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Terminator Salvation PS3 Review - -

Gameplay 6.0
Graphics 7.5
Sound 7.0
Value 5.9
Distributor: Warner Bros
Review Date:
May 2009
Tyrone Williams


Terminator Salvation

It is ironic how many gamers know about the “curse” of movie based games and after the triumphant attempt of Activision’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, some thought that this curse has finally been lifted. Unfortunately Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous catch phrase “I’ll be back” has hit Terminator Salvation with a vengeance and what initially felt like a promising game is a lacklustre affair that really is a post-apocalyptic disaster.

The story is based on the upcoming movie of the same name which revolves around John Connor’s fight against the nefarious computer Skynet. The title uses in-game cinemas and voice acting to progress the game as the player eventually makes their way to root of all evil.

The game itself is a third person shooter that uses a mediocre gaming engine which feels unfinished and quite limiting. The design of the game feels like a predictable path as gaming objects and invisible walls are put in place to ensure that your character goes in the right direction. It’s basically move, cover and fight, then repeat.

When it comes to weapons, the player does have access to a variety of different weapons that include shotguns, rocket launchers and the like. Of course, you are limited to what you can carry. Thankfully you do have some assistance from your fellow freedom fighters that actually do kill some enemies.

Apart from running around all day and shooting futuristic crafts such as the Wasps or metal endoskeleton Terminators, there are some missions that include vehicles that feels tacked on and an afterthought of the developers. Level design seems repeat after repeat which is hampered by the carefully staged story which has nothing in terms of surprises or action.

It is a very linear experience.

Although taking on the Terminators initially was quite fun early in the game, these enemies generally don’t change, whether you are fighting the fast flying Wasps, the lumbering Spiders or the classic Terminators, it is unfortunately quite limiting to the amount of enemies in the game.

The saving grace of the enemies is the occasional boss battles that does help break away from the monotony of the stock standard foes and some do require some careful thought in engaging them. Thankfully the game is littered with numerous checkpoints so if you do happen to find yourself getting killed, you generally don’t have to back track too far.

In comparison to Wanted, another movie based game, Terminator Salvation uses a similar cover system to this game which is actually the highlight of the gameplay, however it unfortunately doesn’t mesh with the 90% of the other gameplay because it’s easier to just stand and blow your enemies to kingdom come, using unbreakable objects in the game as cover.

Apart from a single-player mode, the title also supports a co-op mode for local play and attempts to create a Gears of War experience. For instance, one person can fire at the enemy while the other attempts to move closer which is kind of cool. If you do get shot, your friend can heal you, provided he doesn’t get killed in the process. This is probably the saving grace of the title, not because misery loves company, however it makes the gaming experience a more enjoyable one.

In terms of graphics, the game looks dated on the PlayStation 3 with poorly detailed textures and the human characters looking like the undead with their lifeless expressions and movement. The gaming environment is very basic that is hampered by the almost low resolution textures.

The in-game sound effects of the title are actually quite decent which does make use of the surround sound capabilities of the PS3. The music is reminiscent of the movies, however the voice acting is extremely forced and clichéd and unfortunately the voice of Christian Bale is nowhere to be found. For a game based on a movie, it’s a shame that the actors were not available.

At the end of the day, Terminator Salvation is a strange game, it’s definitely not the best movie game and it’s also not the worst, however it’s closer on that end of the spectrum. For a next generation console, the graphics and gameplay are lacking and hopefully one day, we can see a really impressive Terminator game. Alas… not today! Some fans will investigate this title, especially the casual gamer, however for hardcore gamers and true fans, this is one title that unfortunately I cannot recommend.

It has it's moment, however these are unfortunately far and few. It's a shame because this is one of the greatest science fiction franchises.


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