Terminator: Resistance Enhanced (PS5) Review

Back in November 2019, Terminator: Resistance launched on the PS4, Xbox One, and Steam platforms, a new story set within the iconic franchise that tells the story of one man who’s deeply involved within the ‘future war’. I never had the chance to play the game back then, something I didn’t regret at the time due to most critics issuing very similar negative reviews. However, after putting in around 15-20 hours into the new Terminator: Resistance Enhanced version on the PS5, completing the game and grabbing all the trophies (that currently work), I’m very disappointed that I’d not played this game sooner!

Terminator: Resistance Enhanced was developed by Teyon, a Polish video game studio that has created a lot of games over the years, with their most infamous being the Rambo game which came out in 2014. As such, I went into this game with low to mid expectations – which may account for how surprised I ended up being with the game. It’s not that Rambo was bad, it just wasn’t the best game based on a movie out there as it was effectively an on-rails shooter with very little freedom. Terminator: Resistance is quite the opposite, for the most part, so I was hooked mid-way through the first mission.

Despite the negative things I’d heard about the game previously, I went into Terminator: Resistance Enhanced with an open mind, preparing to either love or hate it as I form my own opinions. You can probably guess what I thought of the game, based on the above paragraphs, but let’s take a closer look at if you should pick up this game or not…

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Cheeky!

Terminator: Resistance Enhanced is set in the year 2028, Judgment Day has been and gone (1997), Skynet has become self-aware and evolved, and an endless war has begun between man and robot. You are Jacob Rivers, the sole survivor of the Pasadena Resistance team, saved by an unknown stranger after the rest of your colleagues are slaughtered by an infiltrator (a Terminator with human skin – like Arnold). Before long you meet up with two civilians, Jennifer and Patrick, who guide you to their small group in hopes that you can help them out due to your military background.

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After you’ve set up base in an abandoned building, you agree to go out into war-ridden locations as you search for medicine, ammo, crafting parts, and to destroy Skynet-controlled machines and stations in order to gain the upper hand in certain situations. You can freely explore these ruined locations and either stick to the main mission or fulfil the secondary objectives given to you by your civilian saviours. You can also try your luck at blasting your way through the robotic killing machines, or act stealthily and sneak past them – however, your human weapons are no match for the thick Terminator exoskeletons.

Terminator: Resistance Enhanced is a decent length, I think it took me about ten hours to make my way through the main story. As the narrative moves on, you’re introduced to more characters (including some which may be familiar), you’ll gain access to much better weapons, you can upgrade your character to improve his skills and abilities, and you’ll enter some epic battles with giant machines and the aforementioned infiltrator. There’s even the possibility to stumble upon a few ‘sex scenes’ should you play your cards right with certain female characters!

Considering we’ve not really had a good Terminator game for many, many years, Teyon has done a great job at incorporating a lot of the source material and lore into the game, making it a great game for fans of the Terminator franchise. You’ll see small details here and there which link to the first two films, as well as references in some of the text. I don’t know if the game has changed dramatically since it first launched, but I find it very hard to understand why this game got so much hate back in 2019…

Terminator Resistance Enhanced 2+1

Boom!

Gameplay
Terminator: Resistance Enhanced is an FPS game with a combination of stealth (early on), crafting, survival, and relationship building. The majority of the game consists of you heading out to a set location, walking around in first-person, and completing the tasks you’ve been given or that you’ve discussed with your fellow survivors beforehand. You basically have a small hub area in which you can talk to various people about things they want you to find whilst you’re out on patrol, trade your inventory items for weapons and gear they have on offer, or build up your relationship by having appropriate discussions.

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There is a big emphasis on looking for salvage and crafting ammo and health packs. In the first half of the game, you’ll find that being stealthy and trying to sneak past the machines is the best way to survive, bullets are hard to find and you can only craft new items when you find a crafting bench. As such, although you won’t really find ammo lying around as often as you would in other games, you do find a lot of resources that McGuiver here can easily craft into usable bullets, pipe bombs, and health kits. 

But, once you reach the second half of the game, and you become the proud owner of a Plasma-based weapon, it’s time to show these metal monsters who’s the boss! You can search the remains of anything you take down, often giving you more plasma charges than you shot into their empty heads – resulting in you not really having to worry too much about running out of ammo anymore. For me, I took my time for the first five hours or so, knowing my gun is useless against the T-800s, but then I basically turned into Rambo and went guns-first into every battle.

It felt a lot better being a badass!

There are some locks within the game that requires you to complete one of two minigames. The first is a similar lockpicking mechanic we’ve seen many times before, moving the pick and then turning the handle as you hope it unlocks and doesn’t break your pick. The second, for electrical locks, is like frogger – or more precise, it’s the same mechanic we saw in Black Flag where you have to move a cursor from one side to another as you jump on alternatively moving conveyor belts at differing speeds. 

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Should we annoy him this early into the game?!

Relationships?
I’ve mentioned this a few times, but what do I mean? As you play Terminator: Resistance Enhanced, you’ll often get the chance to talk to the civilians and fellow military colleagues in the hub bases, delving into their backstory and/or asking them questions about recent events. Sometimes you’ll get the chance to pick how you wish to reply from a few dialogue options, usually resulting in a ‘Telltale’-like pop-up saying they’ll remember that or they’re not happy with your answer.

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This is a hidden relationship and trust meter which develops based on if you help them out, how you talk to them, and the answers you give.

But, why does this matter? Terminator: Resistance Enhanced has multiple endings which are based on the relationships you make or break. From what I’ve seen, having played the game a few times, the endings are “where are they now” style comic book-like images with narration, changing based upon the choices you make in the final few chapters and if the people trusted you enough to actually do what you told them to do.

Also, as I mentioned above, there are a few sex scenes – which I really wasn’t expecting! I managed to sleep with two people, I don’t know if there’s more, and found them both to be rather entertaining. It’s not as graphic as The Witcher 3 (and there’s no horse), but it’s first-person no-booby sex.

Terminator Resistance Enhanced 4+1

Thankfully they can’t see through walls, unlike bionic Jacob!

The locations
I thought that Terminator: Resistance Enhanced had a good variety of places to visit, even though they’re all pre-planned and you don’t have a choice of where you’re going. But, each of the maps had a little freedom in them, rewarding you with collectable notes and more resources should you deviate from the path and go exploring away from the mission objective. Each map had a really good representation of actually being there, creating an atmosphere with distant sounds of the Terminators, radio calls from your colleagues, and the scuttering of the spider-like robots as they creep up on you. Not to mention the brilliant soundtrack which plays throughout, sounding like it’s come straight from the films.

Each mission has a few main objectives, which change as you complete them, and a bunch of secondary objectives which you may not even know about if you hadn’t talked to the right people before leaving the hub base. These secondary missions aren’t too difficult, they tend to require you to collect something for one of the survivors, look for more people, or destroy some Skynet hardware. In my first playthrough, I completed every side mission and grabbed all the trophies related to them – I never felt like I was going too far out of my way to satisfy these lazy NPCs who don’t want to brave the wastelands themselves, not like another game I’ve been playing recently which is full of pointless fetch quests…

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Just like most games with a stealth mechanic, our protagonist has magic powers. Okay, they’re not magical, he can use his night vision to see any metallic foes through walls, allowing you to hide yet still know when it’s safe to move. Although this is quite unrealistic (although it is in the future, so it may be possible then), using the function slows you down and if you start to run or shoot then you’ll automatically turn the mode off (like Eagle Vision in earlier Assassin’s Creed games) – I thought this was good as it would have been too easy if you could just run around with your goggles on as you head-shot all the enemies. 

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Let the bodies hit the floor…

The enemies
There isn’t a massive selection of foes within Terminator: Resistance Enhanced. Initially, you’ll face the spider-like machines, small armadillo-like ones which kamikaze towards you then blow up, flying bots, and the aforementioned T-800 Terminators. Later on, you’ll face the infiltrator, a massive machine, various static turrets, and walking turrets. So, although there’s not a wide variety, you have to remember that this is a Terminator game which is following the lore of the films – which also didn’t have many different varieties, from what I can remember.

To help you take down these merciless machines, you have a selection of weapons to choose from (well, find). There’s not a lot, but each weapon can be further enhanced by inserting machine cards that you find on the robots you’ve taken down. Using these you can increase damage, reduce reload speeds, increase the clip size, or improve stability. As your character becomes more skilful, they’ll be able to wield bigger weapons such as the more deadly red and purple pulse rifles. 

Speaking of, there are a number of skill trees for you to invest points into as you level up. These grant you passive abilities such as increasing your lockpicking ability, allowing you to hold bigger weapons, and increasing the amount of experience you gain. You’ll find that you’ve unlocked pretty much every option by the time you’ve finished the game, so you don’t have to be too conservative regarding what you pick – other than if you’re trying to get a certain missable trophy early on. 

Overall then, there may not be a massive selection of enemies or weapons, but you can customise your arsenal and the enemies are all part of the Terminator lore – there are no new machines created specifically for this game (from what I could see), but that’s not an issue.

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Terminator Resistance Enhanced 6+1

It’s fun being a Terminator!

PS5 features and content
When we see PS4 games getting a free PS5 upgrade, it’s usually a 1:1 enhanced port – delivering the same experience with no new features or content. However, Terminator: Resistance Enhanced doesn’t follow this trend as it comes packaged with a new mode which is exclusive to the PS5 and PC versions of the game, as well as the promise of future content which also isn’t coming to the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game. It also implements a mild use of the new PS5 controller features, trying to immerse you within the gameplay, yet it doesn’t quite pull it off as well as I’d hoped.

Infiltrator mode
From the main menu, you have access to a new mode which is only on the PS5 and PC. You get to play as an infiltrator, the flesh and blood-covered T-800 (Arnold) as you explore a rather big map and take out human resistance fighters and destroy their supply chains, picking up intel which eventually leads you to the commander. You can activate the iconic red-coloured overlay as you search for body heat, pick up and throw the puny humans and watch as their bones break, slow down time as you breach doors (like in Rico), and discover three easter eggs relating to Terminator and Terminator 2.

The main thing here is that you can’t save within this mode. It lasts around 40-50 minutes, depending on if you wish to complete all objectives or just enough then take out the commander, but it must be played in one sitting. I really enjoyed this and wished there was a bit more to it, being an actual Terminator and literally smashing peoples heads together as you throw them like they’re made of plastic is surprisingly fun and badass! There are a few trophies relating to this mode, and your score is tallied up at the end, but I don’t think there was an online leaderboard so once you’ve fully explored and found all the secrets for the trophy, this mode simply becomes a playground for those who wish to play as Arnold for a bit.

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One of the developers old games!

Future content
As advised above, The PS5 and PC versions of the game are getting a new paid expansion later this year. There’s been no info in regards to this – from what I can see – but it’s confirmed within the information we got with this review code, so I imagine it’s still on track. I’m interested to see where the developers go with the new content – maybe they’ll let us play the story from the point of view of the infiltrator who has been following the protagonist throughout the game? Maybe it’ll be a story that follows what happens immediately after the final cutscene? Or maybe it’ll be a completely new chapter with new characters or the back story to one of the civilians you meet along the way?

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Either way, I’m excited to play it upon launch as I really enjoyed my time with the base game.

PS5 controller
Teyon tried, they added support for the DualSense in regards to the adaptive triggers. As you pull back the R2 trigger, about halfway the button will lock, squeeze on it at this point and the gun will fire. However, the effect is rather weak, meaning you may not actually realise that it’s there. I wish there was a slider or some form of pressure adjustment so that we could increase the effect should we wish to do so. Also, there’s no haptic feedback for the weapons, pulling the trigger is literally the same as the DS4, other than the mid-way lock.

If you look at games that have utilised the triggers fully, they incorporate the haptics with the triggers (like Dirt 5, for example). So, as you pull the trigger, it’ll give you a little ‘punch’ if it’s a single bullet, or the trigger will continue to vibrate as if you’re pulling the trigger of a real gun that’s shooting continuously. Only a few games have fully utilised this immersive feature, so I can’t fault the developers for trying, I would have just liked a bit more of an impact.

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The trophy just won’t unlock… yet.

Issues
Version 1.0 had a number of issues for me. The game has been updated to 1.000.100, but I can confirm that one of the ‘major’ issues is still there.

These faults ‘may’ have been fixed:
• The game crashed about four or five times towards the end of the game. It never corrupted any data but it did close itself at random.
• The audio cut out during the Infiltration mode. This is strange, the audio crackled then went off. Pushing the PS button took me to the PS5 home screen, but all audio on there was also gone – I thought my PS5 was broken (again). But, closing the game restored the audio. After reloading the game, it happened again but only in a few buildings within the mode – hopefully this has been fixed.
• Some trophies wouldn’t unlock, such as completing certain stages and completing the Infiltration mode. Closing the game, restarting the PS5 and re-obtaining the trophies allowed them to unlock fine.

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The ‘major’ issue which I know still isn’t working is…
• There are two unobtainable trophies. There’s one for picking up ten notes and one for unlocking ten locks with your lockpick. Both of these have the new tracker trophies, counting how many you’ve done as you progress. But, both of these stick at one, even though I collected all the notes and opened every door and box I came across. So, as of today and version 1.000.100, you can’t obtain these two (and the platinum) trophies. 

I have informed the publisher about this, so once again, we should hopefully get another update in the near future.

Terminator Resistance Enhanced 9+1

Is that Robert Patrick?!

Technical
Terminator: Resistance Enhanced is a solid 60fps game, I never noticed it drop at any point throughout my 15-20 hours of playtime. Regarding the resolution, it’s advertised as being an ‘upscaled 4K’ image, so your guess is as good as mine! However, playing it on a 55″ 4K TV was great, everything looked nice and sharp with textures looking great for the most part. The game has higher resolution textures, higher polygon counts, tessellation, improved lighting and dynamic shadows, improved post-processing (such as anti-aliasing and bloom), and more detailed particle effects – it’s basically a full overhaul of the PS4 version.

There are a few options to enable or disable, such as motion blur and film grain. I didn’t see a massive difference between the settings, but I disabled motion blur as it felt a little too much when I was turning around fast.

One of the major advantages the PS5 version has over last-gen is in the loading. Loading a game or a new stage takes roughly two seconds, maybe four at most. This is a common trend I’m seeing as games such as The Sinking City and Judgment also loaded within four seconds. Plus, this loading is only as you enter the new location, once you’re in there then there’s no loading required unless if you die or finish the stage.

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In terms of the sound quality – the music is great. It has the Terminator theme tune and a bunch of other tracks which sound like they’ve come straight out of the movies – I have no idea why Reef Entertainment or Teyon hasn’t released an official soundtrack yet! Some people have ripped it from the PC version, but I’d love to grab it on PSN or an online service like Apple or Amazon. The voice acting is good, for the most part, but there are a few inconsistent volume levels which cause some voices to peak and distort at times. Not to mention the young kid sounds about 18!

To answer two common questions:-
1. This PS5 version is available as a PS5 stand-alone title (physically as a standard or collectors edition, and digitally), or you can get a free upgrade if you own the PS4 edition. The upgrade hasn’t been delayed, people have been able to grab it today, and upgrading means you can technically earn two platinum trophies (when this game has been fixed).
2. There is no save import from the PS4 version, so you can’t load up your old platinum save and have all the trophies pop within seconds. Even if you upgrade your PS4 version, you’ll have to play through the game again in order to earn the trophies. I’m not at all bothered by this but I know some people like the ability to do that.

40 minutes of the game (best watched at 1440/60 or 2160/60):

Official Trailer:

Final Conclusion:
Terminator: Resistance Enhanced surprised me, it was a solid FPS with incorporated stealth, survival and crafting mechanics, including lore and references from the first two iconic movies. The new enhanced edition offers a smooth 60fps with a whole host of visual improvements, making the game even more fun to play and precise to control. The Infiltration mode finally lets you see the world from the eyes of Arnold, although I would have liked more from this mode – maybe the future DLC will expand upon it? If you like The Terminator and you’ve not yet played this game, you’re missing out on a hidden gem that isn’t anywhere near as bad as the critics initially made it out to be.

A copy of the game was kindly provided for review purposes

Terminator: Resistance Enhanced

£39.99
8

Final Score

8.0/10

The Good:

  • - Interesting story and solid gameplay mechanics
  • - Lots of visual and performance upgrades over the last-gen editions
  • - Free upgrade if you own it on the PS4
  • - Comes with the Infiltrator mode and promise of a future expansion
  • - It's one of the few movie-based games that feels unique whilst also referencing events from the films

The Bad:

  • - Two trophies currently don't unlock (should be fixed soon)
  • - I would have liked more chances to play as a Terminator
  • - Not many weapons or enemies, but it fits the lore based on the first two films
  • - The voice acting and sound quality isn't consistent
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