Terminator 3
Rise of the Machines

Format: PS2
Age Restrictions: 16+

Weaving in and out of the plot of the third
Terminator movie, you get the chance to encounter scenarios similar to those faced by the Terminator. These include protecting John Connor from the threat of the T-X and the initial rise of the machines. But players will be able to go one step further than the film would allow, by providing fans of the series with a deeper look into the movie's universe and the role of the Terminator, a futuristic fighting machine reprogrammed to save humanity from the SkyNet Armageddon...

Okay, it looks great... in fact it looks fantastic. And the sound is mixed in DTS surround sound, which adds that little extra touch, but somewhere along the line someone forgot to add some decent gameplay. The problem with this game is that it is too damn hard - which makes it look like there is not that much too it. But then, as you get further into the game, it gets easier - to the point where it is ridiculously easy.

The main section of the game looks similar to your typical Doom/Quake clone, only the controls are a lot more fiddly. Try aiming your gun, or changing your weapon and you can soon find yourself in a flap - not good when you are under heavy attack, checking the map requires you to press a few buttons and getting back into the game means you have to press a few more buttons, which doesn't make it easy to keep a track of where you are going.

I'm sure big Arnie would be none to pleased to learn that he can be killed in this game in a matter of seconds. And try killing your own men and picking up their ammo - Arnie says: "Brilliant!" Oops! Don't think he was supposed to say that. And while we are talking about killing your own men, why is it really difficult to kill your human team with your weapons, but the cyborgs go down with one hit?

Oops! We haven't got passed level one and all ready there are bugs galore. It's easy to loose your bearings and end up staring at a wall, turn around and realise that you seem to be looking at the ceiling! What is going on? We even managed to get trapped behind a wall at one point, unable to move. And as you bumble along in the areas that look too similar it requires luck more than skill to find your way out of one level and into the next.

Okay, that's the negative aspects out of the way, now to concentrate on the plus points - of which there are many. Firstly, as mentioned previously, it looks and sounds great. Whoever was responsible for the storyline inserts should be proud of what they have achieved. And the sound is amazing (if you have the proper DTS set-up to appreciate it).

It is also obvious that the game makers have spent a long time working with the producers of the movie - there is over 15 minutes of footage from the film included at key points of the game and it does follow the general plot of the movie.

Also, the different weapons, as well as the interactive surroundings are varied and impressive. You can destroy most walls and derelict vehicles that litter the areas. You can also switch between normal vision and infrared. This mode is helpful when the path ahead is not clear - it also indicates where you can find hidden ammo and health.

There are also little extra parts to the game which are fun. You get to fight another (bad) Arnie Terminator in a Tekken clone - which is cool. There is also a demo for another game called Terminator 3: Redemption. The graphics in this game look a little better than the those in Rise of the Machines, and in truth it plays a lot slicker.

This game promises a lot, but it just doesn't deliver as well as it should do. There are too many bugs and to be honest, I'd be tempted to wait until Redemption is released.

Oh, and we completed it in less than a day.

Nick Smithson

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