Posted by Mike on October 9, 2009

Terminator Salvation Review

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Terminator Salvation

Developer: Halcyon Games and GRIN

Copy Reviewed: PS3 Version

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Movies are notoriously known to translate into horrible video games. Yes there are a small few that defy this paradigm, but sorry to say Terminator Salvation is not one of them. Terminator Salvation is based on the movie released during the early summer months starring Christian Bale, and was met with mixed reviews was tons of sequel based movies are. All in all Terminator Salvation is not a horrible game, but it just does so many things in the wrong way which equate it to turning out worse than it really should.

Terminator Salvation starts off slow with you playing as John O’Connor. The story takes place between Terminator 3 and Terminator Salvation, so technically this isn’t a game based off the movie but an interquel. Terminator Salvation brings you two modes to choose from; single player and co-op. I first started with single player, but I highly recommend co-op as the A.I. doesn’t help out much like most games, as you have to kill every machine yourself.

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The first couple of stages are set up to teach you how to control your character in the upcoming hectic events. The first thing in these stages I noticed was the utter lack of control while trying to shoot. It was either way too sensitive or way too slow, and after playing with the options menus via the x and y axis values, we start with the very slow introduction.

You really never feel any compassion for your fellow NPC’s until the very end, which for me is what made the beginning so slow and the end so enjoyable. That coupled with horrible lip syncing from the voices to the character’s mouth led me to believe this was going to be the worst game I ever played.
After the beginning cinema, I’m forced to learn the cover feature of the Third Person Shooter, which closely resembles Gears of War or Uncharted. I’m not a big fan of forcing the player into easy environments in the beginning of a game to just teach the player how to play the game and get used to the controls. I’m usually more of a fan for a training exercise prequel, and then being thrust into the game. All in all it’s a good cover system, but it doesn’t always work the way it’s intended by the developers.

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After learning the cover system, I’m pushed into saving my squad mates from the machines. In the first few stages, I just couldn’t grasp how to actually beat the machines easily, since I started off in hard mode, but by chapter 4, this game became a breeze and enjoyable because I knew how to react to the situation, destroy the machines and save my squad mates. This knowledge is essential for beating the game in 6-8 hours.

I will say this; the RPG, Grenade Launcher, Pipe Bombs, and Shotgun are your best friends. After learning the first 3 levels you will be in fly by mode for the rest of the game, as it is just rinse and repeat the rest of the game in just different areas and more and more enemies each time. That’s not entirely bad, as it did make the game more enjoyable that I knew how to encounter each situation and win, even on hard. But I think it is more of a blame of the A.I. then the game mechanics. The Hard difficulty was not a big issue in this game as it is with others, the only problems I ever had with the difficulty and jumping straight into it, was the rail shooter moments of chapter 2 and a subway train later in the game.

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Graphics: 3/5

The graphics department wasn’t really horrible considering it’s a movie based game that has been rushed, but the constant AA issues, graphical glitches of enemies getting stuck in a wall, and the plain lack of detail in the environment doesn’t really give you that immersion that you usually look for in a game. Then again your character models and T-600 machines look pretty decent.

Gameplay: 2/5

Here are where my issues came up. The cover system was well done, but the health system just blew. Sometimes you would regain your health and sometimes you wouldn’t. It wasn’t just that the health wouldn’t regain itself, but it would do it each time differently in the same episode. What I mean by this, is that in the same episode you would be getting shot from the enemy, and you could run away to a safe place and your health would not regain back to its normal level, it would just sit at the incredibly low level. This would continue to stay low until you beat that section of the level. If you died and redid that section again your health would regain if you sat still. The game would then flip flop this on stages where it would work, then you would die, and then it wouldn’t work. This completely causes total frustration from the player. This mixed with the horrible aiming/shooting system just ruins a game that has lots of potential.

Sound: 2/5

Again, the complete lack of syncing the voices correctly ruined most of the experience for me. The sound was just all around lackluster; just your basic sound effects. Don’t expect a score that’s like Killzone 2 or Uncharted.

Replayability: 1/5

This is probably one of the worst aspects of the game, as there is no reason for you to go back and explore the game afterwards. The trophies and platinum can be done with one run through on Hard. The only reason Terminator does not get a 0 in this department is because of the co-op mode. It is done well and it is one of the only games that will give you this experience this generation.

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Overall: 2/5

Overall Terminator Salvation actually performed better and above my expectations for a movie based game. After Chapter 4, I actually quite enjoyed the game, and was saddened as I blew threw the last chapters, actually having fun, and then boom I’m at the end. If you are a trophy hunter this is definitely an easy platinum from 5-8 hours of gameplay, and if you are interested in the story between the movies this may be a rent. But if you have no interest in those two items, I suggest you stay away from Terminator Salvation as there are other, much better made games.

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2 Responses to “Terminator Salvation Review”

  1. John says:

    replayability = 0!

  2. jefXfree says:

    The worst part of the game is that it’s $60 for 5 hours of gameplay. I’m glad I didn’t buy it, i’d have been pissed.

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