Good Terminator games are about as likely as good Terminator films these days. If you want to enjoy either, you have to go way back to the early 90s. The last time anyone tried to find success with a game based on the franchise was back in 2009 with the poorly received Terminator Salvation. An adaption of the poorly received movie of the same name. Since then, it’s been mobile games all the way. That was until 2019 when developer Teyon and publisher Reef Entertainment released Terminator: Resistance.
Set during the war with Skynet that is portrayed in the first two films, Terminator: Resistance is a solid first-person shooter. One that can be called the best Terminator game for many decades but considering how low that bar is, that’s not as much praise as you might think.
Players take on the role of a resistance solider named Jacob Rivers. His unit is wiped out by Skynet and he is marked for termination. After meeting up with a group of scavengers and helping them survive, Jacob is attacked by a new type of terminator, one that can pass for human. He must deliver this information to the resistance before it’s too late.
The story is slow off the mark but really comes into its own as you play on. What feels quite light and basic at first eventually turns into a thrilling battle to survive and stop Skynet once and for all. Not only that, how it ties into the original two movies is genuinely great. By the end, you’ll feel as though the fate of the entire world rests in your hands.
Along the way, the myriad of characters you meet and can develop relationships with, really makes the game deeper. Different dialogue options and side quests allow relationships to grow and make the characters far more fleshed out. That what you do or say can affect your ending is an added bonus. Somehow through mostly nice decisions, my Jacob turned into a bit a lady’s man and ended up having sex with two characters in quick succession.
All of these interactions take place at a base of operations where the main quest is given out. From that point, once you enter the level, you’re free to roam around the map. Approaching objectives from different angles, collecting resources that can be used to craft items and of course, shooting Skynet machines.
Which brings us to one of the game’s most noticeable flaws – gunplay. Now, it is solid with an array of assault rifles, SMGs, shotguns, pistols and later, Skynet laser weapons to use. The problem is that it’s too easy. The machines, even the likes of the T800s go down very quickly, even more so when you have laser guns that have some upgrades attached. At no point in the 6–8-hour campaign did it ever get anymore difficult. Even with multiple enemies, they’re very little threat.
Stealth is an option but few will take it up. Seeing as running head-on into a group of machines will see you emerge with only minor scratches at worst. Still, the sound of the laser guns and blowing Skynet machines away rarely stopped being fun.
What was less fun were the repetitive objectives that amounted to ‘reach a specific point’ or ‘destroy something’ mainly. Admittedly, there really isn’t much that can be done with a Terminator game set in a mostly destroyed world but the lack of imagination is disappointing. Even the final mission, which is an all assault on Skynet to stop them using time travel, is still just ‘reach a specific point’.
However, it would be false to say it wasn’t kind of fun and very epic feeling. Having John Conner barking orders at you while the iconic soundtrack of the movies plays is very cool.
There’s the shell of a AAA title here but without the budget to actually make a AAA title. That is clear enough from the visuals of the game, which are dull and gloomy. Some character models look off while others look great and the framerate is all over the place. Negatives that take the experience down a notch.
Still, for all its faults and there are plenty, Terminator: Resistance is an enjoyable experience. Short enough to not overstay its welcome but long enough for it to be satisfying. As stated above, it’s the best Terminator game in some time.
The Final Score - 6.5/10