Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Developer: Black Ops
Publisher: Atari
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1
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Here's a quick guide and some benchmarks for your future usage:

T2: Judgement Day = Good Terminator Movie, a sequel that everyone wanted - truly spectacular.

T3 = Slightly crap Terminator movie that almost everyone didn't want to see made - generally, a bad idea with one good sequence.

Halo = Excellent first person shooter with driving/flying bits - a game anticipated by all gamers that turned out to be rather wonderful and uses the Xbox hardware well - truly spectacular.

T3: Rise of the Machines = Crap T3 first person shooter with beat 'em up bits; looks like a Dreamcast launch game. Everyone knew it was going to be rubbish but few suspected just how bad it would turn out to be…


Here are some facts about T3:ROTM (sorry, I can't be bothered to put them in any sort of logical order because the game doesn't merit the effort): 22 levels (some very short; one consists of no more than entering a building and walking down a passageway!). It's mostly a first person shooter but now and then you get to fight the T-X (gorgeous girlynator) in various locations, depicted via a simply terrible, basic beat 'em up sub-game (plod forward, thump, grab throw…repeat to fade…). It's all stupidly easy, the FPS sections even have an auto aim lock-on function, and despite feeling and sounding about as powerful as your average cheapo water pistol, any weapon you get hold of can blow up massive tanks or flying terminators with just a few hits (bizarrely they're actually easier to kill than the endless terminator robot grunts). It follows the time travelling "plot" of the movie closely, and due to the many unlockable clips from the movie that act as link sequences (although some use the hideous game engine complete with laughably bad lip-synching) this game will spoil the movie for you (in more ways than one). You can unlock a 'making of..' movie, in which the developers tell you just how damn good the game is, and Arnie tells you why he waited until now to allow his likeness and voice to be used in a videogame... (We reckon he should have waited a bit longer).


T3:ROTM has a few graphical flourishes (namely some explosions that aren't too bad and the way that Arnie and the other Terminators show damage) but it never looks better than bland, with the bulk of the game set in easy to draw, but detail and texture lacking post-apocalypse LA. Most of the remainder is set in installations that look like they've been lifted from an old Star Wars game, or maybe Doom. The enemy and friendly AI is pathetic, with soldiers and terminators getting stuck on the scenery and running around in circles - when compared to say, Mace Griffin or Rainbow Six 3 the shootout action is basic in the extreme, and tediously predictable. Quite apart from the general badness of T3ROTM, I soon came to the conclusion that just maybe playing as these awesome movie heroes doesn't work in the first person: Robocop didn't, Judge Dredd didn't, and neither does this. Fact is, I'd rather watch them at work, from a third person viewpoint (or just watching the movie would be better?). Unlockable concept art, production shots and behind the scenes footage almost make it worth playing this terrible game to the end, but sadly the highlights of the disk are the retro Centipede and Missile Command games that you can find along the way - there's also a demo of a much better looking T3 game called 'Redemption', (a third person shooter which is due out in the summer) to play.

This game is so bad that even Terminator completists would have a hard time justifying this purchase, for the rest of us it simply becomes another horrible waste of a potentially great movie licence, and a low-end benchmark for Xbox first person shooters. Avoid. Shun. Keep away from. Steer clear of. Refrain from. Eschew. Abstain...

Good Points

- T3 scores 3 points, I'm not sure why I was so generous - possibly because of the Missile Command & Centipede retro games, and the T3: Redemption demo.

Bad Points

- Horrible graphics and repetitive, simplistic shooting action.
- Wimpy weapons.
-Dumb-as-a-stick AI.
-"Being" the Terminator doesn't really work.

by: Diddly