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PS2/Xbox Review - 'Terminator 3: The Redemption'

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on Sept. 19, 2004 @ 1:31 a.m. PDT

Terminator 3: The Redemption will take players for a thrill ride into the post-apocalyptic universe as they play the series' signature icon, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Terminator 3: The Redemption will surprise players with innovative and exciting gameplay presented in a number of different styles utilising vehicles and machines straight from the Terminator universe, pitting the Terminator against numerous ground and air-based enemies.

Genre : Action
Developer: Paradigm
Publisher: Atari
Release Date: September 1, 2004

Buy 'TERMINATOR 3: The Redemption':
Xbox | GameCube | PlayStation 2

The story in Terminator 3: The Redemption loosely follows the plot of the movie, T3: Rise of the Machines. Rather than just copy the movie, Atari dared to be different and added an extra twist to the scenes in the game. You also get to see more of the post apocalyptic future in addition to more Skynet technology. As you progress from chapter to chapter, you are treated to actual clips from the movie as well as computer-generated clips. If you ever wondered what happened after the movie ended, this game gives you a little taste of what could possibly be in the sequel. Now, let’s get to what makes this game fun.

The game play is nice combination of third-person adventure/arcade, heavy on the arcade. If you like House of the Dead type games, you will no doubt like this game. There are no puzzles or complex levels, you just point and shoot anything that moves. If it weren’t for the fact that you can run around on most boards, I would say this would be an arcade shooter. On foot, you have a fully automatic machine gun and your fists of steel. To change weapons, you have to take over the various vehicles and stationary gun mounts throughout the board. This is where the fun really starts because every gun has unlimited ammunition; you only need to pause to reload, so there is no need to worry about running out of ammo during a firefight. Each vehicle in the game has its own set of primary and secondary weapons, whether it be machine gun/rocket or laser canon/electromagnetic pulse. That's just a sampling, as there are a bunch of weapon combos you will encounter. The ability to ride vehicles is the centerpiece of this game so it should come as no surprise that there is a wide variety of vehicles in the game, ranging from human helicopters to massive Skynet tanks. Switching is easy: get close enough to an enemy and leap from your hunk of metal to your brand new ride.

To keep the player from losing interest, each mission is packed to the brim with enemies, and the objectives are kept short and to the point. You can expect to race against time, protect the annoying John Connor, or destroy parts of Skynet. What’s cool is the mission spans across different time lines; you go from the future to the past, and vice versa. Most of the past missions are recognizable from the movie but have been slightly altered. For example, there is a part in the movie where the TX jumps on the hearse and tries to kill John but is knocked off when they slam into a truck. That mission is in the game, but as stated before, is not exactly the same. Instead of knocking off the TX once, you have to continually keep her off the car by stunning her and either running into tree branches or grinding her on guard rails. The future missions are totally separate from the movie because … those movies haven't been made yet, silly. In the future missions, you have to prevent Skynet from taking over, or you have to damage certain parts of Skynet to buy you time in the past. The future missions are more fun in my opinion because you get to use all of the futuristic guns and tanks.

Now I know most arcade shooter games have less than stellar replay value, but Atari planned for this so they implemented a rather nifty co-op mode. You and a friend are Marines and must fly around in a helicopter blowing stuff up. Most of the missions involve you shooting down Hunter Killers, mammoth walking robots, or Terminators. The higher the score, the better your weapon gets. The co-op mode is 100% arcade shooter -- just aim and fire.

The visuals to this game are excellent, the most notable of which are the character graphics. Each character is strikingly similar in appearance to the movie actors. One cool feature that I found to be absolutely awesome was the Terminator's skin. The more damage you took, the more skin would come off, displaying the machine underneath. The skin damage goes pretty far, to the point where half of the terminator robot is exposed. The same goes for the TX: the more you shoot her, the more of those classic silver bullet holes appear, only to disappear shortly thereafter. For the future levels, the detail of the post apocalyptic Earth is taken straight from the movie, and the weapons and vehicles are modeled exactly after their movie counterparts. The past levels that deal with the corresponding parts in the movies are exactly reconstructed, but they are extended to encompass the new missions. You really do get the feel that you playing the movie.

The audio is pretty much flawless, except for the voice acting. None of the cast members from the movie lent their voices to the game. It is painfully obvious in Arnold’s character. I didn’t understand why they had his voice in T3: Rise of the Machines but not this one, but that is just a speck on an otherwise polished audio experience. This game has enough gunfire and explosions to make a deaf man's ears hurt. There wasn’t a single silent portion in the whole game; I couldn’t go a foot without something exploding in my face or some enemy terminator climbing up my vehicle to get me. The controls are kept pretty simple for the most part; you just have to aim and pull the trigger. One part of the controls I found odd was how you had to aim and drive at the same time, most of the time I was focused on shooting down my enemy and would often run into stuff and damage my truck. It certainly took some getting used to.

To wrap this up, Terminator 3: The Redemption is fine a piece of software with very few bugs and awesome graphics and sound. Despite the voice acting and a story that follows the movie (but is different enough to give you something new), this game is a winner, and I definitely recommend this game.

Score: 8.9/10

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