It's always fun when a game takes a position and sticks to it. UNSanctioned does not go the route of replicating an existing comic book company's expansive super-world, carefully calculated to be close enough to our world to absorb brand new comic book readers but wide enough to encompass every possible thing a comic book writer might have thought of in the last fifty years. Instead, it creates its own mythology and its own themes, and pursues them relentlessly.
Set in an alternate 2003 in which electric cars are the norm, super-beings are empowered and controlled by the law, and the United States pushes the world towards global hegemony, UNSanctioned has as its central conflict power vs. justice. Real-life poltiicians, celebrities and organizations are used, albeit in altered ways since the world they grew up in was very different. The metahumans who work for the Peacekeepers, a souped-up, sinister UN organization, get celebrity, money, admiration and a license to hunt their own kind down. The renegades who fight against the system are vilified in the press, targeted by law enforcement, and must disguise their identity and struggle with questions of guerilla tactics and terrorism.
The system of UNSanctioned is a point-buy system similar to the many point-buy systems superhero RPG fans have used for years. You buy three core stats, then add or average some of them to get things like hit points and perception rolls. Skills and superpowers are also purchased out of this pool. The system uses two ten sided dice and you try to roll under a target number that's modified by the situation and your abilities. It seems solid, and tries to avoid the point inflation that some other supers RPGs suffer from.
Most of the book is taken up with descriptions of the setting, including fake news stories and advertisements. These give a real flavor to the world and provoke lots of ideas about the core theme.
One interesting thing about UNSanctioned's format is that it comes on smaller 6" x 9" pages, with a single color "cover. It's clearly made to be printed out and stapled or bound into a 168-page booklet. There's no "printer friendly" version, though, and the graphics-heavy nature of the pages make it so that actually doing this will be quite difficult.
There are no bookmarks in this material - a very serious omission given the wide variety of things presented in this book, the lack of an index and the need for reference during play. However, I'm reviewer tilting UNSanctioned up one star because it really strongly pursues a core concept and expresses it well - this is a setting I want to explore and have adventures in. It really raises a lot of cool questions.