I love Terminator. Well I love 1 and 2, and if I’m drunk I can appreciate Salvation. Besides that, the franchise has had a pretty weak couple of decades. It’s a strange thing of a franchise that so many people love to death, but no one ever seems to get what the fans actually love about it – With that difficult to please fan base in mind, along come Teyon and their valiant attempt at making a Terminator game. So will you be playing as a unfeeling machine hunting down your targets across time? No. You’ll be playing as a random resistance member in the greyscale boring ass future… Nice work guys, you nailed it. So for your consideration, Terminator: Resistance.
Where do I even fucking begin with this? I booted up the game with no idea what to expect, but what I hoped for a was a thrilling game where I had to avoid the machines wandering the post-nuclear wasteland and use my wits and guile to survive. Well, I did for all of 2 minutes – You start the game in the middle of some action in a ruined Pasadena, California. Taking the role of Resistance Private Jacob Rivers, you’re woken by another survivor who is immediately picked up by an approaching Terminator and blasted through the midsection with its plasma rifle (in a surprisingly blood free moment in a 15 rated game…); the robotic menace with the pearly whites then grabs you, and rather than kill you efficiently like the last guy, he instead decides to show off how far it can throw you, thus proving that machines are just as susceptible to arrogance as humans.
This of course allows Jacob to scarper away and eventually get himself a gun. Now the journey to this weapon lets you learn the basic movement controls, including jumping and crouching, most of which feels like Jacob is either underwater or weighs 300lbs… So after your sluggish run indoors, you’ll finally get yourself a pistol, and of course want to take the fight to the overgrown toasters. You get your chance soon after with some little spider bots to fuck with, and here’s where I encountered the most annoying thing in the game – Of course as an open FPS, the baddies have detection meters. The second one of these meters is filled, the bot in question lets out the most irritating alarm you can imagine; this happens EVERY TIME, and after a while you’ll want to avoid combat just to save your eardrums from the constant blaring noise. Even during scripted battles this damn alarm will play in the background ’till you’re sure you’re having an aneurism. The ultimate weapon of the machines. That’s not the only sound issue I encountered either; the voice acting, hoo baby is that a horrible thing on your ears – Every character in the game sounds like they either didn’t know they were being recorded, or were so bored with the job that they just phoned it in for a pay check. Even leading man Jacob doesn’t sound scared, so much as anxious… Like he’s not facing down a myriad of murderbots, but is just about to take a fairly difficult exam.
A good portion of the game feels almost like a Telltale experience – You have to chat to your allies and do missions with them all in the name of gaining their trust, which will lead them to aid you with items and upgrades down the line; it’s played as some kind of moral choice, but there doesn’t seem to be much point in ever saying no to the people around you – It’s shooting yourself in the foot since their aid is obviously more valuable to you than the smug sense of self satisfaction you might get for telling little Timmy to suck it up and get over his dad being vaporised. I didn’t manage to finish the game, but it’s safe to assume this trust mechanic will come back to make the final mission have some kind of branching path, but really, what’s the point? Just make all these people’s requests side missions and be done with it.
One thing I couldn’t shake during my time in game is that this feels a lot like one of those on-rails-shooters you’ll come across in an arcade, except you’re free to move around as you like. There’s meant to be some level of exploration, but really there isn’t much point for you to do besides collecting some items here and there and to try and level up, but for the life of me I couldn’t see much point to chase either of these things from the get go, and with my weak-ass pistol I was already a force to be reckoned with. The only time my skills with a pistol and Uzi were useless were with the infiltrator sections where a more recognisable version of Terminator arrives to hunt you down. This infiltrator is a legitimately scary addition and – much like Mr. X in Resident Evil 2 – he’s and unstoppable force just there to make you have to hide behind cars and piss yourself while counting your medpacks.
All in all, there isn’t anything truly awful about Terminator: Resistance, but on the flip-side there isn’t anything really great or innovative about it; it’s a porridge game, it does its job, but leaves you feeling bored and actually fairly disappointed. Even the most hardcore fan of the Arnie driven franchise will have a hard time finding anything to really enjoy about the experience. If you are that fan then sure, maybe give it a go, but otherwise it’s probably better you give this one a miss.
I’m giving Terminator: Resistance a: