Terminator: Resistance - Complete Edition Review

Richard Walker

Presented with the prospect of one of the newer Terminator films, I'd probably rather watch Homer Simpson's 'The Terminizer: An Erotic Thriller', in which a killer robot driving instructor travels back in time for some reason. Terminator Genisys had an alternate timeline take on the original film, and was completely godawful. Terminator Salvation had a ranting Christian Bale and not a whole lot else. Neither, it has to be said, had a talking pie. Nor does Terminator: Resistance – Complete Edition, the definitive version of developer Teyon's 2019 first-person shooter, finally available for Xbox Series X|S. But don't hold that against it.


While Teyon's prior dalliance with a 1980s film property in Rambo: The Video Game resulted in a shoddy on-rails action affair, Terminator: Resistance is a far more assured, neatly assembled, and well-oiled machine, the Complete Edition rolling off the production line with shinier components. This is, in essence, the T-1000 to the original release's T-800 – slicker, faster, and able to transform into liquid metal. Maybe not that last one. What this actually translates to, is a visually enhanced version of the 2019 first-person shooter, with a superior frame rate and faster loading times. So far, so good.

Set thirty-one years after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Resistance straps you into the combat boots of Jacob Rivers, a scavenger-turned-soldier initially armed with nothing more than a standard handgun and an assault rifle. You'll pick your way through the ruins of post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, scavenging for resources to trade or use for crafting, as Rivers aids a small ragtag group of survivors. Gradually, you'll get to know the likes of Jennifer, little Patrick, Ryan, and Erin, each of whom have their own backgrounds and stories to tell. They'll all have you running errands in no time, too, of course.

It might seem trivial to go and find chalk for Patrick so he can scrawl on the walls, or pick up some tools and a boombox for Ryan, but most of these side objectives matter, and can ultimately have an impact on how the story pans out. Before long, you'll see the consequences of your choices, and, if you've taken the time to go off-piste and aid your new pals with various endeavours, things should work out for the best. Other side missions include infiltrating and destroying SKYNET outposts, helping the resistance in their seemingly insurmountable fight against the machines.

Terminator: Resistance really picks up when you get your hands on some proper hardware, like plasma weaponry, and when those iconic T-800 endoskeletons enter the equation. With Jacob marked for termination by SKYNET, you'll find yourself constantly hunted, and often stealth is the only option when it comes to survival. Using Jacob's vision goggles, you can see machines through walls, so you can sneak by, or get behind a terminator for an execution with a one-time-use termination knife. The game's stealth isn't the best, and I'd much rather be shooting machines rather than tip-toeing around them.


Yet, stealth comes into its own when you're able to hack turrets to do your dirty work for you, although, you can't beat chucking pipe bombs and noisemaking distraction devices about the place, or laying explosive traps using trip mines. There are a few ways you can approach encounters, but invariably the best method is to shoot a terminator in the red glowy bits with a plasma rifle until it goes boom. Unfortunately, there are times when stealth is pretty much impossible to avoid, and it's during these bits that the game drags a bit.

Terminator: Resistance is, nonetheless, a fairly solid first-person shooter, and one that's surprisingly faithful to the lore of the films, despite a lack of proper character likenesses and voices. Like in the Annihilation Line DLC, bundled here as part of the Complete Edition, wherein Jacob fights alongside Kyle Reese. It would have been great to see Michael Biehn reprising his role as Reese – the actor is no stranger to video game performances, having portrayed Rex 'Power' Colt in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, so it's a shame he wasn't roped in for this. It also goes without saying that Arnie has no involvement either.

With or without Biehn or Schwarzenegger, however, Annihilation Line feels like a fairly throwaway chapter. It is, essentially, a deleted scene from the main campaign, the only real interesting bit the beginning, in which we see a young Jacob and his father scavenging their way through Reseda High School in 2012. Fast forward to 2029, and you're back in the thick of it, and, if you're playing Annihilation Line after the base game, you'll find your hard-earned skill level rolled back to 13. After putting skill points into toughening up (gaining health regeneration in the process) and improving weapon efficiency, it's a bit rubbish to lose most of those abilities.


Annihilation Line helps flesh out Rivers' journey, but after the slightly shoddy but nonetheless very enjoyable main story, it feels slightly extraneous. Also, I'm almost certain the checkpoints are far more miserly – numerous times I'd find myself expiring under a barrage of T-600 or T-800 lasers and losing a whole load of progress. Still, the Complete Edition wouldn't be very complete without it, so there's that. Nor would it be complete without Infiltrator Mode, a separate segment of the game in which you can play as a T-800 Infiltrator, dealing a blow to the resistance via a series of repeatable objectives – each run lasting roughly 40 minutes a pop.

A mite janky it might be, but Terminator: Resistance - Complete Edition is good fun while it lasts. And although I could have done without the sustained stealth sections, and the Annihilation Line DLC is a bit disappointing, as a piece of narrative service, Resistance provides a neat bit of connective tissue to the original 1984 film. In that regard, this is something that will please all but the most demanding of die-hard Terminator fans.

Terminator: Resistance - Complete Edition

An ever-so-slightly shabby single-player first-person shooter, Terminator: Resistance – Complete Edition still does right by the movies, delivering a decent slice of narrative, and robust action, to boot. Come with me if you want to be entertained for about 10-15 hours.

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The soundtrack hews closely to the original movie's score by Brad Fiedel, although at one point, it does feel like the theme has been looping for far too long. Voice work is a bit patchy, and occasionally, the audio levels are a little all over the place.


An improvement over the 2019 release (obviously), Resistance runs very nicely on Xbox Series X|S, even if it's not the most remarkable looking game. Its cast of characters and machines are certainly faithful to the films, though, or near as damn it, anyway.


Weapon handling isn't the best we've seen, but once you get some skill upgrades under your belt, Resistance becomes more palatable. Some enforced stealth bits outstay their welcome, but as a shooter, this is perfectly robust.


Befitting of its 'Complete Edition' suffix, this has everything – the main campaign running at roughly ten hours or so, the four hour Annihilation Line DLC, and the enjoyable Infiltrator Mode, which can be repeated as many times as you like. Not bad.


As lists go, this is a nice, fun one, with a decent spread. The downside is that the extra content doesn't add new achievements – this is still a round 1,000G, spread across the campaign, Annihilation Line, and Infiltrator Mode.

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