Terminator Salvation

Oh no!  Another licensed game rushed out to coincide with the release of the film of the same name.  In many ways that is a more than accurate statement.  However the basis of Terminator Salvation is set between the Terminator 3 and Terminator Salvation films so the story is separate from them and it is a new aspect of the Terminator mythology.  You play the part of John Connor, eventual leader of the resistance movement, who is attempting to destroy the evil machines of Skynet, all sounds nice and Terminator like?

The game is played as a third person shooter and has you moving through very linear levels, killing the various enemies up to your next objective.  Along the way you are constantly accompanied by your fellow soldiers who shout at you and aid you in your progress.  You can only carry two weapons at a time along with two types of grenade- a normal grenade and a pipe bomb.  You can use two different machine guns, a shotgun, a rocket launcher or a mortar gun, all of which can be found scattered throughout the levels, along with more ammunition.  There are only about five different kinds of enemies throughout the whole game ranging from spider droids to the infamous T-600 robots, but each enemy has a weapon they are less resilient to, or have weak spots to be exploited making progress relatively easy.  There are only nine levels in the game, some lasting ten minutes, some maybe taking half an hour so you can realistically finish the game on an easier setting in around four or five hours.

All sounds a bit rubbish, and in some ways it is.  The game suffers from more than a few bugs but most of these are concerned with cut scenes starting and finishing at the wrong times, quite badly ruining the flow of the game.  There are more than a few loading pauses and some of them are quite protracted, not good at all in the modern gaming world.  On only a few occasions I struggled to progress as an enemy had become stuck in the scenery somewhere but they could still be killed, meaning I could progress.  The cut scenes themselves look a bit rubbish using the game engine to power them, characters look waxy and dialogue is a bit stunted but they do keep the narrative going.  All in all a bit of a let down?  Not entirely.

Terminator Salvation is probably a good game to rent or pick up cheap in a few months, it is enjoyable enough and I will tell you why.  The visuals, while never jaw dropping, do well to convey the post apocalyptic world of the future war ravaged Los Angeles.  There are several scenes in the game where you are walking through the city and the vistas are stunning, ruined skyscrapers and towers litter the skyline, palm trees and ruined houses line your path.  They do look better than a certain Fallout 3 game, honest.  There is a wonderful cover system in game where you approach scenery and press “A” to hide behind the cover.  You can then move freely in cover and still be able to shoot at the enemies, you can also move to another piece of cover without taking damage.  A useful icon comes up on screen and shows you where you can safely move to cover, handy in the heat of a battle.  You can also play the whole game co-op on the same console with a friend, doesn’t add too much depth but is a welcome addition.  Lighting is done with good effect, with shadows and the like all done very well, explosions are good and sound effects handled well.  Once I started playing I had to finish the game, simply because it was an enjoyable romp.  Okay, I have been keeping the best bit from you, Terminator Salvation offers up 1,000 gamer points in a few hours, great for us score whores.  Don’t let that influence you too much though as you will enjoy the play through if you have just a passing interest in third person games.


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One response to “Terminator Salvation”

  1. Loz avatar
    Loz

    Terminator is always going to be a hard franchise to do justice in a game, but it doesnt sound all bad. If i get to kill the machines – i like!!

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