Terminator: Resistance Review – Maybe Hope Isn’t Lost
Title: Terminator: Resistance
Release Date: November 15, 2019
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Reef Entertainment
Genre: First-Person Shoot / Action
Terminator games are impossible to predict, given that most of the hype is built on the success of the movie franchise. The newest video game adaptation, developed by the Polish studio Teyon, Terminator: Resistance, presents itself as an unpretentious First-Person Shooter to please the strong fanbase and the franchise.
August 1997 marks the Judgement Day when Skynet launches the first attack and waving chaos through the world. Humanity tried to survive the best they could, scavenging and forming small groups of individuals who wanted to make it to the next day, with little hope left. The Resistance quickly emerged, proving humanity’s most strong-willed the chance to survive. Jacob Rivers is the only survivor of his unit deployed in Pasadena, now searching for the location of Tech-Com unit Commander Baro. The year is 2028, set during the ‘Future War’ scenario that was only glimpsed at in the iconic first two movies.
The setting is a love letter to all Terminator fans who’ve been patiently waiting for a game to bring alive the original feeling from the first movies. The representation is well explicit, from the intense atmosphere, all the way to the forgotten industrial leftovers reflecting the pain across an entire nation. Fans can finally rejoice and experience the devastation brought up and close by a ruthless army, one that keeps evolving and learning. The developers created a fantastic story suited within the series, even with different timelines portrayed in the movies, it’s faithful and genuinely-placed.
The biggest surprise is found in the narrative, which gives players optional dialogue choices. They won’t change the curse of the battles, but they will please specific characters, which can turn into a possible romance later on. It turns out Jacob Rivers is quite popular among the ladies, but that’s not all; good choices may please children and elderly alike. Be the beacon of salvation or the arrogant soldier. It’s up to you.
Terminator: Resistance sets players on a hybrid path between linear and open world. There’s a great balance of classic First-Person Shooter mechanics paired with direct goals and objectives. Those looking for something more can also find plenty of exploration and side-quests. Each area behaves like a hub with loot and new information to acquire. Hideouts and Resistance bases are the perfect places to learn more about the dreadful day, for those who are brave enough to remember it. Dialogue usually present interesting information and will make the player understand their surroundings.
The World of Terminator: Resistance is like a puzzle, each piece is connected, but you cannot fully travel at your own free will. This alone would somehow limit player abilities, but due to a few mechanics, the game turns out fun and highly entertaining. Across every part of the game, players can collect loot such as chemicals, metal parts, scraps, and all sorts of junk that can be crafted into awesome stuff like ammo, grenades, health packs, and even more complimentary items.
Scavenging old abandoned cars, or searching between succumbed buildings will provide you with quite the challenge. Locked doors and safes may hold the best goodies, and thankfully, there’s a skill point system to unlock all your needed abilities. Hack terminals, gain resistance, craft high-level items, and even extend your inventory capacity. Upgrading weapons also share similar mechanics, but with chips. The idea is simple and well-executed, as each destroyed enemy will most likely drop a chip, and players can use up to three different chips to upgrade Skynet weapons. The trick is to connect each chip like they were dominoes and therefore increase the weapon’s fire-rate, stability, damage, and clip size. Better yet, they can be stacked, which does end up feeling like overkill, even on the hardest difficulty.
How you decided to approach each mission is up to you, either by hacking and stealthing your away around the fierce T-800 or blasting your path, leaving nothing but metal and fire across your way. The gameplay is designed to take advantage of both scenarios, and in some cases, you need to be sneaky, which creates impressive moments of intensity. Thankfully, when it comes to stealth gameplay, Terminator: Resistance works like a charm. Taking cover or hiding behind the ruins is a perfect strategy to avoid conflicts. My personal favorite: Hacking enemy turrets and watch them do the dirty work for you.
We can’t talk about graphic design without mentioning the optimization. Truth is Unreal Engine 4 has already been proven to be amazing and well-optimized when developed right, which in this case, we can safely say Terminator: Resistance will run on almost anything. Settings can be lowered for less powerful hardware, but those aiming to increase the experience quality may find themselves limited. Although the world does look genuine and beautiful, there are a few filters to portray the game like a classic movie. It looks great, but playing without chromatic aberration and film grain also delivers impressive visuals and boosts the performance a little. Field-of-View can’t be tweaked through in-game options, unfortunately, and requires some changes to the game files.
The overall vibe and presentation are honest and straightforward, dedicated to making players feel the authentic experience. Area designs offer what you’d expect from a Terminator game, proving both idea and concept came together in an organized conception for the final game. Cycles between day and night portray the beautiful and yet utterly disheartening reality of dealing with the mechanical threat, one far from perfection.
When it comes to enemy design and A.I, it’s quite conscientious, as T-800 behaves as one would expect. They hunt and kill but also show signs of imperfection; after all, humans themselves aren’t perfect. Machines could never win, so it’s up to players to take advantage and create new plans and strategies. Visual design is accurate, but from a technical pinpoint, it’s also practical and robust.
Brad Fiedel didn’t compose the music of the game, but very well could have. The soundtrack aims to target that original sound from the movie, and it nails it. There’s still a modern touch to it, but it’s nonetheless reminiscent and familiar, which is what fans wanted. In-game sounds are also well worked out, with creepy and ambient sounds of rusted metal structures clinging to each other, or the wind carrying dirt across the desolated concrete leftovers. Enemy sounds are intimidating, but so are your arsenal.
Terminator: Resistance is perhaps one of the best Terminator games, if not the very best, filled with fan-service and intense scenarios that aim to please hardcore fans and at the same time, anyone who cares for a great First-Person Shooter action game. The biggest issue I found with the game is creating a sense of “all hope is lost” as my character just became too overpowered during some parts of the game. That said, it’s clear the developer put time into adding something unique to the story, which ends up proving video-games can benefit a franchise if, as in this case, it’s a well written and a product of passion.
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