Black Ops

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Atari seems to be the king of Movie licensed games recently. They published Enter the Matrix, Terminator 3, and Mission Impossible. The opening movie sequence in T3 is one word: awesome. After that, the game starts to decline. It seems like they didn't have time to finish the game.


For a FPS, cycling through the weapons has got to be the worst I have ever seen in a videogame. You can't tell which weapon your selecting most of the time, because after you select a slot, the weapons menu vanishes too quickly before you have time to read what weapon you selected. The control is outrageously erratic. Fortunately, after a while you become used to it. There are lots of weapons to pick up and use, but nothing really seems that exciting. Guns, rocket launchers, and grenades are the main weapons of choice.

I really liked Terminator 3 (the movie), and I was very excited to play the videogame, but I can't say that I really enjoyed playing this game. One of the most exciting parts of the movie was the fight scenes with the T-X (the hot terminator chick). With that said, it just takes forever to actually fight and meet the T-X. While playing the game I was wondering for the longest time if I was actually going to meet and fight her. I was halfway through the game, and still no sign of the T-X. The developers really hyped up this game (there's even a "making of T3 the videogame" on the T3 movie DVD), and they showed many fight scenes with the T-X. The thing that really brings down this game is that it doesn't follow the story of the movie very closely like the developers said it would. If it didn't take forever to fight the T-X, then it would have been a great Terminator game.

Terminator 3 is about fighting the T-X, not fighting off thousands and thousands of generic models of the T-900. For the first half of the game you'll just be shooting away at T-900 robots and flying robots. You'll encounter annoying little robots that take one or two shots to kill. Occasionally you will run into a skynet tank.

The first half of the game is complete crap, no story or plot, and not Terminator 3. The second half of the game shocked me as I could finally relate the game I was playing, to Terminator 3. Why it took halfway of playing through the game to be like the movie is beyond me. I was somewhat excited after dragging through over 10 boring levels. The T-X was finally in the picture, and the game finally took place in Los Angeles. As soon as I saw the T-X, graphics seemed better, Arnold was in his black outfit, and it was time to play the Terminator 3. Finally! Before I knew it, I was fighting the T-X in third person, and was loving it. Unfortunately, after about 2 or 3 levels of the awesome T3 movie game, it goes back to crappy gameplay and graphics! The bulk of the game is an average first person shooter, but there are some points where you have to fight another machine (the T-X) one on one. You are limited to just blocking, punches, kicks, and throws. The third person fighting isn't all that bad, and you'll be fighting like that till the end. After awhile, I started to get into it, even though the game is super easy.

After you complete each level you usually unlock something. After you beat the game it's nice to look at all the concept art, movie stills, in-game movie scenes, as well as real movie scenes. You can also play two classic Atari games (Missile Command and Centipede), granted that you've unlocked them.


The graphics are terrible for an Xbox game. When you attack a T-900, they show no sign of damage when they die, your bullets just flash and disappear into them. I know these are strong machines, but they need to show some type of damage effect, instead of just falling to the ground and blowing up. Some of them will also blow up while standing. There are destructible environments, and you can view them in your terminator view, but there's nothing major that you can damage. Its pretty cool how you can switch to infrared mode and see the game through the eyes of the Terminator. This mode will help you "search" out objects and scan for enemies. This also helps you look through steam. It's also pretty cool as your health meter gets lower and lower, you start to see Arnold's body become more of a machine and less of a human.

After the first half of this dreadful game, the graphic quality (especially during the third-person fighting) seemed to increase by about 25%, and everything from the movie was for the most part executed flawlessly. The Terminator, as well as the T-X models all look exactly like movie. The game includes movie cut-scenes from T3 so you feel like you are, to some extent, in the movie. As I stated in the gameplay section, just when I thought this game had a chance, after a few levels, it goes back to the crappy graphics! The highlight of the graphics is the steam effects, and maybe the shiny gun reflections, and that's about it.


There's not a whole lot to mention about the sound. The music seems like it's not "Terminator" music at times, while other times it's great. You're going to hear Arnold's one-liners like "excellent" and "terminated" countless amounts times. On certain levels you'll be hearing the T-900's walking around sounding like loud clumps of metal. Other than that, the sounds of explosions and gunfire are halfway decent.

Bottom Line:

Don't expect to be amazed by T3. It is very worthy of how they somewhat managed to make this into a continuation of the movie, but this is not a groundbreaking title, nor a blockbuster hit. There is a little more to value about the movie as they added in some new ideas. The cut scenes are nice to look at, but you'll probably only play through this game once. There are a lot of movie extra's on the game disc that will keep your interest for a little while. The Terminator 3 trailer is included, among other things, but this simple game is a one-time play. Your not going to go back for more unless you have a sudden urge to be the Terminator (you can go back to any levels previously completed).

As I said before, the special extra features included on the disc are great, but you can beat the game in one sitting (probably under four hours). There's a demo of the upcoming Terminator 3: Redemption that I haven't heard about until now, and plays and looks somewhat better than Rise of the Machines. Keep your fingers crossed for that one.

Related Links:

Official Terminator 3 Website

-Steve Melanson