Though today, Bethesda is known for being basically the only major RPG developer around, back in the day they were just another shovelware dev. Sports games, Home Alone, Where's Waldo on the NES...Which features music from the man who would be the primary programmer for this thing and would go on to coding the first two The Elder Scrolls games. So, we have James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger to thank for one of the biggest RPG franchises around today. Because I don't think Arena would be in the place it is today if it weren't for this game. You might think that isn't true, but being able to futz around with 3D with low expectations provided necessary experience to make Arena a smooth-ish game. Or they could have just bought the Wolfenstein engine like Raven did.
GETTING IT TO RUN:
As long as your copy is fine it should work fine, but do remember to type Adlib or Sblaster after Term, or you'll be bereft of sound. Of course, this is from a certain point of view, as you'll soon see. You should also make sure you have a manual, because you're going to have a bad time if you don't.
Before you enter the game, you have the option of playing as the T-800 or Kyle Reese. There are several more options that aren't obvious at first. Long and Short Game, change whether or not you start with some items. This is of somewhat questionable utility, as they're random and you're going to need more than you start with to kill the other guy. Easy, Medium and Hard just change the strength of the enemies that spawn whenever you steal enough, rob a bank, or just walk around with an M-16 out. Practice just turns this into a sandbox, taking out the other character.
|You'd think they could pick better colors for Bank and Vehicle, but I guess they couldn't use red
|Every picture of driving looks the same, so here's a picture of static
|Not pictured, the explosive weapons or the shotgun
|Look, its really hard to take good screenshots of this game
Although, as I later found out, you can get some cash by stealing from the register.
However, it is worth pointing out that when giving and taking items from her, she's the one giving and taking. So if you want to give something to her, you have to have her take something.
|It sure removes dramatic tension when all you have to do is get on a boat
|I don't know if this is the T-800 or the game
|You try aiming with a keyboard cursor
|Mr. No Pity in action, note the lack of shooting
There was really only one or two effective options for me, without getting to an army depot, and not as much improvement after. They were not good options either. 1/10
You know, I try to avoid giving something a 0 if they have that something. Its basically a token effort point. Despite being the central conflict to the game there's not much to them. They basically do the only option given to them without being complete idiots, strafing. They don't do much and it feels like they soak up bullets like a sponge. Shooting people is not really fun in this game, and that's not getting into the whole "crashing when you shoot" thing that happened too much to me. 0/10
The first appearance of hapless civilians. The first true non-enemies, as opposed to merely allies. A good step, if a small one. 1/10
The game is just a 1991 3D recreation of LA. Now I know what you're thinking, that sounds lame. Well, today it is, but even as late at '96, '97 I'd say this was about the best virtual recreation of a city anywhere. There was a lot of effort put into it, and it shows. 5/10
On one hand, a lot of good ideas here, on the other, a lot of unnecessary buttons that I never really needed. 3/10
You just sort of go into stores and then go out. 1/10
Despite being arguably the least playable shooter I've played so far, there was something charming about the game. 4/10
|All Skynet's problems could have been solved by this
This, oddly enough, was the only part of the game that didn't break at any point. Sure, its ugly, and not even good for 1991, but whenever you take moving objects out of the picture it looks like fine cheap 3D. Not high quality even back then, but it had to go on consumer computers, not animated in a lab or whatever. They even tried to animate people. That animation is as cheap as possible, but at least they tried. 3/10
Its the Terminator as told by someone who doesn't really care about telling you. Its not that good of a story** and somehow the story has become less-so in this telling. 1/10 for existing.
I guess the gun sound effects are okay, but everything else is mostly useless. There's a thumping sound I thought was to indicate how close my target was, but it was just the T-800's heart. No music, excluding the little ditty that imitates the Terminator theme. 2/10
According to my math, that's 21. Taking 5 off for the amount of glitches, its 16. The massive amount of glitches unrelated to the elements above are definitely deserving of a penalty.
As for other reviews, they're a mixed bag, ranging from 40% to 80%. They all more or less share my feelings on the subject.
*Its not really The Terminator theme, it just sounds like it.
**The movie is good for many things, but outside of one thing that hasn't yet forced its way into culture osmosis, it doesn't have anymore than a simple story.