Review by soulis101
Short, but fullfilling.
Having just seen the movie, I decided to try out the game, buying it out of eBay for 20$. I had some trouble installing Visual C++ 2005, which is necessary to play the game, but I eventually sorted that out.
First of all, I really enjoyed the combat system (although I found it somewhat easy). It's really simple and quite easy, since the cover system is very sophisticated and will rarely get you on an enemy's line of fire (though that might happen sometimes). As soon as you take cover, you can use a feature that shows where your character can go next, staying in cover. The game really focuses on this, and it's simply impossible to finish the game at Medium difficulty or higher without taking cover and choosing carefully how to proceed. The weapons in the game are very accurate, and recoil is nonexistent. Projectile weapons such as grenade launchers and RPGs or frags are necessary for fighting most of the robots, and they aren't exactly abundant, so you might yourself out of ammo when you need it the most. The health system is neither exciting nor frustrating, with the health bar regenerating fast outside of combat. You also get the chance to get on machine guns mounted on cars(or subway trains) and fend off Skynet forces. Unfortunately, no matter what a thrill it is to engage Spiders and T-600s in Los Angeles, it gets very repetitive and consequently boring after a while, especially in linear stages.
You are John Connor, who decides to go on a crazy mission to save some Resistance fighters behind enemy lines, disobeying orders from his superiors. Along the way he meets a number of interesting characters, some of whom will die along the path, which ends when the Resistance destroys Skynet. Although the story wasn't totally uninspired, I wasn't dragged into it, like in other shooters such as Crysis, Fallout or Assassin's Creed.
The graphics are decent, but even at max settings they were nowhere near games like Crysis and Far Cry 2, leading me to question the high system requirements.
The sound was quite good, with impressive explosions, though some of the weapon sounds were a bit weak. Finally, I really didn't like the fact that Christian Bale (the original John Connor) didn't do the voice acting in the game.
Play time and Replayability: 4/10
It took me 6 hours 30 minutes to finish the game on medium difficulty, which just ain't long enough. Any chance of playing the game again is out of the question, because of the linear storyline and the repetitive gameplay.
If you buy the game straight from the shelf, you'll be regretting the 50+ bucks you gave. On the other hand, if you rent it, you will undoubtedly finish and return it in time, having some fun in the process. Should someone give it to you as a gift, ask him if he got a return card ;)
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Terminator Salvation (EU, 05/29/09)
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