PS3 Review: Terminator Salvation

Remember when you can’t help but gape in awe the first time you saw the Harvester in the Terminator Salvation? For all intents and purposes, the Terminator Salvation video game serves up these set pieces but the game gets a little lost in between.

I particularly enjoyed the 3D post-apocalyptic environment, which was more beautifully-realized than say, Fallout 3. The game does create an atmosphere of pitched battles between humans and Skynet’s robots and the use of cover and blind fire simply adds to this. While some robots can be taken out with judicious targetting and use of ammo, some will require flanking maneuvers and your AI team mate to distract them.


The on-rails segments are pretty fun too. Get behind a big gun and you basically have the duck hunt game from the carnival, but in this case you will be shooting down aerostats and Hunter Killers while making sure you do not overheat the gun.

The game pretty much fulfills a childhood fantasy of mine whereby I always thought it would be cool to shoot up Terminators in a video ala the opening scene from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Terminator Salvation delivers this and then some, with the new movie’s stunning new machines added to the mix.

The game does come with a few knocks though. Despite the beautifully realized environment, the game is pretty much linear with no room for exploration. Each  level involves surviving  from point A to B, while there are very little “invisible walls”, cars, junk and even buildings act as barriers to guide you along. However, you can take consolation that a huge set piece usually dominates the end of each level.

Then there are the problems with the character models and camera. Yup, while you get to play as John Connor, you don’t get to look or sound like the gravel-voiced Christian Bale. This is pretty strange as Blair Williams does look like Moon Bloodgood. The game takes place in 3rd-person and it’s disappointing to see that there’s some clipping between the character models and environment, especially in tight corners.

Level objectives are often given verbally and I wished that somehow there are reminders on the HUD or even a map to navigate with. The even weirder thing about the game is that early in the game, your allies are conveniently marked so that you can see them easier through all the destruction and junk (same goes for weapons lying around), but you seem lose that ability as you progress!

Rough edges aside (nothing that couldn’t be solved with a patch, should there be one released), Terminator Salvation makes for a decent weekend gaming experience. It’s best that you get a partner to play Co-op with you as friendly bot AI can only go so far. Now if you excuse me, I’ve got some Terminators to blow up.

Terminator Salvation is available for the Sony PS3, Xbox 360 and the PC. Check it out over here.

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