PC Games

Published on March 13th, 2024 | by Chris O'Connor

Terminator: Dark Fate Defiance PC Review

Terminator: Dark Fate Defiance PC Review Chris O'Connor

Summary: Take the battle for humankind into your hands and stage the resistance against the Terminators.


Terminator Terror

The Terminator is obviously a massive franchise, from the original relatively low budget movie to the special effects showcase of it’s sequel to some decent (and not so decent) sequels and spinoffs. There have even been a number of games, from the first person title that had you either play as Kyle Reese protecting Sarah or as the Terminator… doing what the Terminator was sent to do, to the side scrolling Terminator 2 game that even featured some animated movie elements (albeit more like animated gifs than clips) and many others. Now we have Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance adding an RTS title to the ranks.

As the name might suggest, this title takes place in the “updated” judgement day scenario… so you aren’t fighting skynet, you’re fighting Legion… the AI that arose after Sarah thought she had stopped judgement day. This means some of the units you face look a bit different to the original (but might be familiar to those who watched the last movie). There are also some expanded units that in my view are a little hit and miss (but that’s purely a personal aesthetic opinion).

In terms of gameplay… well, it’s as brutal as you might expect trying to save humanity from a seemingly endless army of machines would be. Units are persistent so if you don’t manage to keep squads alive at the end of a mission… you won’t be using them in the next. Ammo and fuel need to be kept track of because they will run out. Vehicles need specific skills to use, so you won’t be able to send any old troop to drive the fuel truck to your tanks… you have to send a qualified driver. If you loose a weapon specialist in battle… you won’t be able to use that weapon anymore (unless you come across another specialist with the skills to use it). This is essentially a micromanagement game. If that’s what you like then you’re in for a good time.

The games visuals are suitably bleak when it opens up… piecing together survivors in the shell of a city. As you progress you get to view some different landscapes, some nice outdoor areas, utilitarian bases etc. When the battles begin it does have a sense of being in those scenes from the Terminator movies… flashes of light, explosions, red glow of eyes in chrome bodies. The audio is a bit interesting… mid combat things can get very hectic and the shouting, commands and general cacophony can be overwhelming and distracting. The voice acting I found to be pretty hit and miss with some characters sounding more like caricatures.

Path finding (the bane of RTS games) is ok… but not great. Send troops into a building (particularly multilevel) and they will wind their way in… arguably realistic but frustrating if you accidentally clicked the building and never wanted them in there as you now have to wait for them to wind their way out. Order your troops to a location accessed by a narrow road/path… you may well find some try and find a different way around… not great when there is no other way around and doing so puts them into sight/range of enemy troops.

Final Thoughts?

So the big question… is it a good game? Well it depends on what you want. If you enjoy extreme micromanagement and like the idea of persistent troops then you might love this game. If you come from the early days of RTS, from games like Dune 2 and Command and Conquer then this might be too much fiddling about. Consider your playing preferences before buying and if this is likely to be for you (and maybe wait for a sale).

About the Author


Father of four, husband of one and all round oddity. Gaming at home since about 1982 with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Moving on to the more traditional PC genre in the years that followed with the classic Jump Joe and Alley Cat. CGA, EGA, VGA and beyond PC's have been central to my gaming but I've also enjoyed consoles and hand helds along the way (who remembers the Atari Lynx?). Would have been actor/film maker, jack of many trades master of none.

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