Terminator: Salvation Game Poster Image

Terminator: Salvation



Brief, movie-based shooter game delivers bloodless violence.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As freedom fighter John Connor, the player’s goal is to liberate a group of humans, but violence is the primary means to this end. Two players can play together co-operatively.


Non-stop shooting and explosions, but nothing over the top. The player’s character wields a wide variety of weapons, including shotguns, missile launchers, and pipe bombs. Humans die, but there is no blood or gore. Screams are heard often.

Not applicable
Not applicable

This game exists because of the movie upon which it is based.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game is based on the new Terminator movie, and that its release has been timed to coincide with and make the most of the tide of promotion leading up to the film. Many teens who see the movie will want to play this game, and vice versa. As in the movie, the game has plenty of violence in the form of gunplay and explosions. Humans yell, scream, and die, though no blood or gore is shown. It is free of sex, drugs, alcohol, and coarse language.

What's it about?

Based on the film of the same name-- or, more accurately, based on characters from the film (the game is set a couple of years prior to the events of the movie) -- TERMINATOR: SALVATION has players exploring a machine-ravaged urban wasteland as John Connor, a member of a human resistance organization who is trying to rescue a group of trapped soldiers. The game wastes no time with back story, and assumes that players are well versed in the Terminator mythos (which is likely, given the franchise's popularity).

The action, which consists mostly of shooting rifles and grenade launchers and tossing grenades and pipe bombs, is seen from a third-person perspective. Players must work with their computer controlled allies (or another person, should they happen to be playing in co-op mode) to outflank their enemies and then target their weak spots. Depending on how adept you become in carrying out this tactic -- and which difficulty level you choose -- the game lasts between four and six hours.

Is it any good?


It seems clear that the only reason Terminator: Salvation exists is to cash on on the popularity of the movie with which it shares its name. It doesn't push any borders, nor does it introduce anything new to the third-person shooter formula. The cover and flank mechanic, which feels pilfered from the Gears of War games, is competent but unexceptional, having already been implemented in plenty of other shooters. That verdict applies to just about everything in the game, whether you're manning a turret in a jeep or fighting a big boss like a Hunter-Killer warbird; it's all been capably executed, but shows little evidence of originality or flair.

Post-Armageddon Los Angeles looks great, as do the beautifully rendered, action-packed cut scenes, but the atmosphere suffers from uninspired, lifeless dialogue (Christian Bale, Helena Bonham Carter, and many of the film's other major actors are, unfortunately, absent from the game's cast). Too bad, since a strong story might have made players want to experience it a second time in co-op mode, which has the potential to double the length of this very brief adventure. Best leave this one to die-hard Terminator fans and look to longer more innovative interactive experiences.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about games based on movies versus movies based on games. Does one medium transfer to the other more naturally? Do you generally make a point of playing games based on movies or vice versa? Do movies and games of this sort usually leave you satisfied?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:May 19, 2009
ESRB rating:T for Violence

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Adult Written byRHTJLHW99 February 22, 2010

Good compromise for shooting game for kids.

I'm one of those "mean" moms who won't let my 9 year old play Call of Duty or Halo and other bloody, violent, rated M games. So this one is a pretty good shooting game that he thought was cool, and is still pretty rough. My 6 year old plays it too. Does have lots of shooting, things blowing up, and some bad language (not too bad though). It is a good compromise.
Kid, 10 years old January 5, 2015

Excellent game but there's a little bit of language

The game is fantastic. The events of the game go between the movies Terminator 3 and Terminator Salvation. There is absolutely no blood at all. The box only says Violence but there's a little bit of language. Violence is not really a problem. Lots of explosion and so many deaths throughout the game. I guarantee its a great game for pre-teens and teens to play.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 10 year old Written bymjdtherealdeal June 23, 2010

Fun Game!

Ok this game is as easy as first person shooters get. This is a great game. its mild on violence. Of course it is violent, it is a shooter for gods sake!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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