This game kicks ass! To be completely honest, I wasn’t really expecting much from this game since well, it’s a game based on a movie and we all know how great those games always are…
Terminator: Resistance captures the one thing movie games usually fail every time, the look, feel and atmosphere of the movie they are based upon or in this case the 3-minute clip at the start of Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
I’ve always like that sequence since it was an amazing sequence and set the stakes for what was bound to happen. It was also humanity’s last stand against the machines so there was also that. And I’ve always wondered what that would look like, that shitty future where everything is ruled by Skynet, Terminators hunting people on the streets and the Resistance trying to fight back with what they can while the rest of the humanity just trying to get by. We kinda got that in Terminator: Salvation, but it wasn’t really James Cameron’s look and feel.
Terminator: Resistance captures Cameron’s vision of that dark grim future and you see all the struggle, all the death and destruction caused by Skynet and well, it’s a shitty future.
The game’s story is set in 2029 where you play as Jacob Rivers, the sole survivor of a Resistance group after the attack from a new breed of Terminator, the Infiltrator. After being saved from a Stranger, which plays a bigger role later in the game, Jacob bands with other survivors and resistance members to fight against the machines and hopefully stop it from executing its dark plans.
Without spoiling anything, this is as good as a Terminator future story can get as it borrows all of the elements that make for an intriguing and enjoyable Terminator experience. No, you are not constantly stalked by an “unkillable” killing machine so don’t expect that. While that would be cool if done right, I don’t want to play as a child or a young adult who can’t do anything to save his own life let alone be the leader that would save humanity.
Instead of all that, expect to learn how the Infiltrators were created or discover how and where the T-1000 was made or experience first hand the sacrifices and hard choices one must do so that humanity can survive. That is what Terminator: Resistance is all about and, in my opinion, excels in this area.
As for the gameplay, this is a tried-and-true FPS game. You have the usual guns like pistols and shotguns which can damage the small robots but can’t do anything to the actual Terminators. To destroy them you will need to use the plasma rifles and yes, the lasers are red and purple! The gunplay feels OK, the human weapons feel strong and they pack a punch, but since they can only hurt the small enemies, you won’t really use them as much. Once you get your hands on the plasma guns, you won’t go back.
The game also has an upgrade mechanic for the plasma guns where you attach different chips to buff the stats of the guns. This might come in handy in higher difficulties, but in normal difficulty you can just do fine without it, maybe too fine. You see the AI, at least in normal difficulty, isn’t all that smart. The T-800s will just stand in place and shoot or slowly creep towards you and to be completely honest, they don’t feel like a threat especially after you get access to plasma guns.
At the start of the game, there are a few sections where you need to slowly move around Terminators and well, it was really tense. But at the same time, it is really gratifying to just melt them with a plasma gun or blow them to bits via pipe bombs or can grenades. Later you get access to even more powerful guns like rocket launchers and you will need them to fight against giant T-47 and the massive scary tanks.
Terminator: Resistance missions structure is also what you’d expect from an FPS like shoot your way to the end of the mission, but it also includes some light RPG-esque side missions. Before you start a mission, you will be running around in a camp or hideout where you can craft ammo, explosives, scavenge for materials and talk to other survivors or resistance members where you have some dialog options. These survivors will give you side quests you can complete while you are doing the next mission. Nothing too crazy, think like “Find an object” type of side missions. However, choosing to complete them or not, will affect your relationship with the person who gave you the mission. Without going any spoilers, the game-ending will change depending on your relationship level with that person. I myself got the worst ending out of all the game cause well, I was kinda like a dick.
As for the presentation, the developers have nailed the look, feel and atmosphere of that Terminator franchise. The future is bleak and dark with death and destruction all around you. Cities are in ruins, highways completely destroyed and Terminators patrol in packs blasting everything in their path. The score is great too and it creates a sense of uneasiness borderline asphyxiating. Then during some of the most intense set pieces, the badass Terminator theme starts and well, it gets you pumped to just mow down everything in your path. Voice acting, on the other hand, is quite lacking as it feels kinda cheap.
In the end, I really enjoyed Terminator: Resistance. I didn’t really expect much from the game to begin with as no one knew this game even existed until a month or so ago. But I was pleasantly surprised at how greatly Teyon captured the look, feel and atmosphere of that future war sequence from T2. This is an easy recommendation to any Terminator fans out there, but for the more casual player, I would advise waiting for a sale. Thanks for reading!
Terminator: Resistance is out now for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. A PS4 review copy was provided for this review.