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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