Latest Game Reviews
Terminator Salvation: The Videogame Review - Xbox 360
So the Terminator franchise took a few years off. Now it’s back, and instead of trying to prevent the war of the future from happening, it’s about trying to survive it. Of course, with every Motion Picture Event Of The Year™ comes an Average Video Game Tie-In™. How does this one rank?
Terminator Salvation is a third person shooter from the folks at GRIN. It follows the current trend of cover-based gameplay that Gears of War popularised, which means a lot of crouching, stopping, popping, and flanking of enemies (because they have convenient weak points on their back). You work your way through ruined Los Angeles, both above and below ground, trying to put up some sort of resistance against the overwhelming forces of Skynet.
Look, it’s nothing special. It mostly works, it’s kind of enjoyable, but there is no innovation here. It’s kind of hard to list what the game does right, because most of it is fine. Shooting works smoothly – you can only hold two guns at once, and the one you’re not using is slung over your shoulder, which is a neat touch of realism that many games omit. Many of the guns feel underpowered against the machines, as they take a hell of a lot of bullets to take out, but when you get a rocket or grenade launcher, there’s a satisfying amount of oomph by comparison. Transitioning from cover is pretty slick – a half-circle appears when you hold against the edge of a wall, showing directions you can press into to run to more protection.
Let’s switch to the niggles. For starters, there are literally eight to ten enemies in the entire game. Nearly every battle in the game features the same roster for you to fight in the same way, over and over again. Shoot the flying robots out of the sky (they circle in a distinct pattern), and then flank the little tanks and shoot at their backs. Toss a grenade at any of the T-600 models, and then empty clip after clip into them. Rinse and repeat. I completed one battle, walked around the corner, and had déjà vu, because even the arrangement of barricades and overturned cars in the street seemed the same.
Your AI-controlled pals are pretty sensible, and manage to stay out of harm’s way, but their weapons seem pathetically weak compared to yours. You can be pinned down by gunfire, having exposed an enemy’s back for them to finish off, and wait for minutes for their pitiful shots to take them down. They never toss grenades either. The enemies' AI can be pretty poor too. As previously mentioned, the flying enemies just do loops in the air. They can go anywhere – why not just come around behind me instead of shooting into the barricade I’m pressed against? The tanks fire at one person until you shoot at them, and then they fire at you until someone else attacks.
Annoyingly, you don’t get to do any of the cool stuff you ...(continued next page)
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