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Terminator: Resistance Review - Hasta La Vista, Baby...

We recently had the chance to play through Terminator: Resistance on the PS4, courtesy of our friends at Koch Media. I've been a fan of Terminator ever since I first saw T2: Judgment Day. It had all of the action you could want, suspense that kept you on the edge of your seat and is one of the most badass films to date, but can the same be said about Terminator: Resistance, or is this just another one for the scrap pile?

Licensed games have always had issues. You know how it goes - A gaming company secures the rights to a big Hollywood film license, promises greatness and then stomps all over our hopes, dreams and expectations unceremoniously, leaving us with nothing but the bitter taste of absolute disappointment. Terminator: Resistance isn't quite that bad, but it does leave a lot to be desired.

It's a tough one really, because games based on movies often fail to capture the spirit of the source material, causing disappointment and worse still, a lack of trust amongst the target audience. This makes licensed products very risky to work with. There are, however, exceptions to this rule (I'm looking at you The Warriors, Alien: Isolation and Batman: Arkham), but generally speaking, anything based on Film, TV or Comics is rarely good, which is a shame.

An unstoppable force? Maybe not.
Terminator: Resistance puts you in the shoes of Jacob Rivers - another member of the resistance and one who's trying to find the rest of his squad. Along the way, you'll encounter other survivors struggling to get by and if you run into one of the T-800 models, you're in for some trouble....at least early on in the campaign.

Having played my fair share of shooters, I decided I'd get a decent challenge playing on the hard difficulty and while that would have been true, with fairly basic AI, a skill tree with easy level progression and powerful weapon upgrades, it didn't take long for me to mop the floor with almost anything Cyberdyne could throw at me.

As such, Terminator: Resistance doesn't offer much of a challenge and the soundtrack isn't much better either. With repetitive, droning (ironic) and forgettable noise, the game plays too much on the all too familiar titular theme. It's also very Elder Scrolls in nature. You run around doing the odd side mission and collecting scrap materials for the most part. These scrap materials allow you to craft lockpicks (yes, lock-picking functions virtually identically to Skyrim), health kits, grenades and other useful items, but you'll find so much gear around the maps that you'll rarely touch the crafting system.

Probably the most badass character in the game.
You'll also gain a hacking tool much later on, allowing you to turn auto-turrets against your enemies and bypass electronic locks to open loot chests and doors leading into high tech facilities. The hacking mini-game is enjoyable and requires fairly precise timing, but this is a Terminator game where action should be the focus.

To be immersed in a title, we live in a time where good voice acting, good lip syncing and good character models are pretty much essential, but this is another area where Terminator: Resistance falls short. The characters have just enough development to be likeable, but are ultimately just as forgettable as this campaign. There are two women you can romance in a single play-through and though I easily romanced both, there was nothing really engaging about this and in a lot of ways the option to romance the two main female characters felt forced. The same can be said for the game as a whole - It's just not that engaging.

The character models and voice actors are ok, and the same can be said about the gameplay. It's fine to pass the time, but had it been given a little more love and a little more time in development, I feel a lot of things could have been changed to make the experience a lot more enjoyable. The T-800's look absolutely fantastic and mimic the iconic machines we've all come to know and love, but without the horrifying, unstoppable and overwhelmingly ominous presence the film so greatly conveyed, we're instead presented with wandering, gun-toting, unintelligent tin cans.

They're coming in hot!
I feel Teyon should have been bold with this entry, yet they opted to play it safe. Too safe. With a little more work, Terminator: Resistance could have been a fairly good game, but with mostly lifeless characters, a weak plot, levels too linear in design and only a few truly fun gameplay segments, Terminator: Resistance isn't going to raise the bar for gaming and barely manages to even come close to today's standards.

I don't hate Terminator: Resistance and there were some fun moments, but the problem is it's just not fun enough. Perhaps the easy trophies will tempt the gamerscore enthusiasts amongst you, but if you're looking for a decent Terminator game relatively worthy of the name, your best bet is to dig out your old PS2 and fire up Terminator 3: The Redemption. Terminator: Resistance is one game our favourite Terminator won't be giving a thumbs up.

Hasta la vista, baby.

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