Terminator Salvation Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Terminator Salvation box art
System: PS3, X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: GRIN 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Evolved Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: May 19, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

On the downside, playing alone loses a lot, as the friendly A.I. is decidedly less intelligent than that of the enemy A.I. Running around stages like a headless chicken, painfully waiting for your A.I. squad-mates to get their act together is often frustrating and tedious. This could have been easily resolved if other squad members occasionally played the baiting role. As it is, you’re going to have to drive all of the squad’s strategy. If the developers simply didn’t have the time to incorporate more complex friendly A.I., they could have at least allowed for online matching. In fact, the omission of online co-op was a major gaffe, as this game only shines when you are playing with another human.

Terminator Salvation screenshot

Mixing things up just a bit are a few on-rails segments. While these were enjoyable, they never managed to capture a sense of badassery. In truth, this complaint applies to the entirety of the game. While the machines’ impervious nature makes for an agreeable challenge laced with strategy, it also makes you feel like you’re toting pea-shooters. The game never really allows you to overwhelm foes with firepower and never conveys a sense that you’re damaging them. I would have liked to have been able to at least leave my mark upon the machines I shot even if it didn’t slow them down at all. Alas, enemies never deform under the weight of your assault until you’ve hit their weakness and triggered the death animation. This makes for a rather lackluster and weak-feeling experience, overall.

Fortunately, the visual presentation, in general, is nicely polished. Of course, there’s never enough action onscreen at once to really stress contemporary hardware. Still, the environments and characters are all well depicted and move fluidly. Also, the cutscenes are nice to look at though not particularly substantive. Sonically, the music is pulled straight from the movies, which complements the game properly. Despite voice work from Moon Bloodgood, the conversations being had between NPCs are humdrum and inconsequential. This is further exacerbated by John Conner’s character, which not only looks and sounds nothing like Bale, but is particularly unbelievable due to his mundane appearance and school boy, do-gooder tone.

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Terminator Salvation falls into many of the traps that classically plague movie-to-game translations. Though the game features a few core mechanics that makes it a good bit of fun, it is painfully apparent the developers were faced with a marketing timetable that didn’t allow them to produce the game they had envisioned. As such, this is a game for hardcore Terminator fans only. Everyone else that is still interested in the title should simply rent the game and have it beaten in an afternoon.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
The graphics are never tested, but the overall look is polished and pleasing.
3.8
Control
The third-person shooter mechanics are standard and the cover mechanic is tight, but the lack of weapons-power is a bust.
3.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music and voice over work are fairly conventional stuff. However, the John Conner character sticks out as unbelievable.
3.0
Play Value
While the game is fun, especially with a partner on the couch, the lack of boss battles, no online multiplayer matching, and only a handful of hours of content make this game little more than a solid rental.
3.1
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • New Installment of Terminator Mythology: Set two years prior to the upcoming Terminator Salvation film, players will get the opportunity to be John Connor for the first time and continue the epic fiction of the Terminator mythology.
  • Unrelenting Intelligent Robotic Enemies: Unrelenting and incredibly resilient iconic enemies from the Terminator franchise fight to the bitter end on land and in the sky. Designed to pursue the player by any means necessary, damaged or broken enemies will literally claw their way forward to inflict harm.
  • Advanced Destructible Cover Gameplay: Terminator Salvation the videogame will incorporate advanced cover mechanics which allows players to use the destructible environment as protection and strategically navigate through enemy entrenched territory. The cover mechanic’s multi-faceted design changes the way cover gameplay is executed.
  • Diverse Array of Advanced Weaponry: The player has access to a wide array of weapons including shotguns, fully automatic machine guns, huge mounted weaponry, grenades, rocket-launchers, and even a plasma firing Skynet tank.
  • Rugged Armored Vehicles Gun Fights: Pursue, attack, or evade enemies through post-apocalyptic environments on foot or inside rugged armored vehicles in extremely kinetic and extensive cinematic gun battles.


  • Screenshots / Images
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