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Terminator Salvation - The Video Game Review
publisher: Evolved Games
|ESRB rating: T
release date: May 19, 09 (released)
|» All About Terminator Salvation - The Video Game on ActionTrip|
Arnold Schwarzenegger on a large bike, wearing cool shades, large explosions in the background and an imminent apocalypse. Right? Well, not exactly. Key elements that defined James Cameron's unforgettable blockbuster movie The Terminator and all of its sequels are in fact nowhere to be seen this time around. The fourth movie, Terminator Salvation, lacks these ingredients and from what we hear it lacks atmosphere and depth somewhat (but packs some kick-ass special effects). The latest Hollywood movie effort unsurprisingly spawns a video game counterpart for the hungry gaming masses and so we sat down to check out what the devs at GRIN prepared for Xbox 360 users.
The story in Terminator Salvation - The Video Game is set in the year 2016 revolves around 30-year-old John Conner who battles his way through the ruined city of L.A. along with remaining survivors of Skynet's cataclysmic rage. Humans are desperately fleeing from Skynet's highly advanced robotic army. Conner fights to rescue a few trapped resistance soldiers, in an attempt to prove that every human life matters even if it means heading straight into the "lions' den." One by one, people start following him.
While the game retains some Hollywood talents, not all the movie cast made an appearance. Instead of Christian Bale, who portrays the central role in the flick, the video game offers an average-looking, rather uninspired rendition of John Conner, who, by the way, boasts an uncanny resemblance to the default character model in BioWare's Mass Effect (dunno, maybe it's just me, but they do look alike). Since we're talking about ME, you could say that the gameplay represents a mix of Gears of War and the aforementioned PC/360 sci-fi RPG. It's a pretty standard shooter, designed to accommodate the average gamer and hurl him into fast-paced action. The action is viewed from the usual over-the-shoulder perspective and you have the all-too-familiar GoW-style cover mechanics, which works fine for the most part.
The entire game features an exasperatingly small number of enemies. You'll find that each of these mechanical foes has comparable weak spots, making it relatively easy for gamers to take them out. It would've been even easier if the friendly AI responded more quickly. In most cases, you can hear your comrades shout "Flank, them!" or "Conner, you distract them, while I approach them from behind." Man, if only they'd live up to their words... Half the time, your team just stands in one place and shoots at Skynet's minions, usually with very little success.
The object of the game is to shoot your way through linear and similar-looking levels. There are brief on-the-rails sections, which are quite tedious and a mission where you get to ride in a Skynet tank thingy - another dull, temporary distraction from generally uninventive gameplay.
GRIN's shooter, believe it or not, has potential. Even in terms of the plot and backstory. Since I'm a huge fan of the first two movies, I was always interested in how John Conner became leader of the resistance. Well, basically, Terminator Salvation is about that; except, of course, it doesn't delve much into the "how," but rather the "why." The dialogue is very poor, so don't go into this expecting particularly captivating story presentation. As far as the graphics are concerned, the game gets a passable score. It's really what you'd expect for an average contemporary action game.
All in all, unless you're a relentless fanatic who worships the franchise, Terminator Salvation isn't worth your time. It hardly warrants the full retail price ($60) considering it can be completed in less than four bloody hours. What can you say about a game that has a total of 11 Achievements to unlock? Not much. It's short. Shorter than any other game we've played this year or indeed the previous year. It's over before you can say: "endoskeleton." Not only that, but it lacks replayability and anything that would drag you back for another round. There's a co-op option, but it suffers the same, degrading facets that can be experienced in solo play.
3.2 Don't Bother
The concept is good (though we've seen it many times before) and it looks decent enough;
Short, dull... 'nuff said.
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