Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a first-person-shooter/fighting game based on last summer’s big budget movie of the same name. As we all know, video games based on movies always seem to come up a little short and seem to feel like they were rushed out the door to meet release deadlines. Sadly T3: ROTM not only follows in the footsteps of these movie-to-video game disasters, it should get an award for being one of the worst such transitions of all time. Sure the game features an eerie likeness of Arnold himself, and the cut-scenes are very well produced and look like movie clips straight out of Hollywood. Too bad the gameplay feels like it came straight out of Crapville. And Crapville pretty much sums up my feelings towards Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, but in order to keep my reviewer gig here at DailyGame I guess I better write a little more, or just add lots of screenshots (*winks at editor).
By now, most of you are familiar with the background story of the Terminator series. In the future machines have taken over the world, and it’s up to the human opposition, led by John Connor, to fight a machine army known as Skynet. The machines keep sending their metal hitmen, called Terminators, into the past to eliminate the very existence of John Connor. They tried to assassinate his mother in the first movie but failed. In the second film, they sent a newer Terminator to do their dirty work, but John Connor himself sent an original Terminators back in time to protect his mother and himself from the newer model. In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines you get to play as an original Terminator who, once again, has been sent back in time to protect John Connor from the latest Terminator model (the T-X). After several hours with this game, I wish we could send something back in time (the game) so the developer could have another chance at making it enjoyable. But then again, they would probably send a Terminator of their own into the past to prevent me from doing so (oh, my head hurts thinking about all this).
So you are probably wondering why I’ve been complaining so much about this game? Well, I can sum it up with one word: sloppy. The first thing I noticed was the controller layout, it just didn’t seem right to me; it felt backwards or something. The movement of my character was controlled with the right thumbstick and my aim/look was controlled with the left stick. No big deal right? I’ll just open the options and configure the controls to my liking. To my surprise there was no such option. So I was forced to try and play the game with the default whacked-up control setup that the developers must have felt would be best for me.
The mission structure in T3: ROTM is laughable to say the least. You will be told to find a switch to open a door or give you access to a bridge so you can shoot more Terminators on your way to the next lever or button. The game basically boils down to this: blow up stuff, flip a switch and watch a cut-scene…lather, rinse and repeat. All the exciting action sequences and huge explosions are all conveyed through the cut-scenes, leaving you to play through all the boring garbage in between.
The first-person action is broken up from time-to-time by fight sequences. These fight scenes are set up like most other fighting games; played from a third-person-view and from the side. When I got to the first fight I was a little excited just because it broke up the monotony of the game a little. After two minutes I discovered the fight levels where just as boring as the rest of the game. Through the limited control scheme you can punch, kick, throw and block. You can string together some three hit combos and execute a few throws in between, but it takes no skill whatsoever to win the fights. They consist of mindless button mashing, and frankly, you could probably win a fight by mashing the buttons with your toes while eating a burrito and reading e-mail at the same time.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines isn’t the world’s ugliest game, but it sure isn’t showing off any cutting-edge graphics. Everything has a dark “smudgy” look to it; just bland and plain. The explosions and lighting effects are seriously sub-par when compared to other recent titles. The smoke and particle effects look just plain awful. Character models are incredibly stiff and the animations are some of the worse I’ve seen in a long time. It seems to me that the horrible gameplay was thrown in just to fill in the open time between the cut-scenes.
Not much to say about the sound other than Arnold has supplied his voice for the Terminator. You will be so disappointed in all the other aspects of the game that you probably won’t even notice whether the sound effects are good or not.
In the end, it’s games like this that make me believe developers are all too often forced to rush games out the door so the game can be released the same day as the movie or the DVD. It’s all about making money and that’s a shame in my opinion. Avoid this game.
- Gameplay: 2
- Graphics: 4
- Sound: 6
- Replay: 1
- Overall: 3
- Go watch the movie or rent the DVD instead of playing this.
— Buzz Kilgore