Sub Rebellion Review

You’ve likely heard the phrase “it’s like shooting fish in a barrel” denoting an easy time. Some games are like that; that is, of course, unless you happen to be the fish.

In Sub Rebellion, a Metro3D and Irem release for the PlayStation2, that’s precisely what you are ­ a fish, but you are in a very large tank full of sharks.

In the year 2139 A.D., a shift in the Earth’s crust causes widespread devastation and submerges the majority of Earth’s landmasses. But mankind has adapted and now lives mostly beneath the oceans. The main method of transportation is submarines with precise navigational systems. TWA, a weapons-manufacturing corporation, has established an entity known as the Meluguis Empire. The Empire owns numerous sub fleets and has raided resources and food from the remaining land areas. Tired of the exploitation, some of the people have banded together to form the Allied Forces.

Both sides are close in terms of fighting ability, but the Empire ­ because of its mineral resources ­ is slowly starting to gain the upper hand. That was until scientist Rumford Devon developed the Chronos, a battle submarine with considerable search and evasion abilities.

And by the way, that search mode is necessary. You see there happen to be ancient artifacts scattered about the world map that have a link to a highly advanced civilization. Collecting and unlocking the secrets of the artifacts may be the shortcut to victory for whichever side possesses them.

Sub Rebellion is a lush three-dimensional third-person shooter game that takes place not only beneath the ocean’s surface but above the water as well. There will be times when surfacing is a good idea, not to evade the enemy below, but to clear obstacles that stand in your way. Of course, sitting on the ocean’s surface for any length of time is not a good thing. Remember that “shooting fish” cliché? Helicopters just love surfaced subs. And all you have is guns; you can’t use your primary weapons, which are (of course) torpedoes.

The game begins easily enough, with the early missions coaxing you through the fundamentals of play. You are treated to the uses of sonar to ping targets and given a view of how to use your weapons. The opening missing begins as clearing a magnetic minefield to open supply lines, but soon is complicated by the insertion of enemy units into the territory. What your little Chronos sub lacks in size, it does make up for in maneuverability.

Each mission lets you select the mission point (not an available option at the start of a new game), briefing and achievement assessment.

The control elements of the game are straightforward but may take some time to get truly comfortable with. The D-pad controls direction, L1 and L2 control forward and backward motion and the R1 and R2 controls ascend and descend motion (handy when you are trying to evade weapon attacks). The X controls your sonar, which can indicate what direction treasure may be in as well as reveal enemies hiding behind the submerged buildings.

The undersea world is a nice mix of avenues created by the submerged buildings and is rife with targets, fish, and other environmental elements. The effects are well done, though the explosions may be a bit unrealistic for undersea combat. The torpedoes are not the sleek killing machines but are rather blocky though they do track well.

The game does have a nice options package. You can repaint the Chronos sub, and equip it with different weapons. This is a game with depth of gameplay.

Sub Rebellion is an evolving action game. It not only looks good but also is easy enough to jump right into and play. It may take time, though, to get good at it and avoid being one of those “fish in a barrel.”

This game is rated teen for violence.

Reviewer’s Scoring Details

Gameplay: 7.8

The cutscenes and load times are not exactly appealing and are long. The mapboards seem relatively big and the three-dimensional world is well designed. The game may be a little linear in terms of having to go from point A to point B, but there are enough options in how you do it to keep the game interesting.

Graphics: 7.9

The underwater world does have some blocky elements, but the sub animation is nicely done. Most of the sub designs, in spite of the fact that this game takes place more than a century from now, haven’t changed from the basic style currently in use. There are some innovative designs, but the game could have benefited from more futuristic looks.

Sound: 7.2

This is merely average, and more or less what one would expect from a game that takes place underwater.

Difficulty: Medium

The controls are set up in a user-friendly manner, but this game does take time to get a handle on. The program does have three difficulty settings to challenge most users.

Concept: 7.8

The game has a nice premise and evolving storyline. It has a solid look and feel and features challenging ganeplay.

Overall: 7.9

The game has some nice environments which are not utilized as well as they could have been, and some of the special effects seem out of place. Load times slow down the program. Otherwise, this is a game that presents a nice storyline to propel the action along. There is much to see and explore, and a host of enemies to fight. This is a solid game.

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