Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 137 / JANUARY 1992 / PAGE 113

The Terminator. (computer game) (Evaluation)
by Jonathan Bell

Not many games leave players with the desire to stalk the streets brandishing an AK-47 rifle. The cartoon violence in most action adventure games these days show opponents disappearing in flashes of light or simply falling in a neat heap on stone floors. You don't find such effects in The Terminator.

Based on the relentless action film, The Terminator mirrors its 1984 namesake, offering a wealth of destructive potential. You can play eithe the killer cyborg from the future or the cunning tactical expert Kyle Reese, who must protect the Terminator's target, Sarah Conner, the mother of an unborn revolutionary.

Gun stores and army depots await in central Los Angeles. Pick up bulletproof jackets, automatic weapons, and even a Stinger missle--but mounting this offense (and defense) takes time--time in which your opponent might decide to end the conflict.

As the Terminator, strategy doesn't much concern you. Simply pick up your rifles and hunt down Sarah Conner. But even a twenty-first-century cyborg isn't indestructible. Reese will do everything he can to stop you--a lot rides on his success. And those LA police officers are no wimps.

When you zero in on civilians or law enforcement officers, a closeup of your hit appears onscreen. The wounded don't just fall; bullets knocks them off their feet and force out blood. Bethesda claims these scenes were so popular early on that it now offers a separate disk with more of these closeups.

If you prefer strategy over pure violence, make Reese your choice. He'll need more time to plan and gather supplies, but the blows dealt deliver greater satisfaction than what you would get by playing a remorseless cyborg. Sarah Conner stands by your side when you begin. Protect her well. She can carry supplies if you become too weighted down with weaponry and ammunition, and remember that she'll teach her unborn son the ways of a rebel.

Unlike other recent 3-D games, this product puts you in direct control of the characters. You see the world through their eyes (if they can still see). Step into a weapons store or shooting range and a 256-color screen appears.

Kill or destroy one of your opponents and you'll be treated to full-screen action cinematography. These great shots make up for the less than superb point-of-view game graphics in which characters sometimes disappear seemingly at will or walk through walls.

When you play the part of the Terminator, a heads-up display overlays your optical vision, providing accurate target acquisition information. Just be aware that the faster the pace, the slower the action. This means greater frustration in attack mode, so choose less detail even on a faster than average machine.

The Terminator sports impressive sound. In addition to providing sound card support, this game lends the internal speaker some respectability via Real Sound technology. Be sure to remove any TSR programs and use expanded memory. Otherwise, The Terminator is sluggish and prone to nondescript buzzes and graphical errors.

Even with the occasional annoying bugs. The Terminator offers magnificent detail in its graphics and movement options. There's nothing like taking a few shots at your target as you make a strategic withdrawal from the ever-present police force. Load that 9-mm Uzi and take aim. The fate of humanity rests on your shoulders.