Before you wet yourself thinking that this is a review for the new Terminator movie, it's not. It's the mandatory game tie-in that accompanies any summer movie that had a budget of more than $12. For those of you looking for a kick-ass game that seamlessly blends in with the movie...leave now, you'll only find disappointment here.
Supposedly the game was in development by the game company GRIN months before even the initial shooting of the film took place. I say supposedly, because you would not believe that a game with so much time for development could be so blatantly horrible. The Halcyon company created a video game division to internally churn out the game instead of using seasoned video game studios to develop it instead. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Oh, here's the first red flag: Christian "We're done professionally" Bale did not lend his voice or likeness to be used in the game which sort of makes it hard to market since the game is about the character in the movie.
Now because I'm going to slaughter this game like a Hungarian butcher, I will start with the good aspects about the game. It's got a cool loading screen which is a Terminator skull with it's glowing red eyes, but it gets repetitive really fast. *Common and Moon Bloodgood lend their likeness and voices to the game, although their acting is atrocious. The Terminator theme song is in there...a lot...a whole damn lot...I mean every time you move in the game you hear that damn "DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN!". The intro and ending pre-rendered cutscenes are cool, but all of the other cutscenes are poorly done with the in-game engine. And, uh...um...that's it.
Alright kids, put on your goggles, this is going to get messy.
This game SUCKS, pure and simple. The gameplay is a cheap imitation of Gears of War. You run for cover, however, the game tends to think it's funny by choosing only specific spots to hide behind. Unlike competent third-person shooters blatantly copying off of Gears of War (Killswitch was first, though), there is no running so you'll have to walk at an old man's pace to the next bit of cover before your enemies make Swiss cheese out of your skull. Oh, the enemies. THE ENEMIES! The idiotically scripted A.I. makes the game intolerable as you have to kill enemies in a specific fashion in order to finish them off. The health bar is like a regenerating bar, however, you only recover your health once a firefight is finished so if you take too much damage in a fight, like you're bound to in this game no matter what you do, you're screwed. The visuals are embarrassing; there's stuff in here that would have been unacceptable for the N64. To say the voice acting is horrendous would be like me saying taking a cheese grater to my tongue may hurt slightly. The dialogue is something out of a Terminator fan fiction written by a nine year old. The in-game cinematics are so stiffly animated that you might think that John Connor himself is a robot by the way he's animated. When I went onto Wikipedia to study the game more, I discovered that someone put up a roughly nine paragraph description of the 'plot' in the game. This game has a one sentence plot: John Connor goes to rescue a group of trapped soldiers. The end. There's no character development, the story of how Barnes meets Connor is uninteresting and dull, and you learn nothing new about the universe you inhabit. Some of the levels are insultingly easy. There's one level when you're running away from a harvester that lasts 20 seconds. I'm not joking. The fracking loading screen took longer than that.
Terminator Salvation is a prime example of how not to do a movie video game tie-in. Games like The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
, Spider-man 2
(Ah, my one true love), and The Warriors
prove that movie-based video games can be just as awesome as we all hope for them to be. I sure wish GRIN luck on it's next project, because they certainly can't get any worse with this endeavor.
My rating for Terminator Salvation
: Burn this game
*Any man who thinks it's a good idea to change his name to an adjective needs to smacked in the head with a pool cue.
A note to the game developers at GRIN: "You and me are done professionally".