It usually only happens once or twice a year. A game is published without much marketing muscle or media coverage and it ends up being a sleeper hit. Last year it was Ico, this year it well may be Sub Rebellion developed by Irem and published by Metro3D. Set in a futuristic world where the majority of the Earth has been covered in water, Sub Rebellion places you with a rebel alliance taking on a strangling military empire. You are equipped with a highly advanced submarine called the Chronos.
The graphics are quite impressive in terms of delivering a very unique yet realistic underwater experience. Irem has used some of the advanced lighting effects of the PS2 to enhance various lighting conditions found throughout the game. Whether you are in a first person view or third person view, the game moves along at a smooth pace with no slowdown or pop-up. The weapons explosions are great and again resemble what underwater chaos should look and feel like. The sub and enemy designs are also fairly smooth and look great.
What easily impressed me the most about this game was its ease in the control department. Many sub and helicopter games are just too technical to maneuver, which usually leads to frustration and ignorance of the game. This is not the case here. Sub Rebellion delivers a very realistic feel for underwater combat without getting hung up on control details. A small learning curve soon has you searching the levels ridding them of the enemy. I also like the fact that you do not suffer damage if you accidentally bump into a wall or cavern. It would be useless if you were dying from environmental collision instead of battle damage. Another nice feature is the intelligent sonar system, which when enabled allows you to pinpoint enemies and secret items within each area.
The storyline is competent. Try to rid the planet of the evil empire while along the way discovering many hidden treasures and secrets. Finding the hidden treasures and completing level objectives earns you money that can be spent on upgrading weaponry. The combat that takes place in the game is varied, as combat also takes place above the waters surface. This feature actually ups the intensity meter as now not only do you have to contend with the enemy below, you have to be mindful of what is on top. You will have to strategize each area in order to be successful. Do I take out the bomber above first or do I contend with the hoard of attack subs below. This definitely gives the game more replay value and scores high on the fun factor.
I really fell in love with this game. Although there are so many triple A titles this busy holiday season, you owe it to yourself to give Sub Rebellion a look. Its tight gameplay; good story and just pure enjoyment well warrant a solid purchase.