Last year’s “Terminator: Dark Fate” was a step in the right direction after the steep decline the series had taken following “Terminator 3,” but it was also a case of too little, too late.
A month after the movie released, a video game based on the first two “Terminator” movies released to store shelves in Europe and Australia before reaching North America in January. Despite being created by the same studio behind the ill-fated “Rambo: The Video Game,” “Terminator Resistance” is not a cheap cash-grab but an unexpectedly enjoyable game.
“Resistance” follows Jacob Rivers, a member of the resistance who for years has tried to take down Skynet, the supercomputer which became self-aware and triggered the fateful event known as Judgement Day.
As Rivers, the goal is to meet up with the resistance, led by John Connor, and formulate a plan to end the war for good. Along the way, Rivers will encounter and help various people trying to survive, as well as eliminate a ton of Terminators.
“Terminator Resistance” plays like one of the recent “Fallout” games. Though it is quite derivative when held in that regard, it actually lends itself to a fun, if easy, adventure.
Players will trek through the bombed-out ruins of Los Angeles and the surrounding area, completing missions, gathering resources to craft items, and conversing with characters to learn more about their backstories and in turn, ensure their survival late in the game. Again, nothing we have not seen before, but in the context of the world it’s set in, the gameplay loop is fitting.
Of course, it’s not a “Terminator” game without killer robots, and the enemy variety is composed of all sorts of machinery out to eliminate the resistance. There are small drones and spider bots which can be easily killed, but the T-800s and tougher variants are best avoided until Rivers acquires better guns.
You start off with the usual fare like a pistol, shotgun and assault rifle, but eventually you’ll get your hands-on Skynet weaponry, which includes a slew of different laser weapons that can be upgraded by collecting computer chips from dead Terminators.
“Terminator Resistance” won’t win any awards for its graphics, but there is a feeling of authenticity to the visuals and aesthetics of the game. Sneaking through abandoned buildings while Hunter-Killer drones patrol the skies above is unnerving and atmospheric, and eagle-eyed players will spot plenty of visual and and audio references to the “Terminator” series.
“Terminator Resistance” is better than it has any right to be. This could have easily been a lazily slapped together product, which is the normal case for most movie tie-in products, but it’s not.
It’s rough around the edges and could have benefitted from added variety, but for what it’s worth, it’s not half bad. With a little bit more time and budget, “Terminator Resistance” might be great, but at least it settles for being good.