Terminator Resistance seemingly came out of nowhere. It surprisingly isn’t a movie tie-in but is based on the lore from the original two Terminator movies. Developer Teyon has taken on this massive franchise with a fairly small team, but have somehow created one of the best Terminator games ever made, albeit on a budget.
It all takes place in a war-torn Los Angeles in 2028 and take control of Jacob Rivers, a fighter in the resistance against the Terminators. Your character blends perfectly into the movie universe and works really well with the game. Judgement Day has taken place and the Annihilation Line is trying to wipe out the resistance. Skynet have developed a Terminator with flesh known as the ‘Infiltrator’ to defeat the Resistance from within. The early portions of the game hold your hand to an excessive degree. You move from cutscene to cutscene to character dialogue. It practically plays itself for the first few hours. A lot of set up and introduction to the world and the abilities. The slow ramp up will be appreciated by many, but could bore others.
Sticking with it is worthwhile as the game really gets going around 4 hours in. More and more enemies are introduced such as Spiders, drones, turrets and you encounter the yet undefeatable T-800’s. The variety is very helpful because the game is very linear to begin with. Thankfully this changes and you are given more freedom to traverse large expanses. You can even take on optional side missions which are as simple as retrieving equipment or my favourite; Skynet Outposts. Similar to what you would get from a Far Cry game or Batman, these are small puzzles within themselves and can be tackled stealthily or guns blazing. Both are effective, but not always for the best reasons.
Possibly the most disappointing thing about the game was the poor AI, which is incredibly ironic for the Terminator series, as supposedly the AI has reached the technological singularity and is able to out think mankind. Simply crouching behind rubble or standing at the right angle under a building is enough to lock a large enemy in position and you can unload bullets into them. This only gets easier as the game advances. Better weapons and upgrading your skills allow you to take most combatants head on with little fear of death.
Dying is a pain though, due to the low number of checkpoints. But I suppose this adds tension. In the early portions of the game, you will rarely die, but the latter sections increase the enemies and introduce stronger ones to keep the game interesting. The upgrading system makes this less of a problem as you can increase your health, stealth, locking picking skills and more.
The more I played this game, the more I enjoyed it. I really got invested in the world and the characters you live with are developed through side missions and optional conversations. These conversations are similar to a Mass Effect or the Walking Dead games where you can ask the questions you want to. The conversations flow perfectly and you can ‘pry’ into certain things they say. It really adds depth to the characters and particular ‘Ryan’ who has a lot of history and dialogue. To begin with these conversations to not seem to matter, but there are some that will impact the endings.
The characters are great and all voiced well. I was really impressed by ‘Baron’ a Sarah Connor-esque commander who is very short and to the point and rarely opens up about her past. But thanks to the optional conversations you can get her to open up.
The gameplay is good, it is not great but it does everything to a standard that will keep you playing. Shooting, traversal and the stealth work as intended and the game does change up the tasks enough to keep you ploughing through. Mini-games for lock picking and hacking are fun to begin with but can become tedious after the tenth time. It all works well together, even though the game crashed on me several times.
Crafting also adds a layer to the game and will push you to search empty building for resources you can trade with and ultimately craft items and weapons. I found I had more than enough on the Normal mode and would recommend people who normally play on Normal to try Hard instead.
Visually, Terminator Resistance is an average looking game by today’s standards. The robots look great, but the textures and lighting almost look last-gen. This is forgivable as it does enough to sell the premise and the fact that this is from a small team is impressive. One of my favourite touches is the Terminator soundtrack has been fully licensed and is used to great effect when you take over an outpost and you hear the iconic beats of the theme play.
Terminator Resistance is a short game and can be platinum-ed in a weekend. The side missions will take the playthrough to around 10 hours but if you want to see the multiple endings you might want to play it once or twice more. I can easily say that this is the best Terminator game I have ever played, but the bar for that was not very high. Had this game had a bigger budget and the developers spent a little more time in the ‘middle’ portion of the game and perhaps and open world, it could have been something incredible. Don’t get me wrong, it is peppered with great boss battles and set pieces and I would recommend trying it when it drops in price.
- Replay Value