Rebel Review—Enemies So Stupid It Hurts
One of the launch titles for PlayStation Mobile, Rebel was left alone in the cold after being overshadowed by Super Crate Box and Aqua Kitty. If you were just taking a glance at the offerings available for the platform, you could easily overlook it. That would be a grand mistake on your part. Rebel is surprisingly one of the best titles available among the PSM offerings.
In Rebel, you play as a nameless P.O.W. who has busted free from his confinements and now must survive for as long as he can. He has no weapons and no allies, but he does have one thing: the stupidity of those who have imprisoned him.
The objective in Rebel is to use your enemies’ lack of intelligence against them. Running between turrets and tanks and drawing their fire, all while putting your enemy between you and a never-ending barrage of ballistics. The nameless P.O.W. isn’t completely helpless, however, as developer PomPom Games included unlockable power-ups for you to equip. They range from increased speed and defense to being able to slow down enemy fire and placing decoys to draw enemy fire.
The game features a hefty amount of unlockables, including additional jumpsuit colors, upgraded versions of power-ups, and game modes. How well you do each attempt adds to your Stash, and you can then use what’s available to buy new things. At the start, the only things you have to work with are one game mode and one jumpsuit color. You are going to want to invest in speed and defense power-ups before you worry about anything else. They help you stay alive longer, and that gets you more Stash to put towards other things.
There are three total game modes: Survival, Blue vs. Red, and Two Turrets. Survival is the mode you start with, and it is going to be the one you go back to the most. Blue vs. Red puts you in the middle of two teams. Only blue enemies can destroy red enemies, and vice versa—but they both can screw you all the way up. Two Turrets puts you in the middle of two indestructible blue turrets and a never-ending stream of red enemies. The red enemies can kill you but not the blue turrets, while the blue turrets can kill everything.
The game has a multitude of control inputs, and all of them are responsive. You can control the P.O.W. with the directional pad, left stick, right stick, touchscreen, and motion controls. Motion controls are by far the most awkward to use, but they are responsive. Sound is the game’s biggest shortcoming. There is a song that plays when the round begins, and one when you are recaptured. There is no in-game music, though, just the sounds of gunfire. That can be easily resolved by playing your own music saved on your memory card. The game isn’t anything to write home about visually, but it’s presented well enough. No online leaderboards, but at this point, who is still really looking for them? The game keeps track of your best scores for each game mode, but it is entertaining enough that you will be willing to replay it for the fun factor alone.
Rebel is a fresh and entertaining idea. It easily earns its spot as the poster child of not judging a book by its cover. But the game does present one major question: if the P.O.W.’s captors are this stupid, how stupid is he for having been captured by them?