|a game by||GRIN AB|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, PC, Playstation 3|
|Editor Rating:||5/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown|
|User Rating:||7.6/10 - 9 votes|
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|See also:||Movie-based Games, Terminator Games|
You can't help and ask the questions sometimes, "if movie publishers can afford 100's of millions on a blockbuster film, why can't they budget for a good game?". Without a doubt, the standard practice of big movie releases is to publish a game along with it - but often, these games are just not that great. Case and point, with Terminator: Salvation.
The video game industry has surpassed the film in global revenues in recent years. You wonder why there isn't more focus on making a decent game to increase exposure or revenue. Sadly, it seems the focus is to have a developer deliver the bare minimum for a playable entity and charge the maximum amount for the privilege. Worse yet, people still fall for this. We can outline the practice with Terminator: Salvation as the epitome of average games.
No Bale, No Fun
The game is set 2 years before the events of the movie. Without giving anything away from the film, the narrative of the offering is basic. Being set in a post-apocalyptic universe with massive lore, you'd think there is potential for a game to flesh out some of the characters' backstories. Even further, to inherit their heroic features and apply them as playable skills.
Terminator: Salvation really does none of that and doesn't even throw Christian Bale's voice into the mix. The easiest way to describe the game is John Connor deciding to use his band of resistance men to save some people behind enemy lines. There's no rhyme or reasons for it - but it provides just enough backstory to justify the shoot em' up slugfest that follows - introducing the main gameplay element.
Using an assortment of weapons, large and small, to fight the Terminators and hordes of enemies is really all you'll be doing throughout its bland 4-hour campaign. The combat is decent, encouraging the covering mechanics with AI actually pretty smart in throughout the game. Nothing is rewarding, though. There are no boss fights, visuals are bland, and gameplay choices seem lazy when it could be exciting.
I Won't Be Back
Once you've beaten the short playthrough of Terminator: Salvation, there is absolutely no incentive to return to it. There won't be anything you've missed, any secrets to unlock, and nothing further to see. It comes across as one of those games where you can just pass it off as 'been there, done that.'
Where film franchises have underlying lore and deep characters, there is always potential to make a good game. The setting of Terminator: Salvation is much like Freedom Fighters. Developers can work the concept to base mechanics around plotting the downfall of the opposing entity. That would require effort, however, where clearly there is none in this game. Just another movie-game, I'll pass, thank you very much.
- Decent combat making use of covering and quick movement
- There is surprisingly smart AI that actually acts like advanced androids
- No story to engage you
- Visuals and animations are incredibly bland
- A short game that offers virtually no reward
Download Terminator Salvation
The most evocative, stirring part of Terminator: Salvation is the loading screen, a burning red eye glaring out at you from the monitor. After that, it just degenerates into a mindless grind through tediously textured levels, fighting dull enemies and listening to dull characters say "Connor, do this" or "Wasps!" for the thousandth time. This is meant to scare you into taking cover, but these flying aerostats do virtually no damage and appear to be ever-present, their only purpose to throw you into a meaningless firefight every 10 steps.
The game is a prequel to the film, being set two years previously. You also don't get to play as Christian Bale playing John Connor, instead having a Shepard-from Woss Effect lookalike's back to stare at instead. As for the game itself, you've seen it before: third-person action shooting with a cover system that you use to roll between bits of broken walls. The combat is broken too, sometimes. If you've run out of grenades and are facing the machines that can only be destroyed from the back, but they're focused on you, you're stuck until your useless allies decide to shoot them. Which can take a while.
The game is tedious from start to end. Action sequences hardly ever last more than a minute or two, with cutscenes interrupting every couple of metres. The graphics are bland, the combat is boring and has far too many static gun sequences in it. Considering the licence they have, GRIN could have done so much more. But why do that when you can make lots of money off a mindless bit of tat like this?