Terminator Salvation is a shooter game by Gameloft. $4.99
I have never been a fan of the Terminator movies, finding them boring and in the same trash can as Star Trek. I will grant the movie the fact that it has a storyline perfect for a shooting type game, and Gameloft has taken on the challenge of bringing this movie franchise to the big touch screen!
Terminator Salvation plays very similarly to another successful Gameloft game: Brothers In Arms, with the same style of gameplay but improved graphics and controls. The game stays somewhat true to the movie storyline with features in both versions that you can relate to, for example the motocycle level. The aim of Terminator Salvation is to defeat Skynet by fighting with both John Connor and Marcus Wright, two characters from the movie and from what I understood in the cinemas, previous movies as well.
Gameloft’s classic difficulty level settings are the same with easy and medium being unlocked and the ability to play in the hard difficulty after completing one of the two. Generally the hard difficulty doesn’t take my fancy as its the same game, except a bit harder. Terminator Salvation lets you play as the Terminator on hard mode, something that you will only understand after watching the movie, but certainly something different.
3D Games are rare and generally hard to come across on the App Store. Terminator Salvation is probably close to the top of the 3D games with graphics so good that it feels more like a top class PSP game than a simple $4.99 game on the iPhone. The great graphics doesn’t just end with a pretty background, but instead a huge amount of detail and dedication has gone into every aspect of the game, right down to the sparks coming out one of the Skynet’s enemies after a long range headshot.
Fans of the series will enjoy being able to distinguish different Skynet models while playing the game. Each area from the movie has a different color theme, depending on whether it is the dark Los Angeles or dangerous San Francisco. Terminator Salvation was made by a team of Terminator enthusiasts and has therefore been made to make any fan proud, but those disliking the movie series like myself will still get immersed in the environment.
The sound is surprisingly good for a developer who I find it generally lacking in this department. The in-game sound effects are very detailed and actually make it sound like a full on battle zone. There are intro clips before all levels which are from the game’s graphics and look spectacular for a device like this. This is definitely a shooting game to play with the sound on.
The controls in Terminator Salvation have been a huge step-up from what I thought were clunky and often annoying controls in Brothers In Arms. Moving your character involves dragging the virtual joystick in the desired direction. To move the camera to a position that actually allows to see, especially after turning a corner while walking, you just drag your finger on the screen like the process used in The Sims 3. To shoot you use the attack button on the right of the screen and to change your weapon of choice just touch the weapon icon at the top of the screen. Some other options appear from time to time and a button appears just above the attack button.
The game is a lot smoother than Brothers In Arms, and compared to BIA would be like playing the exact same game on the iPhone 3GS compared to the iPhone 3G. Everything just works a lot easier and just feels like a more enjoyable game to play. Skills like hiding behind barriers and walls is easily implemented and gets rid of the need for a lot more controls. The best shooting game I have found on the App Store in the controls, smoothness department by far.
This is one of the best games in terms of action and being a great game that engages you in the gameplay. You don’t get a single moment of rest because around every corner is the chance that one of the smaller, yet deadly fast Skynet robots will come and attack you. Quick reflexes and good aiming skills are the key to defeating the game. The aim of Terminator Salvation is to survive through all the levels by destroying all members of Skynet as well as making it to the end of the level. Each level generally ends with some type of larger boss to destroy and sometimes involves using a simple mini game to defeat them.
The game is, as I said above, filled with action requiring you to shoot and destroy as much as possible. With other members of the Resistance running around to help you fight your battles it really feels like you are on the battlefield, with the same type of feeling that you got from playing Brothers In Arms. There is more than just the classic shooter side of the game, with different levels in the game that let you control a vechile, either a motocycle or a tank. These are great fun to play and a nice way to tie in some of the film aspects with the full on fighting.
Alot of the aspects of Brothers In Arms that I felt let the game down have been improved to give a great gaming experience in Terminator Salvation. The driving levels of BIA were clunky and hard to control, as was some of the movements of your character, such as hiding behind barriers.
While Terminator Salvation gives you a playing time of about 2 hours, this is doubled to 4 hours after playing through the game as the Terminator. I believe the movie went for about 115 minutes (Hooray for Wikipedia) and especially with Popcorn and a Drink on top of the ticket price, is a more expensive exercise than buying this game. While I have just compared this game to Brothers In Arms, it is the best 3D shooter on the App Store by far, easily outclassing others like Resident Evil: Degeneration and Prey Invasion.
Terminator Salvation has class smeared all over what is left of Skynet. Once again Gameloft has prevailed with a outstanding game, showing why they are in what I consider to be the best five game developers/publishers on the App Store (Congratulations to Electronic Arts, Ng:Moco, Chillingo and Freeverse). A great game with graphics to amaze you after every corner. This is seriously one of the better games that you can pick up on the App Store if you enjoy shooting games.