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September 7, 2004

Terminator 3: The Redemption

Last year, gamers and fans of the franchise were “treated” to Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Fortunately for us, the title never made its way to the GameCube. The game was crushed by the critics and the fans who bought it wound up with a pretty coaster. Thankfully, Atari is bringing Terminator 3: The Redemption to the GameCube, and if it’s anything like what we got our hands on at Comic Con 2004 and E3, we’re certainly in for a treat. Remember when Terminator games used to be fun? Like the old T2 Arcade game? It’s a mystery on how they did it, but The Redemption is a lot like that game. That is aside from the fact that the game is set in the Terminator 3 timeline. Be that as it may, The Redemption looks hot and we’re definitely grateful to Atari for bringing such an action-packed game to the GameCube.



We were able to get our hands on this title at Comic Con 2004 and it’s been coming along much better than anticipated after playing a brief demo at Xbox kiosks back in the Spring. Basically, the overall story of the game takes place within the original storyline of the movie, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. However, they’ve added a lot of additional back-story and you’ll control the terminator through the post-apocalyptic future. Most of the time, you’ll be protecting the John and Kate from the TX, the terminator that was sent back in time to destroy them. Other adjustments to the story have been made, just as in any other film-based video game in order to make it more compelling such as adding different levels or side-missions.

The player controls the terminator throughout the entire game in a third-person setting. You’ll be able to meander around on foot with a veritable cornucopia of weapons at your disposal. The terminator can wield two weapons at a time, using an assault rifle in the right while another, more powerful or interesting weapon in the left. This could be anything from a rocket launcher to a stop sign. Using the stop sign against enemies such as endoskeletons is an enjoyable experience, to say the least. Impaling said endoskeleton with the stop sign can be fun, but if you don’t get it back, they may tear it out themselves and use it against you. It’s a lot of fun to watch, even if you lose a valuable weapon. You can also use hand-to-hand moves, which can also be a lot of fun. For example, the terminator can tear off a torso from one of many endoskeletons and use it for protection against attacks. Using hand-to-hand moves also provides more terabytes, which work like experience points in the miniature RPG system they’ve implemented. Players can increase their health or other statistics once they’ve obtained enough.

Aside from wandering around, blowing stuff up, you’ll also be able to drive around and blow stuff up. There are just over fifteen vehicles to hijack and the cool part about it is that you’ll be able to drive the vehicle and fire your weapons at the same time. It requires a little bit of time to get used to this, but it’s a different aspect that we’re not quite used to. You’ll also be able to jump out of your current vehicle and hi-jack another while still in motion. Doing this really makes the player feel as if they’re actually controlling a terminator model. Certain vehicles have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s nice to have a bit of variety to choose from. One of the major advantages for having a vehicle is the ability to run over a lot of enemies. However, those pesky endoskeletons won’t die that easily. Sometimes when you run one over, their torso will crawl up and start clawing at your legs or shoot at you with their remaining arms.

Rounding things out is the visuals, which look extremely impressive, especially after Paradigm’s last effort with Dawn of War. The character model for the terminator is taken straight from Arnold himself and features real-time damage. You’ll see chunks of flesh get blown off as the terminator takes a few shots to the face. It may be strange to say it, but the game looks better and better with the more damage you take. Visuals aside, the game is set to feature fourteen levels spread out among three acts. As stated before, some will be original while others may be taken straight from the film. What’s more is that the game will also feature a two-player cooperative mode, which is unlockable after defeating the single-player campaign. You want more info? These three co-op exclusive missions will be rail shooters. Old school, baby!

word on the street

Several consumers were very displeased with Atari’s work with the franchise last year with Rise of the Machines and Dawn of War before that. However, now that The Redemption is looking so good, it’s Atari’s chance to redeem themselves. Fans of the arcade shooter are very excited and you can hear murmurs under the table. After two critical bombs, it’s hard to accept anything better than what we’ve seen, though. Perhaps once the game has been released, the buzz will be a little bit stronger, but only time will tell for sure.

press release notes

  • Rip through deep levels of nonstop arcade-shooter action
  • Hit the road — and enemies — in cars, trucks and other vehicles
  • Fire explosive weaponry from all three timelines, including missile launchers and plasma rifles
  • Smash enemies with power punches and combo moves
  • Leap between speeding vehicles
  • Experience massive boss battles
  • Activate vintage “Arnold phrases” during the action, with exclusive voice recording by the star
  • Team up in co-op mode to attack waves of Skynet machines
  • Hijack 15+ vehicles from the present and the future
  • Demolish never-before-seen Terminator units in melee combat
  • Uncover secret short cuts by executing incredible “Terminator Moments”


Terminator 3: The Redemption has been looking great since it was announced last year, but we’ve only just now been able to get our hands on a near-final version of the game. From what we’ve played, the game shows a lot of promise but still has a few rough edges. It’s sure to whet the appetite of fans, though, there’s no question about that. If you’re interested in a blood-pumping shoot-em-up fest, you’ll need to look no further than this game when it’s released within the next couple months. Check back with us for a full review.

Staff Avatar Austin Starr
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"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"

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