Terminator:Salvation is a prequel console game set just before the much anticipated fourth installment in The Terminator franchise. I cannot discuss the film here as I have not yet had a chance to watch it but certainly the plot in the game feels a little uninspired and nothing to write back to the past about!
John Connor leads a rag-tag band of rebels through a desolated American landscape; hunted by H.Ks (Hunter-Killers), flying Killer Bots, Armoured Spider Droids and human-like androids known as Skin-Jobs because of the almost-lifelike rubber skin that hides their metal endoskeletons. These are the only real enemies that you ever get to face, there are some automated motorbike droids that come in on one level only as you guide a big yellow bus across a battered highway but this is the only exception, and, in many ways, the levels quickly become monotonous and more than a little bit boring. In some instances, all you get to do is run away and throw a few pipe bombs back at early Terminator proto-types and when you are not doing that, the game falls back on a fairly level standard of shooting some robots then moving onto yet another tiresome cut-scene, some of which you cannot even skip!
The controls are easy to learn and relatively simple and this is one of the first XBOX 360 games in fact that I have played where not all the buttons are utilised, emphasising I hope just how much this feels as though it has been "dumbed-down" at times for a wider audience! And this is to its detriment as, with a few tweaks, a better comat system and enhanced difficulty, this could've been a better game. But should've, could've, would've simply isn't enough to give this a higher rating!
There are only 9 levels and only 11 Achievments to gain making this a fairly quick way to earn some relatively easy G-Points! These Achievments are gained by completing every level then completing the game on both Medium and Hard levels. But is that enough to make you want to play it? Unfortunately in most cases, I fear not! I am not always known for my patience and how I sat through the increasingly slow loading times really beggars belief! At least the graphics are fairly impressive but so they should be on a 360 game!
The backgrounds here would not look out of place on something akin to Left 4 Dead 2 and often are one of the few redeeming features but you rarely get a chance to really take them in and appreciate them as there are few breaks between robot attacks. The hardest moments for me were on the levels where you have to shoot from the back of a moving vehicle (never a speciality of mine) that include converted Humvees, a subway train and an armoured wag. These few moments of challenge though are quickly lost between levels of mundaneness and tedium that really have no excuse in todays modern gaming experience. Movie-based titles are notouriously bad to play and ae often slammed by critics so if you want your game to stand out, you really need to do your homework. The makers of this game haven't!
In short, only play this if you think it is the game that you have REALLY been waiting for or if you are a huge Terminator fan because everyone else will be left wondering "Is this it?"