Assassin's Creed Rebellion: Preview
Markuz & Sorrosyss, September 2nd, 2017

Assassin's Creed Rebellion is a free-to-play mobile strategy RPG, developed by Behaviour Interactive (who are known for Fallout Shelter) and is planned to be released on iOS and Android platforms. Some of us recently had the chance to try out the game in its soft launch version, ahead of its global release, and were able to conduct playthroughs both on iPad and iPhone, so here are our thoughts on the title!


The game is set during the Spanish Inquisition, and includes many characters from the Assassin's Creed movie such as Aguilar, Maria, Torquemada and Ojeda. The storyline to the game appears to be non-canon – if you’re looking for new lore elements this might not be the game for you - but intersperses with the events of the movie and, following a brief tutorial starring Ezio (who is also in Spain), you are introduced to the main concepts of the game. The primary objective of Rebellion is to form a large Brotherhood against the Templar presence within Spain,
and this can be done by establishing a main Headquarters as well as recruiting new Assassins to the cause. Upgrading the base and completing missions will increase your overall Brotherhood XP level, and in doing so allows you access to further upgrades and improvements to your Assassins.

As you build the base, you gradually get access to new rooms that grant functionality options to you. For example, you can build a Treasury room, that will passively generate currency for you over time, or perhaps create a Training Room - that allows you to level up your Assassins.

Missions / Gameplay

In order to take the fight to the Templars, you are presented with a world map that constitutes the country of Spain. It is subdivided into five regions, with each unlocking as you advance further into the story. Each region features different mission types; such as Standard, Legacy, Loot, and Story – the latter of which presents the storyline through a series of text bubble cutscenes.
Before you launch a mission, you choose from three Assassins within your Brotherhood. Each Assassin can be one of three archetypes:

Shadow – Your classical Assassin, strong at Assassination and Parkour but less effective in combat and against traps.

Enforcer - A brawler / tank type that excel at combat with extra attacks and usually have a lot of health points but are pretty weak in all other areas.

Specialist – They are brilliant at dealing with traps and stealth, but in turn are very weak in combat.

The Assassins differ in their “rarity”(Common / Rare / Epic / Legendary), which is identified by a specific color in the menus (respectively white / light blue / violet / yellow) and their unique abilities, and you will find that using a combination of different characters is often the best practice to progressing through missions.
The missions themselves are where the main gameplay begins. You are presented with a 2D viewpoint of enemy buildings, and usually have to reach an objective at the other end of the area. Herein lies the strategy. You are often presented with a choice of different directions to take. Do you go via
the roof, and use haystacks to stealth through? Or perhaps go directly through and deal with a group of three guards in the next room? These kind of decisions have to be considered as you can only select one of your three Assassins for each room, thus making tactical choices and knowing each character's skill set vital to your success.

For some players it might be very unusual at first, but you do not actually directly control your character, much like what happens in Fallout Shelter. Rather, each room usually offers visual indicators of what action can be taken, along with a percentage chance of success for each action. As such, you will scroll around the screen looking at your options within the area before choosing one by touching an ability and watching your Assassin animate into action. For example, you may enter a room that has a crossbow rope trap, a guard, and an open window. You could potentially elect to disable the trap with your specialist. Perhaps use your enforcer to directly engage and defeat the guard. Or finally, use your Shadow to parkour out of the open window and stealth past the guard. As such, looking ahead at each room before choosing your Assassin can be very important, taking into
account the percentages of success (which vary based on the character’s level, stats and progression), and considering that these abilities only have a finite amount of usages before your Assassin becomes exhausted. At this point, the Assassin will take health damage for attempting these kind of actions.
In essence, it makes the gameplay feel very much turn based. Combat is determined by initiative, which determines who attacks first. Most Assassins have a few different attacks, and as expected they can hit or miss for health damage. If all three Assassins lose all of their health bars, the mission will end in failure. As such, it can sometimes be to your advantage to use stealth opportunities as often as possible to reach the next room unscathed.

Success in missions will lead to gaining XP, resources, DNA (more on this later), currency, and furthering the storyline itself. This in turn will allow you to upgrade your base and Assassins in kind.


Rebellion has a pretty unique art style. It is very reminiscent of your typical Japanese 'Big Head' modes you see in other games or chibi art style.
This invariably makes the characters slightly cute looking, but even with this their appearances are accurate enough for you to recognise some of your favourite characters from a roster of over 40 Assassins. The developers should be applauded for the diversity put into the game, as they have included a good variety of characters with differing skin tones, racial backgrounds, and gender, and it’s really nice to see a load of female Assassins. Lore-wise, though, the same “familiar” characters that appear on the rosters often have details about their life that is very different from the canon information we know about them, to the point in which some of the characters that are clearly meant to represent some of the Templar characters from the Ezio trilogy appear in Rebellion as Assassins - but with different names.

Going back to the presentation of the game, the environments fit with the location and time period, with some of the interior artwork impressing on occasion. You often see Templar crosses and paintings, and it is nice to see a fair variety of guard types, a lot of them with similar strengths and weaknesses to the Assassins.

The animations are akin to what you would expect for a mobile game, with combat and traversal actions resulting in you witnessing your character perform them. Attacks do not produce blood effects, and there is no clear collisions between characters, but finishing moves can be quite artistic – such as a specialist multi stabbing a guard rapidly with a dagger.
Sound wise, the effects are passable with your typical weapon swings and clashes, as well as audible grunts from characters during combat. Given the slow and tactical pace of the gameplay, it is nice that the musical selection is really good and helps to build some adrenaline. The chosen tracks all tend to be some of the more upbeat combat tracks from the earliest Assassin's Creed games (Assassin’s Creed II to Assassin’s Creed III), as well as some fan favourites like Ezio's Family, Modern Assassin, and In The Simulation. The main menu has a lovely variant of What Came Before, which fits the tone perfectly.

Progression & Economy

Levelling your Brotherhood is the key to progression in Rebellion. The primary method of doing so is through missions, with the storyline evidently going up to Level 50. For perspective after about five hours of play, our Sorrosyss was still at level 7 while our Markuz and Sary after eight hours of
gameplay got to level 9.

Upgrading your base relies on you acquiring resources such as wood and stone. Training your Assassins requires Codex Sheets. Crafting items such as Armor and Weapons (which you can upgrade your Assassins with) not only need resources, but also money. Thus everything you acquire on missions is funded directly back into the betterment of your Brotherhood.
The game also features a special resource called DNA fragments that can be used in two ways. Firstly, the majority of the Assassin roster is locked off to you, and in order to unlock them you need to obtain their complete DNA pattern. Once you have that, further DNA fragments can be used to rank them up in quality – which provides extra abilities as well increases in statistics and ability charges.

Daily objectives give you a variety of tasks each day, such as completing missions with a specific Assassin type, or crafting an item. These objectives will in turn reward you with resources and XP. Alongside Daily Log In rewards and Achievements, this does make the game very friendly to casual players whom just want to play for short periods of time, but still gives them enough reward to feel they are making progress.
Of course if you feel you are not making progress quickly enough, the game features an item shop. Items can be purchased for in game currency, as well as a special currency type known as Helix credits. As with most mobile games, this is a currency that is tied to real world money. Purchasing Helix credits allows you to purchase special 'Loot Boxes' known as Encryption Cubes. Some of these offer to unlock an Assassin, DNA fragments, or resources. It is your traditional microtransaction method, and whilst many people have a stigma towards the concept, one has to consider that Rebellion is offered
as a Free-to-play title. Whilst Ubisoft would likely love to put out games for free, we all know that video game development costs a substantial amount of funds. Being able to support the title in a way that you can reasonably afford is honestly not unreasonable, and provides the monetization model to support Ubisoft. On the other hand, though, while the microtransactions are not mandatory, the progression system seems to be designed to make it so that it will take a very long time before the player is able to unlock a specific character / resource / piece of equipment. Nothing new, to this market though, it’s the classic free-to-play system, as mentioned before.

As you progress nearer to the 'End Game' of the title, you will have to upgrade the rooms of your base, the skills and equipment of your Assassins, as well as grinding to obtain the numerous resources and currency you will need to achieve these goals. If we were to hazard a guess about how long it would take to complete the five regions of the map, it would be worth mentioning that the first region took us about five hours. As such, it would not be a stretch to imagine it taking 30+ hours to complete the story, especially taking into consideration that, at least in the build that we tried, sometimes it took us a long time to level up to be ready for the next story missions.
If you intend to play the game over multiple devices, you can save your progress by linking your account to Facebook. This then allows you to continue your save game from a server save. It’s also possible to set up notifications, so that you can be made aware when certain in-game timers have elapsed.


No game is perfect, and it would not be fair to not point out some of the minor flaws we experienced. Thankfully the game ran almost flawlessly, with no crashes or frame rate loss for Sorrosyss on iPad, and only one game freeze for Markuz and Sary on the iPhone. However, there were a few examples of oddities;

  • Spelling typos on the storyline text and tooltips.

  • Some text elements (especially the descriptions of the skills) are written with a very small font, making it a bit hard to read them.

  • Female guards appear to have the same voice reactions as males which is a little strange to hear.

  • No reward on failed missions. Meaning you can completely waste ten plus minutes of your time with nothing to show for it.

  • The time to train and craft can sometimes be ten minutes or more. There is an option to skip these timers for Helix credits, but it feels a bit too forced and unnecessary although it is fairly common for these kind of games.

  • If your Assassins are badly injured following a mission, you have to wait for them to heal. This can be sped up with potions but without any left, you can be left waiting for minutes at a time if you want to use the same three characters.

  • The camera will often tend to zoom in a little too far. We feel the default zoom would be better served further out, so that you can more easily see the actions available in each room, as well as what directions are available to you.

  • There are no indicators of what missions have already been played and which ones haven’t.

  • After you complete your daily objectives, progress can near grind to a halt as XP can be very difficult to come by. It punishes the more hardcore player whom wants to continue playing for longer periods, but of course this may well have been designed in this way to encourage that microtransactions are considered by players.

  • No Ubisoft Club involvement. It would have been nice to see the game recognised with some unique Actions and Rewards, but it sadly continues the run of Assassin's Creed mobile games that have been excluded from the platform.


If you loved the Brotherhood recruitment and Base Building mechanics of the early Assassin's Creed games, you will find a lot to enjoy about Rebellion. The content does appear to extend to quite a substantial playtime, and for a Free-to-play game that's quite rewarding. Despite the varied mission types, the gameplay between them varies little in substance. Our only concern, at least at this stage of development, is that without that variety the grind for XP and Assassins may begin to feel a little repetitive after a time. With that said, the game still remains in limited release in some countries, and with ongoing content updates such as those added to Identity, the title will likely evolve and continue to improve before its global release in the near future.
We do applaud Ubisoft for taking a unique approach with this title though. It’s nice to see Assassin's Creed as an IP trying new things and we hope Rebellion is a success, as it may well pave the way open for the franchise to explore other unique gameplay styles in the future.

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