Home Game Reviews Battling Skynet Again in Terminator: Resistance

Battling Skynet Again in Terminator: Resistance

Terminator Resistance T-800 as We Know it
Terminator Resistance T-800 as We Know it

Title: Terminator: Resistance
Developer: Teyon
Publisher: Reef Entertainment
Released: November 15, 2019
Platforms Available: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 5
Article Reading Time: 10 minutes

Introduction to the Resistance

As we already know from the Terminator movie series, in one of the future wars, humanity will win over robots, and the shooter Terminator: Resistance will hint at how high the price we will pay for it is. Right at the beginning, I can say that it is worth giving it a chance if you are a fan of the famous movie prequel, which is enriched with a new look at the Resistance against Skynet and offers a pleasantly old-world, although not flawless action with a pinch of adventure. Go for it!


Although the new game was released almost as soon as the feature-length Terminator: Dark Destiny, its theme harks back to the first two installments of the well-known Terminator saga and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Their memories will be right at home in the virtual adaptation. The game is connected to iconic films through authentic sets, familiar time-space loops, and some key characters, although it tells the story of the AI-dominated world in its own way. It all starts in Pasadena, California, hit by a wave of terror in 2028.

A Soldier’s Life in Skynet’s Shadow

The ruins of the once glittering skyscrapers are now commanded by T-800 terminators, accompanied by another tin cavalry sent to the city near Los Angeles to cleanse it of all things human by the autonomous network Skynet. The red eyes of the merciless robots are usually the last thing one looks into before death. But the game’s central character, Private Jacob Rivers of the US military’s Pacific Division, has been pleasantly surprised by fate and left alive for a critical mission. Rivers managed to fight off the steel monster raid, as did several other Resistance heroes led by the legendary John Connor. The survivors will attempt to defeat the AI in a decisive battle with the remaining military units in the Pasadena area. Despite the makeshift conditions, they managed to mobilize their forces relatively quickly. The Allies gather supplies, upgrade weapons, spy on Skynet, and, with the experience gained, enter new battles to disable the AI’s computing headquarters. They won’t be without the Rivers, as mentioned earlier, who is unexpectedly high on Skynet’s blacklist for elimination, and everything you do as him will affect the course and outcome of the story.

Terminator Resistance Skycrappers
Terminator: Resistance Skyccrappers ruins

Stealth and Combat: Survival in the Ruins

Terminator: Resistance starts cautiously and intimately. In fact, you just run through the ruins of Pasadena without directly confronting the enemy. However, even a glimpse of the typically red robot sensors gets your heart racing, and it beats like a race in the subsequent few stealth missions, where the dreaded Terminators pass you by a whisker. Since Rivers has been relatively unprepared for a direct confrontation with the T-800 for quite some time, any giveaway means death. The atmosphere of the game is quite unique, even more so if you equip the hero with special goggles for seeing through walls and give him a glimpse of several deadly enemies in range. But thanks to Rivers’ teachable nature, he begins to exploit Skynet’s technical weaknesses more and more effectively. By hacking various gates and portals, he not only makes his way through space through previously locked sectors and surprises enemies from ambush, but by reprogramming machine gun nests, he even sends them against each other. Soon, the time will come when he’ll start dispensing justice in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s style.

Exploring Tactical Diversity

When the slower style of play would have started to feel routine, the hero gets plasma weapons and suitably durable armor to his kit and becomes an even match for the tin monsters. Dark sci-fi suddenly turns into a brisk shooter, while the role of RPG elements is highlighted, opening up new gameplay possibilities. From time to time, Rivers is tasked with missions that don’t come without ingenious technical aids, such as advanced spy goggles for taking pictures of enemy troops. He’ll also often be breaking complex locks, hacking electronic devices, destroying booby traps, and, of course, continuing to hack into the Skynet network. Meanwhile, he could only do advanced activities while continuously improving his skills.

The hero increases his level with points gained by successfully completing main or optional missions. He also upgrades his weapons with self-built parts and makes explosives, healing, and support devices – in short, he is a handyman of all kinds. Through crafting and the experience system, Rivers gradually becomes a better soldier in the field and a more effective spy. What gameplay style he excels at is up to you, and what RPG elements you invest in is also up to you. Versatile characters are most valuable for each approach in the game, as the campaign regularly emphasizes both play styles.

The game environment is also prepared for a different concept of action. The creators have interspersed the relatively narrow corridor with many alternative paths, so despite the modest size, the map looks open and offers multiple options for getting to different places or overcoming obstacles.

Some options you won’t even notice at first, which you may regret later. For example, I spent several dozen minutes gathering materials for an explosive to blow up a wall at the following location. At the same time, a ventilation shaft leading to the exact location was hiding nearby. The game often gives you several options for traversing the map, with the more elegant options leading through more advanced activities (hacking, picking locks) and the less elegant ones through brutal action or rather tedious junk collecting. Often confrontation is inevitable, but unfortunately, the game picks its weaker moments in the duels due to its weaker technical design.

The Flawed Machinery of War

Skynet’s artificial intelligence isn’t as sharp in the game as on the silver screen, and fights with robotic units could have been more entertaining. The Terminators usually just loiter in their corridors and try to approach you through the air when confronted, naturally “tripping” over every obstacle in their path.

A Mixed Bag of Innovation and Obsolescence

Studio Tayon still needs to get the best out of Unreal Engine 4, which is also clearly visible in the graphics and physics, which have mistaken the time by a good ten years. Corresponding with the outdated image are the clumsy character movement animations, the lackluster weapon manifestation, or the unbelievably processed projectile materials. While reinforced concrete structures can be shot to death, no splinter can fly off wooden pallets.

Terminator Resistance: Eliminating T-800 as a Hobby
Terminator Resistance: Eliminating T-800 as a Hobby

The Legacy of the Resistance

Humanity’s fictional clash with the computer brain has become a pop culture phenomenon. It has been told through six science fiction films, countless book titles, and dozens of video games, the quality of which has fluctuated greatly over time. Terminator: Resistance is one of the better ones, though it is far from perfect.

Beyond the technical problems, the game is plagued by half-baked details resulting from a limited budget and poor creative decisions. One can have reservations, for example, about trading found objects, of which an absurdly large amount are lying around the map, and over time, there is practically nothing to spend the earned fortune on.

Some other RPG elements could be more problematic. For example, collecting materials to work at the ponk soon gets tiresome, as does picking locks, the mechanism of which follows no explainable logic, and the opening of each is de facto a work of chance. Also questionable is the story’s moral dilemmas and decision-making system, which branches into several alternative endings based on critical moments. However, your sub-decisions don’t have much visible influence on the course of the campaign, and the game will only calculate everything in the very finale when the consequences of your actions finally come into play. Despite some setbacks, the film’s gameplay brand has returned to a worthy form. The authentic setting has created an action shooter with an imaginative environment and a pleasantly variable campaign that allows you to make and act freely. And that great soundtrack with iconic themes by Brad Fiedel… No, Terminator: Resistance is not a licensing embarrassment but a gem that is new in some ways, but the roots are undeniable and come to the surface at every turn, and everything smacks of the 80s when the phenomenon started.

A Gem Amidst the Rubble

My conclusion is that a great atmosphere against crappy technology, ingeniously designed environments full of dumb monsters, and lots of good ideas but also bad ones make Terminator: Resistance, where we fight not only against Skynet not perfect but still one of the best games in the brand. For fans of this iconic brand, it’s a must-play that will make you feel right at home with the atmosphere. Hats off to the guys at Teyon!

Where to Buy Terminator Resistance

  1. Steam (PC): You can purchase Terminator: Resistance directly from Steam.
  2. Epic Games Store (PC): Find more details and purchase Terminator: Resistance here on Epic Games Store.
  3. PlayStation Store (PS4/PS5): The game is available for purchase and you can buy it from the PlayStation Store.
  4. Xbox Store: You can find Terminator: Resistance here on Xbox.


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