Skynet gives LA an extreme makeover in Gameloft's entertaining iPhone shooter.
After playing tons of games, it's clear that no company taps into the iPhone's processing power like Gameloft. It consistently finds ways to wow us with visually impressive apps that show the immense potential of Apple's device, and Terminator Salvation is no different. Based on the upcoming film, the game chronicles mankind's efforts to battle Skynet in post apocalyptic Los Angeles. Like previous Gameloft efforts (Hero of Sparta, Assassin's Creed), it is both gorgeous and enjoyable, as well as a steal at $5.99.
In the game, you play as resistance leader John Connor and Marcus Wright; the game switches between the two. Similar to the console games, you make your way through crumbling ruins and battle 11 different types of killer robots, including the T-600 and the T-1. It's a third person shooter, so much of your time is spent reaching checkpoints and destroying waves of enemies. In addition, you'll dodge lasers, man gun turrets and even hop onto a bike, so if anything, Gameloft earns high marks for varying the combat. There's also a cover system that instructs your character to automatically take refuge behind something whenever he's close to it. This proves problematic when he takes cover when you don't want him to, but overall, it'll save your skin on numerous occasions.
Terminator Salvation has four control schemes and we prefer the default set-up where you maneuver the character with an on-screen joystick, aim by dragging a finger across the screen and fire with an on-screen icon. It's far from perfect, but it's much more efficient than tilting the phone to move around or look in a certain direction.
Visually, this is one of the iPhone's most impressive looking games. Rockets tear chunks from buildings, Terminators attack en masse, helicopters hover around the battlefield and multiple support characters fight for their lives against the powerful hordes of robots. On top of that, the machine gun/shotgun/grenade launcher noises pop from the iPhone's speakers, explosions rock the screen and we couldn't help but hum along to the opening theme music. We noticed multiple performance issues whenever too many characters clog the playfield, but overall, you'll want to show Terminator to your friends.
Sadly, it's a short-lived adventure (you'll beat it in a few hours), but at six bucks, Terminator Salvation is worth the download. If this is a small slice of what we can expect from the film, opening night cannot come soon enough.
What's Hot: Killer graphics, 11 different types of Terminators, enjoyable shooting, satisfying check point system, varied gameplay.
What's Not: Some control schemes have a high learning curve, game chugs when too many characters appear on screen.