Game Review: Terminator Salvation

Game Review: Terminator Salvation

Game Box for Terminator Salvation

In the land of movie games, the vast majority falls into a category that bares the technical name “phoned in movie tie-in for a quick buck.” While many of these games aren’t terrible, they aren’t great either, and serve as an example of the mediocrity that permeates any successful medium.

I’d love to tell you that Terminator Salvation breaks that mold, but this game is truly a lesson in formulaic game making. The game uses a sliding cover system, apparently borrowed from the recent Wanted game. A pretty standard arsenal of weapons is available, with various machine guns, grenade launchers, and other small explosives. There are usually 1-3 other squad members alongside your John Connor, and they are mostly useless. They’ll pick off a couple of the smaller machines, but the larger ones are mostly yours to deal with.

The story was interesting insomuch as it was a prequel to the movie. You get to see how some of the characters from the movie (only Common and Moon Bloodgood lent their voices/likenesses to the game, though) meet up for the first time. Otherwise it’s a generic tale that serves only for you to go to point A, kill some robots, go to point B, kill some robots, go to point C, kill some robots. If it sounds boring, it actually isn’t mostly because the game is so very, VERY short. You can almost beat this game in the same amount of time as it takes to watch the movie. Add your transportation to and from the theater, and you’ve covered the length of this game. There’s a co-op feature that doesn’t really add much to the game, and the Achievement/Trophy list is minimal; all of them are for completing levels, and one for completing the game at medium and hard difficulties. Those obviously wont add to the replay of the game much, if at all.

I don’t want to make it sound like it’s interminably bad. Taking over one of the larger Terminator vehicles was pretty fun, and it is somewhat satisfying taking down a few of the T-600s. The aiming mechanics could’ve used a little work, but aren’t bad, and the few weapons there are do hold a decent mix of types of ammo and various effectiveness against the different enemies.

If this game was offered for $30, or maybe even $40, I think I could recommend checking it out, at least for big Terminator fans. At $60, I have to wonder what they were thinking. 2-3 hours of gameplay with no replay value being priced the same as games that offer 15, 25, or 40 hours of solo play plus near infinite multiplayer just plain doesn’t make sense, and greatly reduces the overall value of the game. As it stands, if you are a huge Terminator fan and want the backstory of the movie with an easy-to-play by-the-numbers shooter, give it an afternoon rental. Everyone else can steer clear of Terminator Salvation the game.

Terminator Salvation is available now for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC

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