Terrorist Takedown promises to let you "push back against today's face of evil" by manning High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles or, as the military refers to them in a real mouthful of an acronym, HMMWVs. The game can best be described by another official military term: ALBTTTDTPIV--Another Lousy Budget Title That Thankfully Doesn't Take Place In Vietnam.
Where does the game take place? According to the box, the "blisteringly intense action" is "set in the scorching sands of terrorist-riddled lands." But since the box is wrong about the "blisteringly intense action" part, who really knows? Everything is sort of a sand color, and there are a few minarets dotting the largely barren landscapes, so maybe it's Yemen.
What is for sure is that you're fighting terror. You can tell this because there's an unseen soldier who shouts both encouragement and warnings at you, and many of these statements mention terrorists. And about a quarter of them mention the word "ass," which must be the one sort of swear word you can employ with alarming frequency and still get a Teen rating. Technically, he doesn't actually shout these warnings. Even though they all sound like messages that should be imparted with some real urgency--such as the helpful refrain, "We're surrounded by badass terrorists!"--the line readings aren't particularly urgent.
The game is a series of 16 on-rails shooting missions. Sometimes you're firing a gun off the side of a chopper, sometimes off the back of an HMMWV, and occasionally you're standing behind a machine gun bolted right to the scorching sand of Yemen. Bucking the trend of having on-rails missions take place in active, cinematic living battlefields, not much interesting happens in any of Terrorist Takedown's levels. Somebody drives you through or above the desert, and you shoot at anything that moves, though most of the things you shoot at don't actually move. Basically, you target anything with a big red box surrounding it, which is everything that isn't either sand or a building. In the levels where you man a stationary gun, the positions are reversed: you stay in one place and the enemy comes to you. A couple of times you get to actually pilot a helicopter, controlling it from a slightly overhead, third-person perspective.
The missions are incredibly easy, and some of them are comically short--a few clock in at less than two minutes. With a couple of bathroom breaks, the whole game will be over in about an hour and a half--or at least the first 14 missions will be. After 14 completely challenge-free levels, the game turns impossible with mission 15. In it, you control a missile turret on the ground, and your task is to knock down enemy choppers as they whiz by. If more than two or three make it past your position, you fail the mission. In order to fire at a helicopter, you have to keep the sluggish cursor on top of it for a few seconds until you get a missile lock. Choppers buzz in from all directions, and, unfortunately, if another chopper gets anywhere near the one you're currently targeting, you lose your lock. With weeks of practice and some luck it might be possible to beat this mission. Or it might not. The world may never know. So the actual length of the game is 90 minutes, plus infinity, plus however long it takes to finish level 16.
Terrorist Takedown's mission design, visuals, and sound effects are simplistic and completely devoid of any atmosphere-building details other than the bare minimum necessary to make you feel like you're in a desert shooting at people. Its one redeeming feature is that five percent of the game's proceeds will be donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. But you may as well cut out the middleman and just give all $20 to charity.