Sony has a bevy of new titles coming for the launch of the PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system in February. Among the new titles we saw last night at a Sony event in San Francisco was Unit 13, a first-person shooter title from Zipper Interactive.

The title shows that Sony is going after the hardcore shooter market — a weakness for rivals Nintendo 3DS and the Apple iPhone — because the Vita is a more capable device that has two shooter-oriented analog sticks.

Sony describes it as a “socially connected shooter” where you can play individual missions in a campaign and see how your score stacks up against your friends’ scores or against the scores of the community at large. The screen tells you how well you are doing against rivals on a variety of metrics on a regional, national and international basis.

The game has 36 missions, arranged in order of difficulty. The more you play, the more you can unlock more missions. Zipper will also launch temporary Mission of the Day competitions that players can play within a 24-hour period. If you hit all the high-value targets in a mission, you can unlock more achievements and play modes.

You can choose from among seven different operatives and change your loadout for each mission. You can unlock better weapons the more you progress.

You can play any of the 36 missions in cooperative mode with a friend. You can tap the screen to get a scope for a gun, and you can get help in aiming if you tap the right bumper button. The game play is much easier than other shooter titles because of the dual analog sticks on the Vita. The graphics look very console-like as well. The maps are pretty big, and you can get a sense for how large they are by looking at an overhead map.

Zipper is known for PlayStation Portable titles Fire Team Bravo and its sequel, as well as the shooter games Socom: U.S. Navy Seals (a long running franchise) and MAG on the PlayStation 3.

The multiplayer part of the game can be played via 4G or Wi-Fi wireless networking.