The governor of California may be currently vowing to "terminate" potholes on Bay Area roads, but he has nothing to do with In-Fusio's The Terminator: I'm Back. The game follows the direct military conflict between the forces of SkyNet and John Conner's resistance troops. You play as Sergeant Kyle Reese, who you'll recognize from the first Terminator film. Kyle encounters plenty of backup as he combs the future's war-torn landscape for terminators, but he unfortunately can't make use of these underlings. Enemies fall to Kyle's laser blasts almost immediately, but they wipe out every other human soldier just as quickly. Team play could have made this game a strategic actioner in the style of Rainbow Six 3 mobile. Instead, your fellow troops are apparently just there to impress upon you how dangerous SkyNet machines are. The result is a by-the-numbers isometric shooter.
At the start of each mission, General Conner barks orders at Kyle via videophone. The star of the three films will usually give you tactical advice, alerting you to the presence of rocket-toting terminators, tanks, or airborne vehicles. He doesn't seem at all impressed or surprised that Kyle continues to easily succeed where dozens of similarly equipped men fail.
Kyle must be controlled with both the directional pad and the numerical pad. He can walk or crawl in any direction, and can fire from either position. Using the number keys, you can switch between weapons and you can fire homing rockets. The latter weapon, when fired by you or your enemy, deforms environmental obstacles on impact. This is undoubtedly the game's most impressive graphical effect.
The Terminator: I'm Back looks quite good overall, particularly its varied, destructible level backgrounds. While all the human soldiers wear the same green football pads and helmet, your enemies come in different forms--tanks, seeker hoverships, sentry turrets, and, of course, terminators. In-Fusio has done a great job of carrying out James Cameron's dystopian vision, at least visually. The Terminator's sound need hardly be mentioned, as it's almost unnoticeable. You'll hear a very short something every time you pick up an item or fire a gun.
Walking around and shooting at things isn't so bad--it's just really simplistic. It's so disappointing to see all the teammates you might have cooperated with had they been given pathfinding artificial intelligence and a longer life span. On the battlefield, one hopes that one's comrades-at-arms aren't purely decorative. This average game could have been so much better, and so much longer.