Terminator Salvation

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Terminator Salvation is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Gameloft Bringing Terminator Salvation to iPhone

Terminator Salvation–starring the frighteningly intense Christian Bale as resistance leader John Connor–is due out on May 22nd, 2009. We’ve just learned that Gameloft will be publishing the official iPhone game on the same date.

From Gameloft’s press release:

“Gameloft, a leading developer and publisher of video games for mobile phones and consoles, today announced a licensing agreement with The Halcyon Company to develop, distribute and publish the official mobile game to the first film of the new Terminator trilogy, Terminator Salvation. The game will be available day and date of the film release on May 22, 2009.

In the highly anticipated new installment of The Terminator film franchise, set in post-apocalyptic 2018, Christian Bale stars as John Connor, the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future that Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.

‘The Terminator franchise is one of the world’s most recognized brands and Gameloft is pleased to create the game that brings the excitement of the movie to your fingertips,’ said Gonzague de Vallois, senior vice president of publishing, Gameloft. ‘The film provides an optimal environment for our new game and will capture the thrills of the sci-fi adventure for Terminator Salvation fans worldwide.'”

MTV Multiplayer’s Stephen Totilo eked a few more details about the game in an interview with Gameloft’s president and CEO Michel Guillemot. According to Guillemot, the game will complement the movie’s story through cutscenes, and it will likely fall in the $7.99-$9.99 range in terms of price.

Totilo also obtained a concept art screen for the game that looks a bit like an iPhone Gears of War to our eye (Gameloft furnished us with a fresh copy, which we’ve posted to the left). Gameloft’s done good work in the past with third-person iPhone shooters like Brothers in Arms, so we’re definitely looking forward to this one.

[from MTV Multiplayer]

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Terminator Salvation Review

If the last time you played a good Terminator videogame was about eighteen years ago–when your hands went numb from the rumbling of the mounted lightgun Uzi, and you had dumped the last of your quarters to get another shot at Robert Patrick’s digitized likeness–you’ll definitely enjoy Terminator Salvation for the iPhone. This movie adaptation is not only a great shooter on its own merits, but it makes exceptional use of the Terminator license to showcase familiar enemies and add a few new bonuses for fans.

You play as the last hope for humanity, John Connor, as he leads a small group of resistance members battling the overwhelming Skynet robot army. At times you’ll also shift to the point of view of another soldier named Marcus Wright, but the two characters perform identically, and their only real distinction is the default weapon they use. Just six guns are available in the game, but the game’s variety of locations and interesting storyline more than make up for this shortfall.

Like the old arcade version of Terminator 2, Terminator Salvation is all about blowing the heads off of heartless machines before they crush your skull underfoot… but now you have a detailed 3D environment to navigate. Most 3D iPhone games get hung up on the controls, but here movement feels natural. You have a virtual joystick in one corner, and touching anywhere on the screen alters your aim and view. You can also opt to use a corner “control wheel” or accelerometer, but we found that the default controls worked fine.

These controls effectively mimic the two-joystick system that most 3D console shooters employ, allowing you to pull off complex moves like ducking behind cover with relative ease. Precise aim is also important. Watching the sparks fly from a long-distance headshot against a terminator is a recurring highlight of the game.

Other high points include taking over a mounted turret to protect your fellow soldiers, collecting pieces of a transmitter to call in an air strike on a giant robot tank, and blasting a building-sized “Harvester” Terminator from the back of a truck.

Visually, Terminator Salvation astounds. Each stage has a distinct color palette, from the gritty gray and green of ruined Los Angeles to the gleaming sterile white of Skynet’s headquarters. The character models, human and robot alike, are exceptionally well-animated. It’s so detailed that John Connor in this game actually resembles Christian Bale. The level of graphical production in Terminator Salvation is easily on par with most Sony PSP or Nintendo DS games, and even the musical cues are of movie-level quality.

The only real disappointment in Terminator Salvation is that it ends too soon. Unlockable concept art and achievements are nice extras, but they don’t add significant value to the game the way a few more levels would. The entire game can be completed in about two hours, but you’ll probably want to replay these missions with the Terminator you unlock as a reward for beating the game. This bulky monster can’t use cover like John and Marcus, but it looks absurdly intimidating.

Terminator Salvation has just about everything we’d want in an action game based on a big-budget sci-fi flick. It’s so much fun that we’re hoping more missions will be added in a future update. Even with its brief running time, Terminator Salvation is definitely worth the $10 asking price. It gives us hope for the future of 3D action games on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

New Gameloft Previews: Terminator Salvation and Siberian Strike!

We just got back from a meeting with Gameloft personnel held at Ubisoft’s SF offices (the two companies are not officially related any more, but they are still major licensing partners). We got to go hands-on with two of Gameloft’s upcoming iPhone games at the media session: Terminator Salvation and Siberian Strike. Read on for the juicy details!

Terminator Salvation

When Gameloft announced Terminator Salvation about six weeks ago, it provided few gameplay details. The screenshot provided at that time reminded us of Gears of War, although that was speculation.

It turns out that we were right. Terminator Salvation is most definitely based on the award-winning console shooter series–and that’s a very good thing, in our opinion. You play as Resistance leader John Connor (or the mysterious newcomer Marcus Wright, on some levels) from an over-the-shoulder perspective. Running and strafing are handled with a virtual thumbstick on the left, while the right thumb aims and mans the trigger button.

Taking cover is a simple matter of running right up to a barrier; the hero will automatically crouch to protect himself. As in most modern shooters these days, there’s no life bar to worry about. If you take too much damage too quickly, you die, but you can back off or hide to recharge. Also, the Resistance is well-provisioned for a ragtag band of guerrillas: all ammo is unlimited.

Although the preview build of the game we played was a bit jerky in terms of frame rate, we still had fun with the combat. Liberal auto-aiming makes drawing a bead on Skynet’s killing machines easy, and the weapons are satisfying (there are six total). There’s a variety of metallic assassins to blast, from the rudimentary T-600, to T-1 turrets on tank tracks, to T-325 “spider bots” that scramble up to you and blow up (these don’t appear in the movie; Gameloft added them to make the game more interesting). Plus, you can curb stomp downed T-600s by touching a boot icon. Killing Terminators yields memory chips that unlocks concept art and such, for a bit of replayability.

We saw three of the game’s eight levels during our playthrough, starting with the tutorial. We then moved to a level called “Rebirth,” where you play as the shotgun-wielding Marcus Wright, making your way through a Los Angeles that has definitely seen better days. Then we got a quick look at a vehicle level. Connor drives an armored pickup, while Wright mans a big cannon in the back. A gigantic machine called a Harvester was stomping around in the distance; we imagine that confronting Big Nasty will be one of the game’s boss fights.

According to Gameloft, Terminator Salvation is due out the first week of May at a cost between $7.99-9.99.

Siberian Strike

This announcement was a big surprise for us: we hadn’t heard about Siberian Strike since 2003 or so, when we were playing the game a phone screen the size of a postage stamp! This is one of Gameloft’s most venerable brands. They even made the game for black and white phones, all the way back in the early 2000s.

Siberian Strike is an oldie, yes, but also a goodie. This is a top-down shooter in the vein of arcade games like 1942, complete with a ludicrously skewed WWII plot–you’re fighting against Stalinbot, for crying out loud! The game opens with nice faux newsreel footage, with an old-timey announcer explaining the crisis.

You get your choice of three pilots in Siberian Strike, as well as touch or tilt controls. We played using touch, where the plane hovers off the tip of your finger, and it worked famously. You grab powerups, dodge bullets, and fight absurdly huge bosses… everything you’re supposed to do in a top-down shooter. WiFi multiplayer is also in the offing. Our play session was short, but it seemed like quality stuff to us.

Siberian Strike will be hitting the App Store in a week or less for $5.99. We’ll post assets as soon as we get them from Gameloft.

One final Gameloft tidbit: Assassin’s Creed will be hitting the App Store by this weekend, for between $7.99-9.99.