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Terminator Salvation (X360 // PS3)

Terminator Salvation (X360 // PS3)

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If you mention ‘Terminator’ it is likely the first thing that comes to mind is the recent outburst from actor Christian Bale towards a crew member during the filming of the new film (Telegraph – Full Transcription). Terminator Salvation is the new shooter from GRIN/Halcyon based on the Terminator relaunch and unfortunately fails to impress in a number of ways.

The city of Los Angeles has been lost to the machines and the human resistance has decided to regroup in a defensive location. Unfortunately some of John Connor’s men have been captured by Skynet and he is instructed by his superiors not to risk a rescue mission. Ignoring his orders he goes off mission to save his friends and this is the basis for Terminator Salvation.

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While this is a decent, simple backstory for the action, in implementation it is poorly handled as the whole experience is entirely linear … merely running from location to location and dealing with any enemies on the way.

The gameplay is a strong aspect of the title as it revolves around the tried and tested 3rd person ‘cover and shoot’ mechanic made famous in Gears Of War. This time the combat take place in the streets of L.A. and combat, much like GOW takes place in a 360 degree environment, so you often have to tackle enemies from all angles. This adds an edge to the game as you often have to tackle the machines from the sides and the rear to target the weak spots in the armor. To help facilitate this there is a cover system in place via a radial menu which lets you use many angles for taking cover and launching your assault. This is a fantastic system which we found intuitive and fun but unfortunately we don’t believe this is enough to lift the game from the masses.

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While the combat for the most part is entertaining there are some issues with the AI which need a mention. Generally the robotic units act like you would expect and head for the humans to destroy them with superior firepower the spider units prove to be troublesome. Frequently they turn away making flanking almost impossible and will always target you as the main focal point. This means that their weak parts are only exposed to your team mates which in theory sounds fine, but unfortunately your buddies have problems hitting anything, never mind a fast moving spider unit.

To counter this the game is much more interesting in cooperative mode with a friend and dealing with spider situations is much easier as one of you can take them out by flanking them. Sadly there is no support for online cooperative, just local split screen.

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The presentation is also sadly lacking with some terrible cut scenes which look as if they are lifted from games from five years ago. There are also times when some interesting action sequences don’t actually lead to a concluding cut scene which would make me believe that the game has been rushed for release.

While some of the negative aspects could be overlooked, I beat the game in around three and a half hours which does not translate to good value for money by any stretch of the imagination. There is also nothing to expand upon the overall experience such as hidden areas, mini games or cool items to collect. Considering that some expansion pack content I have played this year is longer lasting and costs half the price, it is hard to recommend this title as a good value for money proposition.

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Terminator Salvation is a respectable idea poorly executed and the AI in the single player game ruins the experience, unless you like being put into the thick of the action with a handful of mentally challenged monkeys. There is very little replayability and as the game only lasts for around 4 hours it is difficult to recommend, even to fans of the franchise. Get it on rental over the weekend as this is about the only viable way to play.

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The cover system works very well and the enemies look well, but the AI kills it.
L.A. is impressive and the models aren’t bad but it is nothing out of the ordinary.
Horrible voice acting and only acceptable ambient sounds and explosions.
Four hours gameplay from a full priced game, not great.
(Not an Average)
Shorted lived and unfortunately rushed to market.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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