Seventeen words. That's all that Arnold Schwarzenegger needed to utter in the first Terminator to become famous. The first two sentences in this paragraph total seventeen words. It just goes to show you that sometimes, less is more. Unfortunately, this is not true with the latest game set in the Terminator world, Terminator Salvation. In this case, less is less.
Terminator Salvation is based on the movie of the same name, though it is set a couple years before the events of the film. The story in the game is mediocre at best, detailing a rescue mission deep in the heart ofSkynet controlled territory. Christian Bales likeness was not used for the game, nor was his voice. This would hardly be an issue if the storytelling was good, but it isn't. Thecutscenes are unimaginative, with lots of screen tearing. There are far too many head scratching moments when plot events come out of nowhere. If you are looking for a nicebackstory detailing John Connor's ascension, it's not here.
What about the gameplay, then? Terminator Salvation is a third person cover-based shooter, in the style of Gears of War. In fact, there are many similarities between the two games. The shattered ruins of Los Angeles would fit right in as a Gears map. The cover system borrows from Gears as well, but features one innovation that I liked. A HUD allows you to quickly and easily switch to new cover. An icon pops up, you choose which direction you want to sneak over to, and that's it. The cover system itself is very solid and is one of the game's highlights.