Terminator: Resistance got some pretty bad press at launch. I remember nearly five years prior being told the game was in development, but only being shown some key art on the side of Reef Entertainment’s booth at Gamescom. Being developed by Teyon – the studio behind the misfiring Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear and Rambo: The Video Game, I’ve got to admit, I had my doubts. So much so that I avoided even opening the game’s case for over a year.
Now however, I’ve dived in. And I’m in deep. It’s not just because we’re currently starved of single-player FPS games. It’s because Terminator: Resistance actually offers an interesting experience in it’s own right. The game lies somewhere between Halo and Fallout, and that’s just fine with me.
I mention those franchises not because of a quality bar or that it has the same open world presence. Instead, it’s because the game’s mechanics are so open to interpretation it feels much bigger than it is. You’ll frequently be dropped into limited maps that present themselves as open to exploration, much like the earlier Halo games. Despite the fact you’re largely being funnelled to a specific point, it feels like you have autonomy.
While you’re doing that exploration you’ll find all manner of resources to collect. These can be used to craft new items and upgrade your weapons. There’s also a very light level system in place, unlocking skill point to upgrade your abilities. It’s a surprisingly cohesive system for a game that has proven so devisive.
In terms of the action, Terminator: Resistance throws out quite a few curve balls. The many side missions that you’ll be given are often open to interpretation. Yes, they are largely ‘go to blue circle, interact with object’, but getting there is where the fun lies. Most buildings have multiple points of ingress: do you find a vent and sneak in, or pick a door lock? Or do you just say ‘screw it’ and throw a pipe bomb at a weakened wall?
As the game progressing it throws in stealth sections, weapon upgrades, hacking and all manner of different combat scenarios. It’s a game that’s well paced and, despite the occasional flutter into ham-fisted ’90s action hero cliché, it has an interesting storyline to keep Terminator fans moving along eagerly. For any keen gamer willing to look outside of AAA titles, exactly where the hatred for the game has spawned from is almost impossible to see.
Ultimately, if your idea of a ‘good’ FPS stands with the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield alone, Terminator: Resistance isn’t going to change your mind. However, there’s clearly an audience that enjoy the game as new DLC is on the way (though sadly, only for PlayStation players). Hopefully Teyon has recognised that this is the finest work the studio has produced, despite the naysayers, and will continue to expand on the franchise. Just keep it coming on Xbox too, so everyone can play.
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