Rebellion: Aliens, zombies and snipers
About to turn 27, Rebellion is still in top form, as evidenced by the success of its Sniper Elite saga. We remember the history of the studio since its inception.
The release of Sniper Elite III: Ultimate Edition on Nintendo Switch is a good excuse to look back and remember the glorious legacy of its creators, Rebellion. December marks the 27th anniversary of the founding of the studio by brothers Jason and Chris Kingsley, who are still running a business that, over the years, grew to cover other areas of the entertainment industry, such as comics, literature or film. But at the beginning of it all were video games, and more specifically one: Alien Vs Predator.
In 1994, at the direct request of Atari, Rebellion created what, for many, is the best cartridge in the entire Jaguar catalogue. This anguished FPS allowed us to embody three different races (a space marine, a predator and an alien), each endowed with its own abilities…and defects, resulting in a fusion of shooter and terror whose mechanics varied greatly depending on the character chosen. Five years later, the English study would repeat the formula, but in a much more popular platform, the PC, turning Alien Vs Predator into a worldwide phenomenon.
A multimedia empire
In 2000, the Kingsley brothers executed a masterful move by acquiring the 2000 AD publishing house, and with it the rights to exploit some of the biggest icons in British comics, starting with the legendary Judge Dredd. The nightmare of the Mega-City One criminals would face Judge Death in a PS2, Xbox, PC and GameCube title dated 2003. Rebellion would later release more titles starring the Judge and other popular 2000 AD licenses, such as Rogue Trooper. The latter, originally released in 2006 for PS2, Wii, Xbox and PC, would be remastered in 2017 for current platforms under the title Rogue Trooper: Redux.
The launch of Sniper Elite in 2005 gave birth to one of Rebellion’s most successful franchises. The sniper Karl Fairburne began to demonstrate his aim in PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC, among the remains of a Berlin about to fall under the attack of the Soviet army. In a market as competitive as that of the war shooters, Sniper Elite managed to stand out thanks to its exciting mechanics, which merged action in third person with infiltration, and on the use of the sniper rifle: an accurate shot rewarded the player with a spectacular sequence in which the camera accompanied the bullet to impact on its target.
Despite the great success of this first installment, it would take Rebellion seven years to release a sequel, Sniper Elite V2, which would be released in 2012 for PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U. With the ruins of Berlin, once again, as the scene of Fairburne’s clash against half the Nazi army, the great novelty of Sniper Elite V2 was the incorporation of an X-Ray camera that showed the destruction caused by our projectiles in the body of each enemy. This classic would end up being remastered by Rebellion itself, in May of this year, for PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Reich from beyond the grave
The popularity of the Sniper Elite franchise encouraged Rebellion to launch a fantastic-themed spin-off, built on the same SE V2 graphics engine. Nazi Zombie Army confronted us with troops of the living dead, invoked by the Nazis through an occult ritual with which Hitler intended to give a decisive turn to the Second World War. The formula of combining zombies with the Sniper Elite mechanics and a multiplayer cooperative could not fail, as reflected in the remarkable success that Nazi Zombie Army achieved among PC users, both in its first installment in early 2013 and its sequel, marketed in October of that year. Both would not reach the consoles until 2015, when they were remastered to accompany the third installment, shaping the Zombie Army Trilogy, a glorious pack for PlayStation 4.
The main peculiarity of this trilogy, with respect to the main saga, is that it allows up to four players in cooperative mode, as well as to play eight different characters, including of course Karl Fairburne. In total it offers three campaigns and a Brutal Horde mode that will confront us with waves of enemies, as well as a series of goodies within its Survival Edition: the trilogy in physical format, a T-shirt with its logo, two silicone protectors for the analog DualShock 4 and a spectacular and sinister zombie bandana.
Two against the Führer
A year earlier Karl had starred in a prequel to the main saga, which would take him to North Africa. Sniper Elite III replaced the ruins of Berlin with desert landscapes, in which the sniper had to give a good account of the soldiers and officers of Rommel’s Afrika Korps, on the trail of a new secret weapon of the Nazis. Originally released in 2014, for PCs and the two generations of Sony and Microsoft machines (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One), Sniper Elite III is about to make its Nintendo Switch debut in a very special edition.
Sniper Elite III: Ultimate Edition incorporates all the DLCs that were released at the time for the original game, which adds four additional levels to the Campaign mode, including the possibility of assassinating the Führer, as well as neutralizing an attack on Churchill in North Africa. This version, compatible with Switch’s Pro Controller, also takes full advantage of the features of the Joy-Con, using its accelerometers and gyroscopes to adjust the precision of the sniper rifle sight, exploiting the maximum HD vibration of Nintendo controllers with each shot.
This Ultimate Edition for Switch lets you enjoy a variety of multiplayer modes, both locally and online, both competitive for up to four players and a two-player cooperative available in Overwatch, Survival and…Campaign modes. Yes, it is possible to enjoy the entire history of the game alone or accompanied by a second player.
The return of the living dead
Zombie Army 4: Dead War, the most ambitious and spectacular chapter of the saga so far, will arrive in early 2020. In this alternative version of 1946, up to four players will be able to enjoy a new cooperative campaign, with levels set in Italy, including the canals of Venice and a visit to an infernal Zoo.
This new installment will land on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with new customisation options, costumes and character enhancements, the most brutal melee combats ever seen and a catalogue of weapons as devastating as they are insane, which you can create and customise as you like. The only limit will be your imagination. Are you ready to face, once again, armies of the living dead?