Certain games always look like they’re going to struggle when the are released – movie tie-in games are the biggest concerns. Terminator Salvation was an eagerly anticipated film to the series as it brought about the whole start of the Kyle Reese meeting John Connor scenario and has loads of early Terminator exo-skeletons so we put our worries on hold and crossed our fingers that the Terminator Salvation game was going to go against the grain.
Terminator Salvation game review PlayEject
The introduction to the game looks brilliant – it almost looks like it is taken from the film as John Connor runs for his life after being outnumbered and out gunned by Terminators with explosions going off all around. The game kicks into action and you start off casually walking around some scenery with a small band of survivors fending off the all to easy ‘wasps’ (small airborne robots) with a shotgun and assault rifle. We kept our hopes alive that this was just a training mission and it would start getting better.

We were wrong. The subsequent hour was filled with us shooting down wasps and the spiders (ground based robots with more legs that have be killed from behind) and flying through the first 4 levels. There was a slight change in direction for the game when we got to fend off our getaway vehicles from either HK’s (Hunter Killers – the large flying ships that have become iconic thanks to the Terminator series) and the occasional T600 exo-skeleton who looks menacing but went down surprisingly easily.

The graphics were average at best – had this been one of the first games out on the Xbox 360 then it could have looked pretty good. Compare Terminator Salvation to other games of a similar ilk like Gears of War and the difference is night and day. It seems as though (with many Movie tie-in) the game was rushed to be completed as the visuals in game are nothing compared to the dreadful character animation on the cut scenes where its difficult to work out who is speaking as at times nobody’s mouth will move!

Also we were disappointed that there was no voice over from Christian Bale – the Terminator Salvation star who plays John Connor in the film. Although if Christian Bale saw the game before he saw the voice over contract then we would probably refuse to put our name to it as well!

The trouble with Terminator Salvation is that is has almost nothing positive in it after the first 10 minutes. Enemies are too easy to kill and have no intelligence. The graphics are shoddy all round. The environments are the same and to top it off, the supporting characters in the first few missions have never been so far from the ‘Terminator’ franchise with their dialogue – never in all 4 films have we heard anyone say ‘Yo’ or sound like a token ‘dude’ and it totally goes against the Terminator ethos of desperation and fighting for hope rather than sounding like kids in a school yard.
Terminator Salvation game review PlayEject
The only real positive coming from Terminator Salvation is the unique cover-system. Snap to cover and hold the left stick in a direction towards the next bit of cover and an indicator pops up showing you if you can get to that next bit of cover or not. This is a great idea as it helps with flanking the enemies – especially those that need taking down from behind. But this seems to be the only good or original idea and its as if that was good enough to stop there on the originality and just plough on with a desperately poor game.

Overall there’s very little attraction to play Terminator Salvation. If you’re a die-hard fan of all things robotic then you might enjoy it for a bit. If you stick with it for a couple of hours you can complete it without too much bother but it will become a chore rather than a pleasure. There’s zero replay value – no collectables or alternative routes and crucially there’s just no atmosphere of what the Terminators should be inflicting on their prey – you are infinitely more powerful than anything you’ll come across and thats just not how things were done in Arnie’s day.

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