After playing 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine', which I enjoyed a great deal, I rented this game in the hope of finding yet another movie tie-in that could possibly confute that deeply rooted preconception about film-based video games, partly relying on all the hype that had been built around this game before it came out. Sadly enough, the hope of getting my hands on yet another excellent movie tie-in came to a screeching halt the moment I started playing the first chapter of this game. However many flaws a video game has, I would always try to find something good in it, looking at what might prospectively make it stand out. I did so with 'Terminator: Salvation', yet to no avail whatsoever.
From a story perspective, as the game is seemingly set two years prior to the related film, I had expected to find a connection between the two, such as insights into John Connor's life or a prequel to the film plot. Regrettably enough, it was not the case. Set in a post-nuclear Los Angeles entirely overrun by the machines, the story revolves around John Connor ( entirely different from the one portrayed by Christian Bale in its film counterpart) and his attempt to rescue three of his men held captive in Skynet territory. Commencing with a regroup operation, the game soon evolves into a rescue mission when the resistance leaders refuse to jeopardise their lives to salvage the three prisoners, acknowledging the nature of the suicidal mission. Whereupon, the stout-hearted idealist, John Connor takes matters into his own hands and embarks into a suicidal mission that - woefully- will only keep players busy for a handful of hours, never providing any twists nor turns to make the story more interesting.
From a game-play standpoint, things just go from bad to worse. Whereas the story is clichéd and much too obvious, the altruistic message that it conveys may just give it that glimmer of hope in terms of gamers' appreciation. On the other hand, it really takes a lot of effort to find something decent in the game-play. In this third-party cover shooter, you will encounter a limited variety of machines throughout the game. Without blowing anything out of proportion, I could only count four types, of which the one that caught my attention was the T-600, an endoskeleton prototype of the legendary T-800. During a game segment, I caught a glimpse of a colossal machine, namely the "Harvester", which, owing to its gargantuan proportion, I thought would be the final boss, only to be sorely disappointed at the end of the game. Notwithstanding the ridiculously limited variety of enemies and the lack of a final boss, another major flaw is the absence of any side missions, puzzles collectibles that might prevent the game from resembling a first-generation shooter. In particular, the absence of many such elements reflects directly on the limited number of trophies - only 12 trophies of which 11 gold ones and 1 platinum- which you achieve simply by completing each of the nine chapters. Having pointed out all its defects, what also made me wonder a lot about the online function is the odd addition of a cooperative mode instead of an actual multiplayer feature that may truly have prevented this video game from being utterly shoddy.
In conclusion, my only recommendation for this game goes out to those who are keen on collecting trophies, for 'Terminator: Salvation' is one of those games where it is "impossible" not to get the platinum trophy. However, provided that the game can be completed in a few hours' time, I strongly urge everyone to hire it out only.