13 June 2009 | ARTaylor
Fun but Unsatisfying
I, for one, enjoyed the movie. But this is not about the movie, that's a separate page. I rented the game because my birthday was coming up and I wanted to know whether to put it on my list or not. I'm glad I did.
I enjoyed the game. What I played was lots of fun. The cover system is useful, the enemies are challenging enough, and the voice acting is good enough. It might have done better with Christian Bale reprising his role but Gideon Emery does a good enough job. He isn't like Steve Blum in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance where he fits perfectly but nor is he like Mike Vaughn of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows where he's so annoying you just want to turn off the voices. The vehicle missions are particularly entertaining, especially the last one.
But there are several problems with it.
For one, it's kind of a Gears of War rip-off. The look of the terrain is very GoW inspired. Both are third-person shooters. Both use the cover system. Both have that constant ally that the second player plays as. Except it doesn't have that fun factor Epic gave GoW. The game is virtually the same in body but not in spirit.
The game is too short. It's only nine chapters long and I finished it in two sittings without much difficulty. I read that it takes about four hours. And there's little replay value. I guess I could go through in co-op or on a higher difficulty level, but that would just the same exact thing.
The story itself does not have all that much to it. You spend the entire game searching for one group of survivors. There's no real suspense. The whole game is getting from Point A to Point B defeating a few robots along the way. There's no real emotion to it. If you haven't seen the movie you don't know who everyone besides John is. Finishing the level Angie isn't nearly as emotional as it was supposed to be since we never really got to know the woman. And it doesn't really add anything to the Terminator mythos besides showing how John, Blair, and Barnes got together.
There's no multiplayer, besides co-op, which would have greatly added to the game. It is quite disappointing that in this day of XBox Live and other online multiplayer venues that they would not have Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, or even Capture the Flag.
There is little variety to the weapons. You have the standard machine gun, bigger magazine machine gun, shotgun, RPG, and grenade launcher. You'll pretty much stick to the standard machine gun the whole way through since you get unlimited ammo with it. Otherwise you use the shotgun for the fliers, RPG or grenade launchers for the T-600s and spiders. You pretty much fall into the two weapon combinations, either machine gun and shotgun or machine gun and high explosive.
While the enemies are fun, again there's little variety to them and they all act the same way. All you fight are fliers, T-600s, Skinjobs, Spiders, the occasional HK, and one level has the moto-terminators. Early on you see a harvester but simply flee from it. I would have loved to have had to destroy the thing at some point. And they all act the same. Every enemy simply walks back and forth in the same ten foot area attacking until you destroy it. Fliers are the weak peons that are easily shot down. T-600s and Skinjobs need explosives. You have to flank spiders. And HKs just need to be shot with three RPGs. This is what you spend the entire game doing. Nothing more, nothing less.
The health system is irritating. You don't regain health until after the current battle is over. You don't need health packs such as Doom or Quake, but you can't heal mid-battle like Call of Duty or Halo. You have to defeat every enemy before you get any health back. This gets annoying in later battles where you're constantly battle wave after wave of T-600s. I might have an RPG but would have so little health I wouldn't want to peak out from behind cover to use it.
What the game has is for the most part fun and entertaining. But it seems like the producers didn't follow through with it. It has thirty seconds of fun played over and over until you don't care anymore. After two secessions I have nothing left to do with it. Maybe if they had a few more months to develop some ideas this would have been a huge, spectacular game. Instead it settles for being a mediocre movie-based game. It could have, and should have, been so much more.