The Terminator review - Sega Megadrive
By the year 2029, man's war with machines is almost at an end. This grim holocaust was caused in the first place by the super defence mainframe Skynet, an artificially intelligent system which thought the easiest way to protect the planet was to wipe out the entire human race and replace them with robots.
Thus a nuclear war was initiated which killed billions, and machines everywhere declared war on the survivors - even people's Megadrives and electric toothbrushes turned against them. Luckily for us humans the man John Connor was on hand to lead the human race to victory. In a last ditch attempt to ensure victory, Skynet decided to send a super-hard Terminator cyborg back in time to kill John's mother, Sarah, thus preventing the lad from ever being born! John got wind of this insidious plot, however, and sent one of his crack soldiers back to protect his mummy.
In this long-awaited game of the film you play the part of Kyle Reese - hard person extraordinaire. It is your job to destroy that nasty Terminator and thereby save Sarah Connor from a sticky end. There are four levels of platform-based shoot 'em up thrills, each one loosely based on a scene from the movie - including the climactic showdown in an empty machine shop.
What the Mean Machines staff thought
One of my all time-favourite films finally arrives on the Megadrive, and while it looks and sounds absolutely brilliant, it sadly lacks substance. The program is that there are only four levels to conquer, and it takes very little time to get through them all - half an hour on the easiest level is enough to see you through to the disappointing end screen, and even on the top difficulty setting, a few hours practice is all it takes to defeat the game! While it lasts, the game is great fun. The graphics and sound are both outstanding and generate a superb atmosphere and the shoot 'em up action is thoroughly enjoyable, but in the end it's all over far too quickly and you're left with the distinct impression that the game should have been bigger and tougher. Only complete novices and wimps will get their money's worth here...
Terminator makes an excellent first impression, with digitised scenes from the movie and an accurate rendition of the theme tune! The in-game graphics are spectacular, sombre, atmospheric, very detailed and beautifully animated. The sound is so-so, some of the effects and tunes are of a very high standard, whereas others are distinctly lacklustre. Sadly, no matter how fab the graphics look they cannot save the Terminator from mediocrity. On the top difficulty setting the first level seems pretty challenging. Unfortunately, it's downhill all the way from where Kyle picks up his gun. This makes braving the Terminator hordes stupidly easy, and the difficulty level gets no harder from this point. Completing the Terminator should take no more than a few hours, even on the top difficulty level. Once the game is completed the fairly standard mix of platforming and blasting (mostly the latter) is unlikely to draw you back as it's pretty dull. Given more levels, a higher difficulty setting and a bit more to do in some places the Terminator could have been a classic. As it stands it's just a waste of good money, even for diehard Terminator fans.
Dan - 31 Mar 2009, 10:27 GMT
Remember C+VGs "Exclusive" of this? They were that excited they gave it 90-odd% Tim Boone - wot a nob. Thankfully the MM lads set the record straight before I parted with my cash for it.
And having played it since thank God I didn't buy it, even the MM lads give it too much credit!
Dekko - 02 Apr 2009, 11:53 GMT
I always wanted this game even though it was so short just because it looked so good (back then).
I'm writing an '80's movies being made into games piece & the one game I think they should remake is a classic Terminator game (but one with more substance than this plop).
It's a shame it's so pap as it's ruining my memories :(
hambag - 15 Nov 2009, 14:36 GMT
The Terminator was a good game, I thought. Yes, four levels was pretty lame. But while it lasted, I enjoyed playing as Kyle Reese, graphics were good, and the endoskeleton chase scenes were pretty tense at the time.
Byron Law - 05 Feb 2010, 21:20 GMT
The Mega CD version of this was outstanding. They redid the soundtrack and some of the levels/graphics.
The Jackal - 25 Dec 2010, 15:05 GMT
It's a good game, but it's got a few probs. Yeah, I'd hate it if I brought it upon release; but as it can be picked up for two pounds now, it's a bargain.
Dylan Barry - 20 Jun 2012, 15:48 GMT
a strange game, it realy realy realy sucks... but it looks so shiny and sounds so cool that its kind of worth it just for that and the fact its "the terminator !!!"
Staresy - 20 Dec 2012, 23:10 GMT
I'm kind of half in agreement with the MM boys. Yes it needed more levels for sure, but I didn't find it particularly easy. Wasn't rock hard either, but this was one of my favorite games on the Megadrive and I always find myself coming back to it even 20 years later and that's some lastability.
2 more levels with a touch more weapons or things to do like a motorbike chase and it would have been an absolute beast of a game!
Steve - 19 Jan 2013, 21:20 GMT
As a kid I remember lending this game off my mate who thought his copy was broken as he couldn't work out how to get off the first stage.
I convinced him to lend me it before taking it back to the shop and I spent day after day untill I figured ut you put a bomb next to a time machine or something and then all the screen turned red.
We all celebrated by trying on his mothers tights.
Markus - 03 Aug 2015, 23:15 GMT
Well. I like this game very much. Sadly i gave away my megadrive with more then 50 boxed games for cheap to get a sega saturn. 2 weeks ago i bought a retron 3 to play some of my old games again and tryed to find a copy of my all time favorite game. "THE TERMINATOR". But the game is not to find for me in Austria. Over all the years my all time favorite game. But nothing to find. Thats terrible. I will always love this game. Cool sounds, realy cool graphics and for me, perfect gameplay. And there is one more thing to say about it: its the only TERMINATOR game that is realy realy near to the movie. What ever. For me the best MEGADRVE/GENESIS game ever. Hope to find it again. For me the biggest gem in a sega MD/GEN collection
Kitsune - 06 Dec 2015, 17:50 GMT
One of my favourite Megadrive games. It just played so smoothly, looked and sounded amazing and was great fun. Such a shame there was only 4 levels and they were't much different from each other. Worth it for the atmosphere alone though!
panch - 29 Feb 2016, 13:37 GMT
43%!!! ouch, I hired this back in the day and couldn't get past the first level it was just too tough. Purchased it recently for a bargain price and its still quite hard and I'm generally good at most games- worth 79% IMO has loads of atmosphere and is worth having in your collection.