Good in some ways,but very short and has some annoying problems.
The story is set in Los Angeles in the year 2016 and is based on events between Terminator 3 and Terminator Salvation.
If you're unfimiliar with the Terminator universe,it's about how a military computer named 'Skynet' developed self awareness(the ability to think for itself)and it decided it wanted to take over the world,which meant it wanted humanity out of the way,so Skynet launched nuclear weapons all over the world and wiped out most of the world's human population.Skynet sent machines to kill the rest of the human survivors or capture them so they can be used as slaves(to build new machines).John Conner is a human who leads the human resistance and rallied humanity from the brink of extinction and taught them to fight back against the machines.Which is why Skynet sent machines(Terminators)back in time to kill John's mother before John was born,and to kill John himself.
In Terminator Salvation(TS)John and a group of soldiers were supposed to be evacuated by helicopter from a battleground,but that doesn't happen,so John and the soldiers he's with will need to make it back through their base,but it will be a dangerous journey though Los Angeles because machines are everywhere and will try to kill them on sight.The story also has Blair Williams in it (from the TS movie)and she is one of the people in your team who travels through Los Angeles with you.
During your journey,you'll come across encampments of human survivors who are hiding in places such as underground subway stations and they aren't exaxctly happy to see you because they're worried the machines followed your group to their base and they think if they keep hiding,the machines will never find them.A character named Barnes,who's a character in the TS movie is in this game too.Eventually,John and a group of soldiers will attempt to attack Skynet directly.
The story tries to add an emotional feel to it,because John will talk about how the machines kill many more humans than humans destroy machines,and because of the decision of whether to hide from the machines or fight back which some people will be forced to make.
The gameplay feels a bit like Gears of war,it's a third person,cover shooter.The cover mechanics work quite smoothly,you'll choose the icon that represents which near by cover you want John to run behind,and he'll automatically run behind it.Your health will only regenerate after a battle.
Most of the machines have poor AI and will move around a grid and won't chase you,and I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing for the game.Because if the machines could chase you,they'd be unstoppable,but because they don't it will give you a very good chance of beating them.
The spidery legged machines have weak spots on their back and can only be destroyed if you shoot the weak spot on their back(not including hitting whem with grenades or rockets).The spidery legged machines will try to cover up their weak spot and you can try to outflank the spidery legged machines so you can shoot their weak spot,and you can try to draw the attention of those spidery legged machines so your allies can shoot their weak spot or vise versa.
There's lots of little flying machines that can be destroyed just be shooting them.
The T-600's are enemies you should fear most.They cannot be damaged from bullets unless you penetrate their external body with a grenade or rocket (which will expose some of their vulnerable internal parts)which will allow you to finish them off with regular guns.The T-600's come in external skeleton or rubber skin form.The T-600's also shoot powerful guns that can deplete a lot of your health quickly and they can instantly kill you if they get close to you and punch you.
Those occasional hunter killers(big flying machines)and there's a fun boss battle when you'll need to destroy one using a rocket launcher and another gameplay segment when a Hunter Killer(HK) is chasing you and you're trying to drive away from it and you'll slowly try to destroy it using a gun turret and you'll need to destroy it before it destroys you.
You will encounter only harvester in the game(it's a very tall machine)and it has a powerful weapon that can easily kill you if you don't use cover well.
The game does start to feel repetitive because the machines have predictable patterns.
A annoying thing about the gameplay is,sometimes you can be pinned down by gunfire and even if you're behind cover,you'll still get hit by bullets sometimes.Also,when you're pinned down,a T-600 can walk up to you when you're pinned down by gunfire and instantly kill you with a swipe of it's arm,and you can't choose to simply run away because the enemies are very accurate with their shooting.The level designs are a bit annoying too,because on level 3,you'll need to use pipebombs to destroy or weaken the T-600's enough so you can finish them off with your guns,and the pipebombs are on a table and they're a quite a distance away from the cover you'll use to avoid getting shot,and if you try to run to the table to pick up a pipe bomb and run behind cover again,there's a good chance you can't avoid getting shot because sometimes when multiple numbers of T-600's are shooting at you,they will take turns shooting at you,and you won't have an opportunity to get the pipebombs without getting shot,but sometimes the T-600's shoot their weapon simultaneously and they will roload their weapon simultaneously which will give you a fair chance of getting some pipebombs from the table without getting shot,and sometimes the gameplay depends heavily on luck and not skill.
Also,it's easy to run out of ammo and if you do,you cannot destroy the machines without any ammo(unlike Gears of War or other shooting games which allows you to do melee attacks)and you'll have to reload the level or commit suicide.
But the game does feels fun at times,because when I played this game on the hard difficulty and just one burst of gunfire from a machine could kill John easily,it made the gameplay have a very survival feel so it,which is how the Terminator series is.During some missions when I'm surrounded by T-600's and the spider looking machines,it can be very tense if I play it on the hard difficulty,because getting hit by just one burst of bullets from them will kill John.On the easy difficulty,the game becomes too easy and doesn't have as much feeling.
The gameplay has a few on rail shoot em up segments,such as when you're being chased by a Hunter Killer,or machines riding motorcycles.
Sometimes the graphics look good and detailed,and at times they look ugly.Much of post apocalyptic Los Angeles looks detailed and you'll see vegetation growing over buildings and cars overturned and have rust on them.The cutscenes get ugly as you get further into the game.At the start of the game,there's some cool cutscenes that show you the T-600 infra red being able to detect people hiding behind objects and people being slaughtered cruely by the T-600's and John and the war worn environment looked great,but like I've said,the cutscenes get worse later on in the game.On some of the cutscenes,the characters look like they can't run properly.
But there's some nice scenes of human hideouts with people lighting drums on fire to stay warm,and the people have dirty faces and messy hair and their clothes look like rags.
I like how John talks in very philosophical ways when he's explaining the story,because he knows it's his destiny to lead the humans against the machines,but he doubts whether humanity can win this war,and military people who outrank John won't listen to his strategic ideas in how to fight the machines.
When you're travelling through the city and you hear some of the theme music from the Terminator movies when you know some machines could show up at any second and attack you or when you're battling the machines,it creates a feeling as if you're fighting an epic battle for humanity's future.
When bullets and landing all around you and the gunshots sound very loud,it creates a lot of atmosphere.
The voice acting for John is good,but I can't remember how the VA's for the other characters are.
The game is playable and can be exciting if you play it on hard difficulty,but the game is so short and should be only bought if you're a huge Terminator fan or you find the game very cheap to justify it's 4 hour length.The game has easy gold trophies though,you get a gold trophy for beating any level at any difficulty and the game has something like 11 gold trophies for you to earn.