We will be honest with you here. When we got sent down Terminator 3: The Redemption we were not expecting anything special. And oh lord, do we look like big fools now. To put it simply, this game is simply excellent. Much like Schwarzenegger's acting skills, the game plays like a robust, hard-arsed, title-of-few-words kind of experience. Also much like Arnie, this title doesn't really have two brain cells to rub together. Bad thing? Certainly not...
So many games nowadays try to be too clever, T3:TR certainly doesn't. What you see is very much what you get, and if you 'see it' for too long you'll ever be dead or begin your endless process of terminating everything in sight. That is just about as advanced as it gets. If it runs, shoot it, if it drives, shoot it, if it flies shoot it, if it shoots you, shoot it. It is this glorious simplicity that makes the game inexplicably good entertainment.
Based on the recent film of the same name, the game somewhat clumsily, but rather nicely, intertwines sections of the film into the 'plot' of the game. This basically means that every so often the game is broken up by movie sequences and cut scenes that help to push along the complex plot of the movie that has puzzled many for months on end...ahem.
There are various different types of levels, from the basic on-foot sections where you (as The Terminator) have to go about shooting, grappling and kicking the arses off various bots and machines. Then there are the driving sections, for these parts of the game there are various different ways of doing things. At some points you will be driving the car/van and shooting at the same time (whilst looking forward) in other instances you will be driven about 'on rails' whilst looking backwards, and have to blast the hell out of an army of machines pelting towards you. At other times you will simply have to drive your arse off in a chase situation. Then you have motorbike sections and even helicopter levels. Jam-packed doesn't even begin to describe.
The game itself looks excellent, and whilst colour schemes don't vary much from grey, dark-grey and sludge, there is a lot of detail and the animation and lighting are superb. Whenever Arnie gets shot, a bit of him flies off, or a hole appears in his back, or on the side of his head. It is this sort of attention to detail, along with the blistering pace of the game as a whole that makes it the complete package and will have you hooked, if not always happy.
Where T3:TR falls on its face a little is with its 'simple difficulty'. Not many of the tasks set are hugely challenging, in fact most involve shooting things, then some more things, then working out what to shoot next, changing into a different mode of transportation, shoot again and save. Where we take issue is with the way the game is so uncompromising and awkward at times. One mistake, boom, one time when you do something slightly differently from how the game wants you to, boom#2.
It is immensely frustrating, and not so much that the game punishes you for being crap at it, but punishes you for not playing it in quite the right way. At times you could certainly label this title unfair, relentless and the next word that hits our collective tongues is: repetitive.
Whilst the gameplay is mixed up nicely with various differing driving sections and there is quite a bit of variety in general, the fundamentals remain the same from the first cheesy slogan to the last. You shoot, you move on, you shoot some more, you move on. It can be incredibly tedious, and the fact that our L and R triggers (used for shooting and firing missiles) have worn down quite a bit, is a testament to this games incessant aim: to make you shoot everything...a lot.
This is why we advise this game be played in small chunks, perhaps a section or two at a time, and then leave it well alone. We played it through for the majority, in quite long periods, but we found that the shorter spells we spent with the game were far more enjoyable. There is something about the simplicity of the gameplay combined with the relentless difficulty that makes it a real treat.
The game is split up into various chapters and sub-chapters, all linked together into a progressive sort of thing that takes you through a number of massive and thoroughly enjoyable levels. The whole experience is totally immersive, and whilst some of the objectives are a tad bizarre (knock T-X off the Hurst) they are all enjoyable. What we like about this game is how interactive the levels are. You can blow up just about everything, smash through buildings, destroy cars, steal cars, take shortcuts, fly over canyons; you name it, you can do it in this game.
T3:TR certainly will not last you a massive amount of time, but what is here is very enjoyable. There is also a cooperative mode to be savoured; admittedly it isn't the best we have ever seen, in fact it is far from that level, but it provides a welcome addition. You can replay levels, get better scores, do things slightly differently and gain more upgrades to make yourself the ultimate Terminator; all of which and more combine to make that has surprised us greatly.
Fun and simple, but at times painfully unfair. There are lots of things to do and it is always very enjoyable. Solid, surprisingly good but never outstanding.
This is a very nicely presented game. The lighting effects are excellent, one moment that stands out is when you can drive straight through a church, complete with shafts of light and stained-glass windows. Everything looks very solid, there is plenty of detail and the explosions are suitable boom-ish.
There is something slightly suspicious about the voice acting. We're not entirely sure if the voice of the Terminator is Arnie with a cold or a bad voice-actor. Aside from that the music is forgettable and the sound effects pretty messy and over the top.
Whilst it isn't a massive game, there is plenty of replay value, and we found ourselves wanting to go back and do certain things again. Were it to be any longer the basic structure of it might have turned a little tedious. Good enough.
We were hugely surprised by this one. Whilst it might not be the most sophisticated thing in the world, it is plain, simple and basically enjoyable fun. It is well put together, adventurous at times and mind-numbingly explosive. Not for everyone, but don't discount it out of hand. Recommended.