Terminator through time

The Terminator 2029
(Bethesda, 1992) - DOS
As a kind of sequel to Bethesda’s The Terminator, you don’t actually follow the events of any of the films. Rather, you play as a member of John Connor’s Special Ops Group fighting in the future war. Your goal of course, is to destroy Skynet. Good luck figuring that out between the HUD and the pixelated vomit.

Above: Can you tell what’s happening?

Robocop versus The Terminator
(Virgin, 1993) – Genesis, SNES, Game Boy, Game Gear
Some genius named Frank Miller wrote a four-issue limited comic run pitting Robocop against Terminators. And then a genius said this would make an awesome game. And boy was it gory. As the story goes, John Connor sends a human back in time to destroy Robocop because he was built as a prototype by Cyberdyne Systems (the company that eventually creates the Skynet computer that kills mankind). Skynet is like “oh no” and sends Terminators back in time to protect Robocop. What Skynet doesn’t know is that Robocop still has his human consciousness intact and sides with the humans to destroy Skynet.

Above: That gang member just exploded

The Terminator: Rampage (Bethesda, 1993) – CD-ROM
The Terminator: Future Shock (Bethesda, 1995) – CD-ROM
SkyNET (Bethesda, 1996) – CD-ROM
This trio of Terminator games progress quite a bit technology-wise. Rampage appears to be a Doom-clone and dungeon crawler, Future Shock is one of the first FPSes to have free 3D mouse-look, and SkyNET is one of the first FPSes to be designed with WASD/mouse for controls. SkyNET also included multiplayer, which was sorely missing from Shock. The plots to the three games are incidental - something about being a human fighting against killer robots.

Above: Rampage. Exciting, no?

Above: Future Shock – a notable improvement

Above: SkyNET. Is that an AT-AT in the background?

The Terminator: Dawn of Fate
(Infogrames, 2002) – PS2, Xbox

Dawn of Fate takes a pretty cool turn by being based on the events that led up to Kyle Reese being sent back in time for the first Terminator movie. You play as a number of resistance members and play in first/third person modes against the machines. Rote, but decent action game.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
(Atari, 2003) – PS2, Xbox, GBA
Man, this FPS crapfest was dumped by Atari in time for the film’s DVD release. First half of the game has you fighting robots in the future as Arnie before going back in time to fight during the events of the third film… and not really do much of anything besides shoot cops in the knees from time to time and fight in third-person against the TX. Terrible game.

Terminator 3: War of the Machines
(Atari, 2003) – PC

Another FPS, this time a Battlefield 1942 rip-off. In that sense, you fight as a human or cyborg and uh… control points or something. Rushed so quickly that there was no dedicated server for the game and CD keys were sometimes invalid.

Above: Feign interest and capture that flag, soldier

Terminator 3: The Redemption
(Atari, 2004) – PS2, Xbox, GameCube
“Oops, we f*cked up!” And that’s why Redemption came out. Billed as Atari’s redemption for making a better game, this was actually an okay action game that came a little too late for people to be excited about it. Actually, there’s a pretty cool plot twist in the middle; instead of the TX reprogramming the Terminator to take out John Connor (what happens in the movie), the Terminator is sent back to the future where the humans have lost completely.

The Terminator’s redemption comes when he has to fight his brethren to go back in time during the events of the third film and help his alternate self defeat the TX. It’s almost like Back to the Future Part II. But with robots.

Above: About 50 percent of the game was vehicle-based

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  • KakashiXIII - May 19, 2009 11:11 p.m.

  • GearsofRabies - May 20, 2009 12:33 a.m.

    no the story to TSCC isn't unfollowable. try harder. other wise great article shane.
  • vitoruss - May 20, 2009 12:57 a.m.

    lmao "Is that an AT-AT in the background?"
  • SunshineHobo - May 20, 2009 1:39 a.m.

    Another Seventh Seal reference, yay!
  • phoenix_wings - May 20, 2009 2:29 a.m.

    I remember my friend was absolutely terrified of the original Terminator. Nightmares and stuff. Granted we were like 5 at the time. I really liked T2 though--enough to read the article, but not enough to play any of the Terminator games. Recaptcha: Recital borg
  • jamminontha1n2 - May 20, 2009 3:05 a.m.

    @Shane: Why did you have to go there? I am sure there were a lot of people who enjoyed that show. Just not enough tho.
  • JohnnyFirebird - May 20, 2009 3:16 a.m.

    Man, I always wanted to play those Bethesda Terminator games but the 286 I was rocking at the time just couldn't cut it. (Look it up, kids, that previous sentence does make sense.) Robocop Versus Terminator and the Terminator Genesis games were both awesome in their own ways. If licensing fees hadn't made the prospect unviable, I'd be up there trying to do a petition to get all those games on virtual console. The Genesis Terminator game is about four levels, though. But great graphics for the system. Had a very Euro feel.
  • GearsofRabies - May 20, 2009 3:18 a.m.

    god shane do you have to salt my wounds like that....sob.....
  • Ravenbom - May 20, 2009 3:19 a.m.

    The resistance needs to send someone back in time to stop Fox from creating American Idol.
  • FlashGoron - May 20, 2009 4:05 a.m.

    The Terminator tv show takes place between T2 and T3. That's way it acts like T3 did't happen, because the events haven't happened yet!
  • WaywardRenegade - May 20, 2009 4:10 a.m.

    or stop Fox from making sequels to good movies and adaptaions of comics, videogames, and novels. ALL adaptations and most sequels Fox produce blow big floppy donkey d***.
  • WaywardRenegade - May 20, 2009 4:12 a.m.

    Someone should do an article about that.
  • gmilf71 - May 20, 2009 4:20 a.m.

    @ravenbom they not only need to send a terminator back for that, but they need to just send a terminator back to destroy fox altogether.
  • NipplesTheSuperHippo - May 20, 2009 6:21 a.m.

    Lolz, I never knew there was soooooo much Terminator crap. I knew about the movies and the T.V. show, also the first couple of games, but crap, there was way more Terminator stuff than what was needed.
  • pikachu2000 - May 20, 2009 12:40 p.m.

    All of you seem to forget to mention that in the Genesis/Sega CD version of Terminator 1, you only get one life to live for the entire game. No saving, no mid-level checkpoints, no continues. You must go through the whole game in one try, in one long night. Expect a whole lot of anger that is sadly missing from today's games. (I think that today's games are too damn spoiled by these f****** save points and save anytime anywhere schemes. Give us a game without saving or holding our hand for once, yeesh).
  • Red - May 20, 2009 2:24 p.m.

    I went and saw the T2 3D experince thing at Universal Stuidos back when I was a kid. Most terrifying thing ever at the age of 10.
  • big rudy - May 20, 2009 9:18 p.m.

    its not that you couldn't follow the plot in sarah conner chronicles, its just that it didn't HAVE one. i mean really it was like after a while they just said "fuck, we have so many episodes to make, but we don't know what to do with them, screw it, just make up random shit until the finale".
  • jar-head - May 21, 2009 10:34 p.m.

    wait, concelled wtf? the Show ended with a t-1000 female Helping the resistance? And john is sent forward to the future? then after the credits theres another spark, and you hear Sarah saying he loves him. the end? Then you have dollhouse? wtf? dollhouse=the Matrix, but with tramps...
  • Demonflare - May 22, 2009 8:35 p.m.

    When I was little, my dad make me watch Terminator with him...BORING! I fell asleep. Wasnt interesting to me. Still is today.

Showing 1-20 of 39 comments

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