When I played the original Terminator: Resistance on the PS4 way back in 2019, I found it to be a disappointing game and quickly returned it back to the store. It was basically a shooting gallery filled with mindless killer robots, many of whom had no self-awareness. I would happily stand out of cover, and after a few shots with my pistol, they would explode into little pieces of metal.
The AI of the original game was poor, to say the least, and I quickly became bored with the repetition of it all. On top of that, the graphics were bland, the areas I visited were bland, the effects were bland…….you get the idea!! And yes, I understood that the game was set in a postapocalyptic setting, but there was just too little variation, with bland and stiff character models throughout.
So, with the release of the upgraded PS5 version, as well as the DLC Annihilation Line with a standalone campaign to boot, developers Teyon are hoping to give the game a new lease on life. Unfortunately for them, like the human resistance against the Terminators, they have failed once again.
Terminator: Resistance- Annihilation Line starts at midpoint of the main story, and you are warned to try and reach that point before attempting to play the DLC as the storyline may not make a great deal of sense to you.
Everything from the previous game returns in the DLC, with slightly better character models, lightning, textures and shadows that take advantage of the next generation hardware. However, whilst okay in places, there were still times where I forgot I was playing an upgraded version of the game as Teyon have obviously not spent a great deal of time pushing the PS5 hardware. This is also true with the AI as nothing has changed from the original game other than the Terminators requiring a few more bullets to take down.
The new campaign lasts for around four hours, which is actually less time than it took me to get to the halfway point within the main story. This made me wonder if it was really worth putting myself through the boredom of the original game just for the sake of a four-hour campaign.
Don’t get me wrong, there were a couple of instances where I found myself holding my breath in fear. One such time involved seeing loads of Terminators hidden in a dark subway after I had switched on my thermal vision. Had I not had the thermal vision, I would never have known they were all there waiting to open fire if I had shown myself.
Some of the lighting effects were also good, particularly with the flame effects, which looked very realistic at times and brightened up dark buildings amongst the rubble and destroyed cars. There were definitely times when I stopped to admire the scenery, but this immersion was soon broken again by the bland character models and poor AI.
I spent most of my time in Annihilation Line completing the same old escort missions, circuit scrambling (which is basically a version of Frogger…really, guys!?), as well as crawling through corridors, which were meant to be dark and required the use of a torch, only to crawl through them without using the torch because there was no need to.
Another thing that really bemused me was the lock-picking of locked doors. Many times I couldn’t access an area through a door as my lock-picking skills were too low. So, unlike many other games that let you build up your skills so that you can return at a later time to get through a locked door, Annihilation Line allows another way to access locked areas. Since many of the buildings in the game are damaged, all you have to do is walk through demolished gaps in the wall, which at times were right next to the actual door you wanted to go through, or you just crawl through a vent that gives you the same access.
It was times like these that really showed the lack of attention to detail by the developers, and in my opinion, it was shoddy game design and programming. If you are going to release software on a next generation console, you really need to up your game with what you are going to deliver, which unfortunately, Teyon have not done here.
The premise of going deep into the enemy territory of Skynet itself in order to stop the Annihilation Line from wiping out the rest of humanity, in theory, should have been a decent return to Terminator. Unfortunately, other than some great sound effects and that iconic theme tune, once again we are left with a shoddy upgrade as an excuse to release content on the PS5. Give this one a miss and save yourself the money and the pain of what is on offer here.
Publisher: Reef Entertainment
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5
Release Date: 10th December 2021