|System: PC, X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: GRIN||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Evolved Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 19, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
On the downside, playing alone loses a lot, as the friendly A.I. is decidedly less intelligent than that of the enemy A.I. Running around stages like a headless chicken, painfully waiting for your A.I. squad-mates to get their act together is often frustrating and tedious. This could have been easily resolved if other squad members occasionally played the baiting role. As it is, youre going to have to drive all of the squads strategy. If the developers simply didnt have the time to incorporate more complex friendly A.I., they could have at least allowed for online matching. In fact, the omission of online co-op was a major gaffe, as this game only shines when you are playing with another human.
Mixing things up just a bit are a few on-rails segments. While these were enjoyable, they never managed to capture a sense of badassery. In truth, this complaint applies to the entirety of the game. While the machines impervious nature makes for an agreeable challenge laced with strategy, it also makes you feel like youre toting pea-shooters. The game never really allows you to overwhelm foes with firepower and never conveys a sense that youre damaging them. I would have liked to have been able to at least leave my mark upon the machines I shot even if it didnt slow them down at all. Alas, enemies never deform under the weight of your assault until youve hit their weakness and triggered the death animation. This makes for a rather lackluster and weak-feeling experience, overall.
Fortunately, the visual presentation, in general, is nicely polished. Of course, theres never enough action onscreen at once to really stress contemporary hardware. Still, the environments and characters are all well depicted and move fluidly. Also, the cutscenes are nice to look at though not particularly substantive. Sonically, the music is pulled straight from the movies, which complements the game properly. Despite voice work from Moon Bloodgood, the conversations being had between NPCs are humdrum and inconsequential. This is further exacerbated by John Conners character, which not only looks and sounds nothing like Bale, but is particularly unbelievable due to his mundane appearance and school boy, do-gooder tone.
Terminator Salvation falls into many of the traps that classically plague movie-to-game translations. Though the game features a few core mechanics that makes it a good bit of fun, it is painfully apparent the developers were faced with a marketing timetable that didnt allow them to produce the game they had envisioned. As such, this is a game for hardcore Terminator fans only. Everyone else that is still interested in the title should simply rent the game and have it beaten in an afternoon.
CCC Editor / News Director