Sub games? Haven’t seen one of those in ages. While Irem’s own PlayStation arcade shooter In The Hunt enjoyed limited success, they’ve now teamed up with Metro 3D to introduce a new sub-genre to the next-generation console market. Although not officially billed as the sequel to the aforementioned In The Hunt, Sub Rebellion is certainly a welcome inclusion to the action genre.
Sub Rebellion is really the first of it’s kind on the PS2 so there was no real standards or guidelines that the game really needed to follow. Sub Rebellion has somewhat of a story that really doesn’t do much for the game at all. You are in the distant future where most of earth is now underwater and the main mode of transportation would now be submarines. So pretty much after the disaster two different groups were created. The first was an empire in which thought it should take over the world, and then an alliance was formed to stop the Empire from taking over. So you are part of the alliance that wants to stop the empire, and it’s your job to make it through these long missions to take the alliance to victory.
Before you start a mission you are presented with an array of options before you set sail. These options go from tutorials to help you learn and guide you with the game as well as select different control setting (recommended) and later on through the game you will have the ability to buy and sell parts for your sub. For the most part this all really takes a back seat, especially the Tutorials which for the most part are just a waste of time.
Once you get to the world map your ready to set sail and take on the empire. First let me start of by saying the game is not easy by any means. The controls are very complex and I really don’t enjoy the default controls, although through the review I will use the controls. The front buttons are used for mostly for combat where the R & L buttons are used for accelerating and decelerating. Then the R2 and L2 buttons are used for moving your sub up and down. With all of these different controls this game is not one you will just pick up and automatically start playing.
Once you do get the controls down, you will find that this game really doesn’t have much depth to it. For the most part it seems like you are just doing the same repetitive thing over and over again. Sometimes it’s OK if the games repetitive and fun but when the gameplay is not fun and repetitive that just makes one long and grueling game. Through the game the only real major thing you do is shoot your opponent. That may sound really easy but to be honest it is really quite challenging.
You start of with the basic armor and weaponry. You can upgrade them, either by archiving a high rank in each missions, or by finding artifacts hidden throughout the levels. Simply execute a ping that will temporarily render the surrounding location in wireframes, revealing hidden artifacts and enemy locations. After that it’s simply a case of blasting whatever is holding the artifact and retrieving it.
The sound in Sub Rebellion also doesn’t help the title much. If you’re expecting grandiose overtures and orchestrated themes, look elsewhere as we take a trip back memory lane here with 8-bit tunes. While paying homage to its arcade roots, you just feel that the tunes are just to avoid you from falling asleep while playing the game. The sound effects didn’t fair any better either, as the explosions and torpedo leaving the sub are very low-key and lack any kind of aural impact that you’d expect. Again a very mediocre effort all around.
At first impression, the graphics in Sub Rebellion aren’t the most impressive around. While it does a good job in recreating the feeling of playing underwater, with little bubble coming out of your submarine’s propeller and the waves that you make when you move through the levels, Sub Rebellion fails miserably in all other areas.
While the landscapes fair a little better, they do look empty and uninspiring. The sub themselves are the biggest offender, as they look blocky and disproportionate. Developers Irem clearly has problems with the textures, as they look horribly outdated, which would better suit the PS One rather than the PlayStation 2. Overall, this is not one of the best looking game on the console.
Like I said earlier in this review this is not a game you will be able to jump into and play. In fact once you do get the control system down you will find that the game really doesn’t take you in and catch your eye. The story is really not used very well and the absence of anything vaguely interesting really hurts the game. The hunt for those artifacts does extend your gaming time, but for the most part gamers will get bored with Sub Rebellion fairly quickly.
This is one game that really will not catch very many people’s attention and for a good reason. Sub Rebellion fails in every department, and I really couldn’t recommend this to anyone. The idea is good, but it requires much effort from the developers if you want to shine in this sub-genre.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.