like the actors were told to just use stereotypes from various countries. It just comes off as being cheesy. Now, I had heard stories of the demo for this game crashing Vitas, and while I was playing the full version to record this review, it happened to me.

This isn’t just the app closing; the entire system turns off and you have to restart it, so take note if you plan to pick this up. Unit 13 is a solid shooter that feels like it was made to be played on a handheld with its short, intense missions and scoring system, but I can’t recommend a game that has technical problems capable of taking you out of the experience. Be very careful.

As found on Youtube

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