Saturday, 1 November 2003

Archive Review: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

(Please Note: When posted on the original gamesreview site, this review featured drop down selection boxes which are not supported by this blog. I have included every "option" where a box existed. - admin)

(PS2, Xbox review)

I need your clothes, your boots, and your money.

I heard this rumour, a rumour so foul and depraved that I quickly forgot about it. Then I heard it again, a rumour so obscene and offensive that I simply refused to even consider it could possibly be true. And then I, with my own eyes, witnessed the advert on television for this evil project. Yes, Atari had just brought out Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines the game!

I knew that this meant only one thing: another crap game based on a movie. It was just fate. But I couldn't simply shun T3 the game without giving it a chance, could I? So I gave it a spin. And only now, after many days hours minutes years? of solid gaming can I safely say, with all confidence, that this game is utter binary fetus. digital dung. sh*t. trash.

So let us now dive right in and go into what it is that makes a truly bad game bad. First of all let us ponder at the design values that make up this manufactured waste. The story is based on the film. You play as Arny, the Governator, politics answer to the Michelin man , on a mission to get into office by managing to achieve the world record in shady backhander's, "anonymous funding's", and personally hosted beach parties. Of course, not even Atari would have gone this far. No, instead we play as the Terminator as he races around 2003 trying to stop the T-X from killing some waster called John Connor. Reminds me of Dallas. the old days. Terminator 2. my pet hamster. an unsuccessful barbecue do.

The game consists of walking around ultra linear levels in a FPS view with the odd third person side-on view for fighting stages. So you start of in backstreets and end up in the SkyNet lab. This rough outline of a game had potential. I stress it "had" potential for when you play it you feel as if Arny himself has come into your house and forced you to read his new book of poetry. The FPS view is the bulk of the game and sucks. The map you get literally doesn't work so you never know where you truly are. Not that this matters since the levels are so linear the way to go is always obvious anyway. Obvious question... why have a map at all? Why take up 1/5 of the viewable screen with a pointless map? Add to this ultra narrow corridors, which are so narrow it feels like your in a Submarine, and short view distances and you begin to get a picture of T3: the game. life in modern day Skegness. what Hell may resemble. the depth's of Atari's mind. I could almost violently, with complete struggle and resistance to the last stand, accept these aspects. What I absolutely giggled vomited choked cried bled, cried, giggled and vomited at was the games most inept issues.

The game relies on a lock-on button. You use this to aim at the enemy. The problem is that it is bugged. Say a skinless model 101 is firing at you, standing slap bang in the middle of the narrow corridor, the lock-on will aim at an enemy somewhere else entirely, often behind the walls themselves. You have to keep pressing it in order for it to finally grasp the situation and allow you to shoot at the enemy firing into your face. I had to run up to the said cyborg, and literally tease the lock-on system to "lock on" by strafing into the enemy and running around it in circles. This kind of reminded me of fish and chips. playing scrabble well into the night. frustration put in a box.

I thought the coast was clear and that I had now seen the worst of what T3 had to torture the gamer with. But I was wrong! Oh so very wrong, for it was then that I realised that hit detection was also bugged. Once you fire at the enemy they won't actually die. Drill, drill, drill. Nothing. This is down to invisible barriers that seem to often block your foe. If they occur you simply must run away and come back in the hope that they will have gone again, allowing you to kill once more.

Something else was afoot here too. Occasionally in this game? half-eaten sausage dog indescript crap you will be required to shoot a wall in order to proceed through the linear levels. This sounds cool but it isn't. Only these "scripted" walls are destructible. No other walls in the game are. This is quite comical when one realises that the game boasts "destructible environments" on the back of the box! So when the time comes to destroy a wall you would think that this process would be relatively simple. Find the wall, shoot it up. Nope. You see there is no obvious way to find the wall! They all look the same and no signs are apparent. So you have to walk up and down the linear corridors firing pointlessly at every single wall you can see. There are not even any cool bullet hole effects to marvel at here. Just spray at walls that don't even seem to flinch at your automatic bursts. I spent 15 minutes doing this until I found the wall that actually fell through. Now that was a real anti-climax too. What really annoyed me here though was that the wall was right by a door. When I walked through the hole I had created I made a point of seeing where the door would potentially have led to within the level design's context. It would have led to the same damn place as the destructible wall!

So the Terminator is destroying walls for the sake of destroying walls? Because that sells video games? Surely Arny would have, should have, just opened or kicked open the door to save time and effort? Oh no, apparently the way to do it is destroy the adjacent wall in order to continue on. You destroy walls for the sheer novelty. Not for any tactical or decisive reason.

The fighting mode sucks. Picture the scene... you versus the T-X in a punch/kick affair. Mash! Mash! Mash! Okay you can throw too, but only via one simple move. Block kind of works but why would the Terminator need to block? They feel like a bonus game which lasts a minute tops. Trash.

Graphically the game suffers from being rubbish. The Xbox version I played on was dull, gray, and gray, so the PS2 version is probably even duller and also likely more gray. You get FMV thrown in which is okay, but just go buy Terminator 3 on DVD you fools! The sound is acceptable, with the infamous Terminator scores, and good bass-heavy blasts from the guns, but this is all lost in the sea of cackness which is T3 the game. Did I mention that this game also has no multiplayer modes what-so-ever! No two player, no split screen, nothing, zilch.

Whoever worked on this game, and Jesus Christ the credits in the manual are huge, needs to be put up in front of a Court of Law and forced to confess that they all knew this game was terrible in every conceivable way before they released it. Then, these said criminals should be forced to sit in a room and play their creation for as long as they can possibly stand this mind numbing evil. Then, maybe then, will the gaming community begin to see a change in the quality of modern products. Games developers are really getting slacky nowadays, hoping the fast food in the consumers belly and the Fluoride in their drinking water is getting to their brains. I, for one at least, still have an IQ.





Everything about the game, right down to it's very core and foundations.


Completely void of any form of praise. Absolutely beyond forgiving.

by The Critical Alien
© 2003