Wednesday, May 27, 2009
As a lifelong Terminator fan, I've always been disappointed that the franchise has never produced a great videogame. Sure, I loved playing T2: The Arcade Game with my Menacer gun on the Genesis, but no game has ever truly done the sci-fi series justice. It seems like a natural fit for a videogame - it has robots, guns, explosions, and a giant evil corporation that creates hordes of bad guys on an assembly line. Unfortunately, Terminator Salvation is not the game that will finally get it right.
Despite sharing the same title, the game only follows the events of the film loosely. The primary character in the movie is arguably the Marcus Wright cyborg, as Christian Bale does little more than run around yelling in his gruff Batman voice. Despite Marcus's importance in the movie, he's nowhere to be found in this title. Rather, you'll play as John Connor without Bale's voice-over work, and a second player can join in as Blair Williams, voiced by Moon Bloodgood, Summer Redstone, Autumn Sunblood, Lily Waterstar, or whatever her name is. She was on the cover of the newest Maxim, I know that much. You'll also get the occasional gem from Common's character as he reads lines such as "Man, I hate these robots!" and "Man, I hate spiders!", as well as gratuitous use of the seemingly sexual (and creepy) term "skinjob".
Every single aspect of the game seems like it was just thrown together. It has signs of lazy development all over it - the cutscenes, enemies, length, achievements, and gameplay mechanics are all equally poor. You'll fight about four or five different enemies throughout the entire three hour experience, and all of the controls seem like they were ripped from a 30% complete build of the original Gears of War. All of the environments are incredibly bland and repetitive, and one line of dialogue unwittingly describes the game perfectly. When one character asks another if he's sure of Skynet's control room location, the other responds "I'm not sure...after a while all this stuff looks the same."
If there's one saving grace to this mess, it's that achievement whores will absolutely love it. In another lazy move, the developers only included 11 achievements. Each short mission gives you 80 points, and if you beat it on Hard you'll get an instant 1000 out of 1000. If you're looking for more than a quick boost to your gamerscore, however, steer clear of this title.
First Play: 5.0
Replay Value: 2.0