Terminator Resistance (PC, PS4, Xbox One) (Rated Mature)
I am sure many of you have either heard very little about this game, or nothing at all, I know some of you were like me, and obsessively sought out as much information as you could scour the deepest and seedest portions of the interwebz for. After all, we all know that Terminator games tend to suck, but, there is still the hope that this one, might not suck as much as your Dad on his weekend trips to Miami.
The studio behind this Terminator game has a less than stellar history with licensed games, plus this one came outta nowhere, so the chances of it being good, were pretty low. That could be why I'm so impressed by it, first off, let me clarify that this game was made by a small team, and it is not a triple-A release. In hindsight, I could've just said, its good for a budget game, but I got all long-winded about it. The short and stubby of it, is that I kept thinking to myself, wow, this game is so amazing, for what it is.
This is a semi-open-world first-person-shooter set during the Future War, post-Judgement Day, which makes it a prequel to Terminator One and Two, it also ignores all other Terminator lore, including the recently released Dark Fate. This game is all about capturing those moments shown in the opening of T1 and T2, the blueish grey night battles between the Resistance and Skynet. In Terminator Resistance, you play as Jacob Rivers, a member of the Resistance, who has been targeted for termination. You will strike back at Skynet, doing some main and some side missions for survivors and members of the Resistance, you'll gain access to a small base of operations to craft and buy supplies, as well as to chat it up with some folks who will give you additional missions to undertake in the small, but open and non-linear mission environments that you will battle and scavenge through.
The environment is also what makes this game so visually striking, the game is made on the Unreal 4 engine, so it's no surprise that the game looks good, but it's not impressive for how it looks. The game may be made on an impressive engine, that is capable of creating some of the most outstanding visuals we have seen in gaming, but, this game does not have those visuals. This game's visuals are not bad, but they can often seem stylized in a way that appears to mimic the visual style of the previous generation, while having an incredibly high resolution and framerate, as well as some incredible atmospheric effects. The visuals are not outright impressive, but you'll be impressed when you see the incredible atmosphere, especially in the night missions, you'll be even more impressed by how smoothly the game runs, how fluid the game's animations are, and by the utterly fantastic light and shadowing effects on display. The best way I can explain the game's visuals would be to say, the visuals remind me of the best prerendered CG gameplay shown at E3 to promote the PS3 and Xbox 360.
When it comes to the game's combat, it's intense, it controls pretty damn well, and it really immerses you into the Terminator universe. During the starting hours, you will battle Skynet's lunch hour squad, which is made up of drones that vary in size, and either crawl or fly, and these are surprisingly fun to turn to scrap metal. T-800's are lethal and pretty menacing during these opening hours, but, after a pretty tense episode set in a creepy hospital, you get access to a Phase Rifle in the 40 Watt range, and that's when you start popping tin cans like your shooting school kids in the library. You see children, we used to say, shooting fish in a barrel, but now, it's much more common for kids to be shot in the library at school.
Trying to use a normal gun to kill a T-800 is like bringing a sock full of quarters to a gunfight, you're going realize you made a holy mistake when holes are made outta you. Once you get the phase rifle though, it's like you brought a loaded gun to a school full of unarmed children. The game is fun during its opening hours, shooting drones till they splode is pretty satisfying, but it's when you can treat the T-800s like tin cans made for blasting, that the game becomes far more fun than it has any right to be. The T-800s can still kill you pretty fast, and they are an even greater threat on the high difficulty settings, but, shooting them in the head with your pew-pew phaser gun, is an effective and viscerally satisfying problem-solving solution. It's also nice that on the easy setting, the game is enjoyably easy, but, it always has this atmosphere of taut suspense and incredible intensity, with an immense sense of foreboding. A game does not have to be supremely challenging to offer that satisfying feeling of success, or to offer a feeling of intensity, an easy ride can be just as thrilling as a difficult one. I love games that offer a setting for people who enjoy the ride, more than they enjoy the pained success of a difficult challenge, I also like those games to have a setting for those who love for a game to make them its bitch, so I adored that the settings available will match your preferred gameplay style.
I have wanted a game like this, since I was a little kid stuck on the first level of T2 The Arcade Game for Super Nintendo, seriously, to me, that game was only set during the Future War, because I could never get past the first freaking level. I always wanted a first-person-shooter where I was on the frontline with the Resistance, battling Skynet, and blasting Terminators, now I have that game and I'm shocked that it's not only playable, it's downright enjoyable. Terminator Resistance reminds me of my favorite niche genre from the seventh gaming generation, low budget first-person-shooters, which may sound like an insult, but I always loved the lesser quality graphics and more simplistic gameplay, that focused on the thing it does best, shooting the crap out of stuff. The thing about those games back in the day was, they were generally buttergames, games you'd say were good, but the visuals or gameplay was rougher than masturbating with a sandpaper Fleshlight. Terminator Resistance reminds me of those super enjoyable, but very rough licensed games from a generation past, but, unlike the games it conjures fond memories of, this one doesn't have bugged gameplay, a choppy framerate, or visuals that look like ass. Terminator Resistance is a game that I expected very little from, and in the end, while it may look unassuming, this is actually a superbly enthralling action-packed ride, that is tons of fun, and offers the most highly immersive licensed game experience since 2009's Ghostbusters. Lastly, while I kind of put down the game's visuals, the truth is, they really are impressive due to the fantastic light and shadowing effects on display. Really, the game does look pretty amazing, for what it is.