If you liked the movie, then you’ll probably like the game.
DO: Take cover, flank the enemy, shoot the enemy. Get out of cover, walk to the next fight. Occasionally shoot from a vehicle. Repeat until the credits scroll.
TYPE: 3rd Person Cover-Based Shooter
PLATFORM: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PlayStation 3, Windows DVD-ROM
MEAT: Terminator Salvation takes many cues from both Gears of War games. Each of the game’s chapters are broken up into little theaters – areas in which you are pinned down and must fight through waves of enemies until they are all defeated. Each theater is easily identified by objects that are randomly strewn about, acting as cover for you and your teammates. Your survival is dependant on taking cover as you will not be able to survive under the heavy automated fire of the machines.
As you play through Terminator Salvation’s nine chapters, you will fight the same four enemies when Connor is on-foot: Aerostats (small flying machines aka “Wasps”), T7-Ts (four-legged machines aka “Spiders”), Hunter Killers (large flying machines aka “HKs”) and T-600s (endoskeletons, sometimes called “skin jobs”). The on-rails segments feature the motorcycle-shaped Terminators and mounted turrets in one segment.
The graphics and voice work are adequate, and the controls work for the game. I found myself frustrated with the lack of a roadie run; on a few occasions I could not use the cover system to get me from one spot to the other, so I had to take a leisurely stroll through enemy fire. Since your health does not replenish until all enemy waves have been eliminated, this was very dangerous, but necessary, action to take.
PERKS: The cover system works well. The on-rails segments are entertaining and are a much-needed break from the standard gameplay. The inclusion of Moon Bloodgood’s and Common’s likenesses and voices help to tie the game closer to the movie it is based on. The achievements are easy to get; simply playing through the 6 hour campaign on Hard mode will net you 1000 points. Cooperative play through the campaign is available both in offline splitscreen and over Xbox LIVE.
SCREAMS: For more than the six enemy types you will encounter, a longer playthrough time, more reasons to play through the game more than once (like collectibles, online multiplayer or multiple paths through the campaign) and a roadie run.
VERDICT: Rent. The game’s short length and few achievements will give Gamerscore addicts a reason to play through this game once. Fans of Gear of War will appreciate playing through a similar experience.