It’s 1991, Linda Hamilton, Ed Furlong and Arnie have just changed your world with the smash hit sequel T2: Judgement Day. Since then you’ve played the LJN games, enjoyed the Arcade game and wondered “why haven’t they done anything since?”, well it’s 2019 and we finally have a new Terminator product that isn’t a character in MK11 and isn’t anything to do with some movies that people have made up like Terminator 3 or whatever this Dark Fate fanfiction is being thrown around!.
Teyon & Reef Entertainment have stepped up into Licenced territory again after Rambo: The Game, fortunately even before we get into it, it’s a tidier product than that!.
Set in 2028 following the Judgement Day of 1997, you’re Jacob Rivers, member of the Resistance and skurge of machines everywhere. The other team is Skynet, A.I meets machine meets human death, the humans are backed into a corner and you’re gonna do everything to fight back and help John Connor win this war!.
The story from a fans point of view is ideal, there is a lot of love here from clearly fans of the series, little nods in the writing (why can’t I call a dog Wolfie?), the set pieces and how it all falls together and fits in snuggly to the only 2 Terminator films they ever made.
The cast is mostly original characters and for the most part they seem like they have been dragged straight from the source material. They all have interesting if not cliched backstories and your choices throughout do affect them. The voice acting for the characters is a little more mixed in quality but there is more good than bad here.
While we are talking audio I need to talk soundtrack, what a soundtrack it is!. There is a fantastic ambience set and especially in the more action focused stages this game nails the Terminator sound, while lasers and plasma fly overhead you’ll hear the odd familiar song and a special mention to the final stage, not only was the song the icing on a very tasty cake, it also induced goosebumps.
Visually you can see budget may have had an effect here, while not grotesque it’s certainly lagging behind in terms of visual fidelity compared to its kin on current gen. While it isn’t the prettiest or the biggest power house it does have some fantastic art design, some levels look ripped straight from the movies, skyscrapers in the night covered in smog while you trudge along a destroyed freeway covered in the skulls of humans, it does bleak very well!.
It’s a shame that this isn’t all of the time, some stages look really bland and uninspired. Understably there is only so much you can do with the setting of Terminator but even so some levels clearly have had more vision than others.
Terminator Resistance is a first person shooter, you know the script by now but it does do a few things to make it “that little bit more”. Several of the stages are giant open areas which allow you to choose how you tackle them, if you should attempt one of the side quests or not & if the salvage is worth the danger.
There are also light RPG mechanics in the levelling up system, lock picking and dialogue choices, these mostly boil down to nice or ass hole. You can modify your weapons with salvage found and craft traps and healing items too.
Initially the game feels like a survival horror as you’re ducking and weaving through Pasadena and the near by hospital area, avoiding Terminator units as your stuck with only Pistol and bullets to get by. Terminator Resistance feels like a game of 2 halves in his aspect, you have open hub like areas for some stages where you’ll be employing guerilla tactics, then there are the more action stages which is typical FPS shooting gallery.
This is the story for most of Terminator Resistance, it feels at odds with itself throughout. The build up of the Terminator units is unmatched, the next level you get access to laser weapons and can take them out with ease.
The idea of the “Infiltrator” units is fantastic and I’m sure had the budget or time stretched we would of seen more than the few interactions and really out of place boss fight that you do get.
The controls are fine, standard by the genre, combat feels tight enough and there is enough weapon variation to get by. You can stealth kill units, you can trick some with sound, there are plenty of combat options to keep the 7 or so hour campaign along. My sage advice for this game is to play it on the highest difficulty, everything else is too easy and with no multiplayer or branching roots it may last you that little longer but also makes it a much more enjoyable experience.
I do have to point out that throughout the campaign I had to restart easily 10 times due to an irritating bug where the loot screen would stay on the screen. Not a totally game breaking issue but certainly more than a minor annoyance due to the frequency of it!.
Despite Terminator Resistance having quite a few shortcomings it still manages to be a captivating title. It feels slightly out of dated but it manages to capture the feel of a genuinely good licenced game. It draws you into the Terminator universe with its abundance of passion and love oozing from every area of the game. It keeps you hooked through a campaign that honestly feels like it could of gone on a little longer rather and it actually invokes emotion from fans of the series.
Terminator Resistance isn’t a game for everyone, if you aren’t a fan of the series itll come across as a budget average shooter. If on the other hand you are a fan, be it of the original two or those others that come after which aren’t recognized here, there is a lot to love. It’s the best Terminator title yet, better than the LJN ones and dare I say even better than Robocop vs Terminator!. Hats off to the developers for reminding me how much I loved the original films, how much I needed a good Terminator game and how sometimes passion can make licenced titles worth the purchase!.