When Terminator: Resistance was revealed, I found it difficult to get too excited for the game. Besides the fact that it clearly looked like a lower budget release, it also just so happened to be developed by the same team that made the god awful Rambo game that hit last-gen consoles. It doesn’t bode well, right?
However, I actually found myself pleasantly surprised by the game– don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing special at all, but it can be fun thanks to the varied gameplay mechanics and interesting narrative.
Terminator: Resistance takes place during the Future War following on from the events of the first two movies, with the player taking on the role of Jacob Rivers – a member of the Resistance that is fighting the evil robotic threat across a post-nuclear warzone. It’s up to you to fight for survival and try to find a way to protect humanity’s future.
It’s the sort of plot you’d expect from a Terminator game, but it’s surprising how deep it actually goes. You’ll forge relationships with the characters you meet and get to make decisions during the story that can change how they view you, whilst there’s even the option to spark up a romance. There is plenty of optional dialogue to be shared with these characters too, and making the effort to speak to them on a regular basis will reveal extra story details about both their history and the world around you. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t a narrative on offer that’ll really blow you away and it can all feel a little predictable, but it was nice to see that there was actually a fleshed out story to be told.
From a gameplay perspective, Terminator: Resistance has you go through a variety of different missions, with the player able to either play stealthily or go all-guns blazing as they make their way across each open-environment.
The stealth mechanics are decent. It’s easy enough to sneak around and you can always see each enemy’s awareness of your position, whilst your special x-ray goggles allow you to monitor the location of the enemies around you too. You’ll also gain access to certain abilities that allow you to get through some areas without making noise, so it’s definitely an effective way to progress through the game.
The shooting is alright too, albeit a little bland. Enemies have health bars that you can chip away at with each shot, whilst objects in the environment that you can crouch behind will give you a bit of cover when you need to reload. The weapon selection is made up of your typical first-person shooting arsenal, but some of the more powerful weapons you can find later on in the game can prove especially efficient at taking down the Terminator threat. Admittedly, the game can be a little bit too easy at times, but it did make the shooting a bit more enjoyable in the process.
Whether you’re taking a stealthy approach or shooting everything you can, there’s little variety to be found in Terminator: Resistance’s missions. Most consist of going from point A to B and killing some enemies or destroying stuff, so there’s nothing too imaginative on offer. There are some set pieces to be found that add to the action, but most of the time they simply consist of taking on a bombardment of enemies in a small location – it’s not the most cinematic of experiences and you’ll rarely come across a situation that’ll particularly wow you.
What I did like though were the game’s RPG-like mechanics, with the player able to level up, interact with NPCs, unlock additional quests, and sell and craft items. You’re even able to loot the remains of your fallen robotic foes, although Terminator: Resistance is a far way from being a ‘looter shooter’. The levelling up is actually pretty satisfying with the player able to unlock different abilities that cater to their playstyle, whilst some of the mini-games that tie into upgrading or hacking are fun little diversions too. I came into Terminator: Resistance expecting a dumb shooting experience, so it was nice to see that it actually had some depth.
There is one thing it certainly doesn’t have though: attractive visuals. Terminator: Resistance is not a great looking game, with the characters looking a little lifeless and the environments plain – basically, each level seems to have taken all of the same old post-apocalyptic tropes that we’ve seen in video games over the last ten years and rolled them all together, all without introducing anything unique of its own.
Terminator: Resistance was quite a pleasant surprise. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a particularly great game and a lot of its mechanics are just decent, whilst the overall presentation screamed ‘small budget’ throughout. However, I actually had fun playing through the adventure and was pretty impressed that the developer implemented so many different ideas into the experience.
You’ll want to keep your expectations in check if you’re hoping for some epic first-person shooting Terminator experience, but fans of the franchise should have a good time with the game. It’s FAR from brilliant (even calling it ‘good’ would be a bit of a stretch), but there’s definitely some enjoyment to be had with of Terminator: Resistance.
Publisher: Reef Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC