Terminator 3: The Redemption Xbox Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox, Xbox

Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines was everything that the movie-licensed title has become known for: a clumsy game and a technological train wreck sums it up pretty well. Any amount of movie stills and footage couldn’t save a very broken game, and now Atari have had another stab at it: this time placing the licence into the more capable hands of Paradigm Entertainment.

Strangely it still stays faithful as well as throws you off the plot of the movie, something that Rise of the Machines boasted. There’s 15 minutes of footage from the movie, as well as some impressive FMV sequences; another thing that Rise of the Machines also shares. These are similarities perhaps, but the main difference here is that the previous Terminator 3 game was a load of rubbish and the newest one does more than fair justice to a fantastic licence.

The time travelling sections flesh out the Terminator 3 plot a little better, as well as extend the lifespan of what is already a short game, and this future of raging machines is well-realised and as good as anything that the movies have conjured up. Things look gloomy and war torn, showing off some impressive visuals – something that Rise of the Machines could have only dreamt of. The game itself was of course a nightmare.

Terminator 3: The Redemption has been designed with a passion and that’s apparent from the off. This time around the game takes the form of a third person shooter, which means we can actually see Arnie physically alter when damage is inflicted on him, though sadly it’s not possible to become the full metallic skeleton. A real shame.

Controlling Arnie is simple enough: if it’s firing dual guns with both the triggers or utilising the intuitive combo system to dispose of shiny metal skeletons that are just asking for it when they get too near your face. The things you are able to do are satisfying in a way that makes me happy that I’m playing as a cyborg and not a measly human. You can tear signposts out of the ground and use them as weapons, effective in the fact that a metal clanging noise follows each and every hit. I loved being attacked from behind whilst manning grounded turrets and simply pressing the A button to chuck the unfortunate enemy robot into the path of the turrets gunfire. The only real problem with the controls is when the driving is introduced to the game.

Yes, there’s driving and plenty of it, which is all well and good as the movie itself is composed of a fair bit of vehicular destruction. The driving controls are obviously inspired by Halo: using the right stick to accelerate, whilst manoeuvring with the left one. There’s also some on-rails sections where you do the shooting from the vehicles as opposed to the driving, and it’s a real blast.

A blast it is but the game can become rather maddening at times. Objectives aren’t always given with crystal clear clarity, and even when things do seem simple enough or you gain a grasp of the situation, retries are constant as frustration levels climb to an all time high. It’s one of the most frustrating games that I’ve played in ages, but perhaps it’s also a blessing in disguise as the game itself is a tad on the short side. There is a serviceable enough arcade style multi-player mode to further remedy this.

Depending on how fast you complete a level, points are awarded for your overall time as well as how you faired in other areas; you’ll get a different pool of points (or Terabytes as the game likes to call them) depending on how good you did. When you have accumulated a certain amount you are able to upgrade your abilities. Upgrades include the amount of recharge energy you can draw from the charge points dotted round the levels, extend the period of time that you can use the Scan Vision, quicker vision charge and more damage wielded out during its use. You may not learn anything new, but at least the abilities you have for the game’s entirety become even more effective.

Terminator 3: The Redemption is what Rise of the Machines should have been as opposed to the abysmal title it turned out to be in the end. The pace never slows down and it’s action all the way; perfectly mirroring the fantastic movie. If only it wasn’t as unforgiving at times I would have seriously thought about giving the game an extra point. But as it stands this does firm justice to the famous licence, and at a bargain price it’s well worth the patience.