Game Review: Terminator Salvation
Release: May 19, 2009
Available Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
MSRP: $59.99 ($49.99 on PC)
ESRB Rating: 16+
Terminator Salvation is a game made to accompany the blockbuster movie Terminator Salvation. It brings the character John Connor (Christian Bale) into the game and takes you through a dilapidated LA landscape through a short and quite plain action game.
This is simply another movie game, rushed to be brought out at the same time as the movie. The only exception to the “bad movie-game” plague that I can think of is the Ghostbusters game that recently came out. Terminator Salvation, however, is repetitive, and down right boring.
Don’t expect the game to have anything to do directly with the movie as it is set two years before the events of the movie. Basically, the gameplay comes down to three elements. Shoot flying drones, flank ground units, shoot back panel, kill them. There are only 3 enemy types in this game and they are really weak and really repetitive. The first enemy is a flying drone-type thing that has machine guns attached to them called the Hunter-Killers. These enemies can almost always be killed with just one bullet, which makes them a weak and boring enemy, like the Flood in Halo.
The game does attempt to do some cut scenes, but they just look nasty because most of them use the in-game engine and the ones that aren’t just involve a terminator walking through the wall, or down the road. The voice actors are quite bad, and aren’t the voice actors from the movie. Especially John Connor, his character is very dull in comparison without Christian Bale talking. In theory the game would be good, because the developers really did have some good ideas for some of the levels, whether it be fighting through the vegetated backyards of the LA houses or driving on the back of an escaping jeep with a turret.
But the four enemy types and 6 or 7 types of weapons make the game so repetitve, because even though the environments change, you are doing the exact same thing, shooting the panels on the back of an enemy until it dies. Even the loading screen is boring (and trust me, you’ll be seeing the loading screen quite a bit), it’s a terminators head, you can view it’s face in a 360 view, but it’s only interesting the first time, then it just gets boring. The word boring is appearing in this review quiet a lot, but it’s true. This is the same developer as Bionic Commando so maybe they were so busy with that mediocre game that they forgot to work on this one.
The weapons are also very repetitive too, the shotgun (you know, the short range one) and the machine gun have the same range. So you can shoot something miles away with a shotgun. Every so often in the game you will get into an on-the-rails shooting sequence either with a turret from the back of a jeep or firing a grenade gun from the back of an out of control train carriage. But these sections, although fun, don’t last very long.
In fact, the whole game is very short. I completed the game in about 4 hours and got 720G while one of my friends on Twitter got all 1000G with one play-through in 3 hours. It’s amazing how easy this game is. So for you achievement junkies, definitely rent this game. If you were considering buying this game for the full $60, I urge you to change your mind. Avoid this lack-luster experience, you won’t miss much.