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September 27, 2004
Terminator 3: Redemption - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
17/9/2003AtariParadigm Ent.1-2M15+Medium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
94KBDolby PLIIYesNoNoneNo

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Character models are impressive.
After the complete and utter waste of time, talent and potential that was Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (the game - not the rather exciting movie), and the instantly forgettable Terminator: Dawn of Fate, expectations for this game were pretty low, although the demo from a year ago certainly showed promise. A year later and the game is here. Terminator 3: Redemption takes players for another ride into the post-apocalyptic universe presented in the feature films as players become the series signature icon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the Terminator.

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Hand-to-hand combat.
This game surrounds the events of the third movie. The opening scenes show how John Connor is killed by the terminator, how he is then programmed and sent out into the battlefield. It's an impressive opening to the game that shows another side to the legendary story. Indeed much of the game has more plot lines and shows more of the Terminator universe then the recent movie.

Terminator 3: Redemption is primarily a 3rd person action title set across 14 missions with numerous sections of driving vehicles as well. The 3rd person action is really split up into several key areas. In some sections you will have to mount guns either set up as emplacements within levels, or from helicopters etc and, in fairly on-the-rails gameplay, just shoot and destroy any ground or air based enemies which come at you thick and fast. In other 3rd person sections the Terminator will be on foot running through the levels. Attacking enemies is done with either weapons, hand-to-hand combat or using items around the levels such as sign posts. It's well executed with solid controls and can be pretty frantic as expected in a Terminator title.

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Using the IR vision.
The second main gameplay element is the ability to jump into vehicles and drive through sections of levels. By doing this you take control of both the driving and shooting simultaneously using both analogue sticks. The left analogue stick is for accelerating and steering while the right analogue stick is used to aim your weapons. It's a little tricky to get used to, but with time it becomes second nature. It has to be said that I really enjoyed the sense of speed and physics of the cars in this game. They slide around corners, jump over object and run over enemies. Some of these enemies will then climb on the vehicle to attack you but a quick press of the circle button usually sorts them out with a blast from your gun or a kick to thier head. It's also possible to jump from one vehicle to another so if you're gets damaged, move on.

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Attacking an enemy in the air!
As much as I would love Terminator 3: Redemption to be the perfect game given my love of all things Arnold, it's not the case. There are still some minor issues with the title. The main this is that the upgrades to the Terminators do little to alter the gameplay. Sure they improve your vision etc, but there's no major "weapons", "hand-to-hand combat moves" or "speed" upgrades as such. Also on the review copy which we received, and this may be fixed for the retail game, all the CG movies from the game are available from the Options menu before you've actually reached them in the game. Was this deliberate? I'm not sure as it gives away much of the game - although anyone that's seen the movies will know what's going on anyway.

Some people may also find the need to restart entire levels when you die annoying, especially given the difficulty of some of the end-of-level bosses or sequences. I didn't mind it at all, it was reminiscent of more old school games and an era where you had to work hard to complete the levels. On a brighter side, however, this provides a much greater sense of accomplishment when you make it through a level.

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Driving the vehicle.
Graphically, itís fair to say that this is easily the best looking Terminator game ever. The character models are quite superb and while they could be animated better they do move in a Terminator kind of way. What really deserves a mention is the backgrounds with the game looking every bit as battle scarred as the movies. The one real niggle with the graphics is the occasional drop in frame rate which, while infrequent are there and are noticeable, but fortunately rarely affect the gameplay.

Cut-scenes are a blend of movie footage, with about 15 minutes from the Terminator 3 movie, as well as CG. While not quite as seamlessly blended as EA's Lord of the Rings titles it is still quite effective here and helps the transition from movie to gameplay.

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Being attacked in the SWAT van.
Obviously with much influence from the movies it comes as no surprise to hear that much of the music is taken straight from that source, and it works a treat during the game. The other most exciting aspect for Terminator fans is the wonderful one-liners from Arnold Schwarzenegger, or at least a very good replica of him. While originally Arnie was meant to be providing the voices it seems that in some spots someone else has been used, and indeed credited in the end credits of the game. Perhaps his run as Governor only allowed for some, but not all, of the speech. Explosions and effects are also quite solid and are backed up with Dolby Pro Logic II support.

Overall I really did enjoy this title. It's damn hard and the developers have certainly captured the spirit of the future war-torn world. The best news is that even though it's being released at only $49.95 here in Australia it's not your typical budget title. In fact, it's probably the best game launched on the PS2 at that price and well worth picking up.

Review By: David Warner

GRAPHICSEasily the best looking Terminator game, great battle-scarred levels.
SOUNDMusic is straight from the movies, and Arnie's one-liners are excellent.
GAMEPLAYFairly linear paths, but does offer some freedom, but it is fun.
VALUENot an easy game, but one which will challenge you. I'll be back.
OVERALLThank god this game turned out pretty well. We might see some more Terminator titles for years to come - especially when they make Terminator 4 (which Arnie will only have a small part in apparently). This game is very good and certainly worth picking up - and especially at only $AU49.95!

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