I wish he hadn't bothered coming back

Terminator 2: Judgement Day logo

OCEAN * £25.99 * 1/2 mag * Joystick * Out now

If you haven't already seen the film or you are not fully aware of the basic plot then I'm not going to bother wasting space here. One of your mates will be more than willing to fill you in on the ins and outs of the film, and you will therefore have suitable grasp of the plot of the game. If you have already bought the game, then my condolences.

To save pain I'll get straight down to it. The game is divided into three levels, each of which represents a particular part of the film, but the three of them are basically duplicates of each other, and one of them is to unbelievably awful that it is barely worth talking about.

The first, fourth and eight final level all feature the T800 fighting the T1000. It starts off with a bit of gunfiring then the two of them move in a for a bit of mindless hand to hand violence. Now don't get me wrong - it is well implemented, but it appears three times and it eventually gets repetitive.

The second level features Arnie and John on a Harley Davidson trying to escape from the chuffing juggernaut bearing down on the two blokes. This part takes the form of a vertically scrolling thingy where the bike has to jump over ramps, avoid rocks and trying to pick up the odd bonus here and there. If the bike hits anything then Arnie loses some energy, if the truck hits the bike from behind then John loses energy. In the words of the esteemed Gamer ace reviewer, Biffa, it "looks like something out of shoot-'em-up Construction Kit".

Level three is the first of the two puzzle sections that involves you rearranging square pieces to reconstruct Arnie's damaged arm. This section is reasonably easy as all you have to do is pick up the piece and move it to exactly where you want. If you complete it within the given time then Arnie's energy is fully restored for the next level. Complete half and he only gets half his energy back.

Level four is another dodgy fight scene, while Level five is a slightly more complex puzzle section that takes the form of one of those infuriating sliding puzzle games that annoyed me when I was a kid, as you try to reconstruct Arnie's face. The same bonuses apply as in Level three.

Level six is a painfully slow and truly yawn-inducing horizontal shoot-'em-up as you fight your way past the unintelligent security guys outside the Cyberdyne Systems HQ. This bit is just so mind-numbingly grim that it doesn't bear thinking about. The sooner I find the level skip cheat the better.

Level seven sees you in control of the kidnapped swat van as Sarah tries to shoot down the pursuing helicopter while you keep the thing straight enough for her to get a decent aim. This bit is reasonably entertaining but like the whole damn game it just too short. The final bit is another boring fight scene.

The game is well coded, and has some nice graphics and competent sound. The problem is that it is completely lacking in any decent concepts or thought and it is far too short - I completed it within an hour and a half of opening the package and each game takes approximately 20 minutes to finish!

If I had forked out ¨26 for two hours entertainment, including about twenty minutes of naff bits. I would be mighty annoyed. Not even the free T-shirt would stop me from starting the popular revolution.


Terminator 2: Judgement Day logo

Undoubtedly the biggest film of the year, but unfortunate not the biggest game. If you've seen the film then the game structure will be famliar to you, though the scenes have been simplified and a couple of puzzle levels added. You take on the role of Arnie: a reprogrammed Terminator-101 sent back in time to 1994 to protect the future rebel leader John Connor. The bad news is on your trail is a T-1000: a new-and-improved model made of liquid metal, whose mission is to terminate young John.

Roll credits: T-101 is being built, cut to side-view of corridor scene. You are face-to-face with the T-1000. Six gunshots, a flurry of punches and kicks later and T-1000 is out of action - temporarily. Cut to chase: overhead view. T-101 is racing through a storm drain on a Harley with John riding pillion, closely followed by a juggernaut driven by T-1000. You have to avoid the rocks, water, oil, while trying to pick up valuable bonuses. Fail and you get squashed by the truck, or collide with the final bridge, succeed and you get to carry John away to safety leaving the truck to smash into the bridge in digitised red-and-blacko vision.

What's the damage guv?
The third level is a puzzle level where you have to repair Arnie's hand: he probably damaged it when he was giving the Harley's throttle some welly. An interesting little teaser: all the wires and rods in his wrist are jumbled up, rearranging the squares, though will put things right and allow him to wiggle his fingers. This operation is timed, so the amount of time left at the end is the bonus score.

The percentage of the puzzle finished correctly will determine T-101's energy level for the next round.

Cut to the asylum: side view. Sarah and John are trying to make their escape while T-101 fires eight shots into the abdomen of the T-1000. Side-stepping the bullets he grounds T-101 with a single shot. Arnie recovers quickly and launches a fierce attack: a kick to the head, a kick to the side; his opponent goes down, only to reform a split second later.

T-1000 commences to deliver countless, vicious head butts reaching unfeasible distances due to his liquid composition. But T-101 is smart enough to duck out of the way. The onslaught continues, but Arnie eventually overpowers his fellow terminator. Badly damaged and suffering from metal fatigue he retires to a safety to do some on-the-spot repairs again.

Full facial view: location unknown. The repairs T-101 as to make to himself are to the left side of his face. To regain full energy the injuries must be repaired quickly; there isn't much time. Working frantically (for a machine) he rebuilds his face, but time runs out too soon and only 83 per cent of the operation has been completed. A dejected T-101 resumes his mission.

Term-in-a-torture too!
Outside the Cyberdyne Laboratories: side view. T-101 shoots his way through a heavily-armed SWAT team, obviously summoned by angry neighbours complaining about the noise. Meanwhile Sarah and John are making another undercover escape to an unoccupied SWAT van (well they do in the film).

T-101 finishes off the last of the SWAT team and rejoins them. Together they make a speedy retreat as the T-1000 reforms, hijacks a helicopter, and flies off in hot pursuit. Now the action really picks up - well slightly.

On the Freeway: overhead view. T-101 takes control of the wheel as John's mum, Sarah Connor, fires at the helicopter form the back of the van. Arnie, though, hasn't passed his driving test so he does his best to weave through the dense traffic, hitting a few Sunday drivers along the way. The T-1000 lines up for a shot. Bang! Oh no! What's happened, everything's gone dark. T-101, Sarah and John have been terminated. Hasta la vista. You only get one life to get through eight levels!

Conversions from the big screens to the computer screen are usually disappointing. Ocean's Batman licence was the exception to the rule: it closely followed the plot of the film, was well animated and had a challenging gameplay hand-in-hand with a big title. T2 fails to feel these high standards. It has badly digitised intermission screens, unimaginative gameplay and little relevance to the film. What promised to be a game that you will never forget, turns out to be a glossily-packaged game you will try not to remember and probably regret buying. If you enjoyed the film, stick with it.


Terminator 2: Judgement Day logo

Als Vorlage einer der aufwendigsten Kinostreifen aller Zeiten, als Held der Welt beliebtestes Muskelpaket und die Actionspezialisten von Ocean als Versofter - was könnte bei so einem Game noch schiefgehen?

Grundsätzlich eine ganze Menge, wie bei so vielen Lizenzspielen. Begleiten wir also Herrn Schwarzenegger ins Jahr 2025 und schauen nach, was Sache ist. Daß dann die Erde von Maschinen und Robotern tyrannisiert wird, wissen wir schon seit "Terminator I". Daß es eine Handvoll tapferer Rebellen gibt, ist uns auch nicht neu, genau wie die Tatsache, daß der bösartige Maschinenpark gelegentlich Killer-Androiden in die Vergangenheit (unsere Gegenwart) schickt.

Im ersten Teil mimte ja Arnie solch einen Techno-Töter; versagte jedoch beim Versuch, die Mutter des Rebellenführers vor der Niederkunft abzumurksen. Also macht sich nun ein zweiter auf den Weg durch die Zeit, und weil es so schön ist, schicken die braven Rebellen gleich noch einen hintendrein. Zur Abwechslung darf diesmal Arnold der gute Blechkopf sein und versuchen, seinem Widersacher selbigen einzuschlagen...

Am Amiga präsentiert sich das Ganze als eine Aneinanderreihung von insgesamt acht Action- und Puzzle-Sequenzen; zwischendurch gibt es auch ein paar digitalisierte Szenen aus dem Film, die nur leider relativ verschwommen aussehen. Dafür sind die eigentlichen Spielgrafiken umso besser gelungen: Wenn sich die beiden Terminatoren im ersten Level gegenseitig mit Pistolenschüssen, Fausthieben und Fußtritten malträtieren, stimmt von der Gesichtsmimik bis zu den Bewegungsabläufen eigentlich alles.

Im zweiten Abschnitt sitzt Arnie auf dem Motorrad und muß allerlei Hindernissen ausweichen (es wird vertikal gescrollt), während ihn ein höchst rammfreudiger Truck verfolgt. Level 3 beschert uns das erste Puzzle: Gezeigt wird die Hand des Helden, der Spieler muß die einzelnen Kabelleitungen im Gelenk so zusammenfügen, daß Freund Robbi anschließend wieder kräftig zupacken kann. Im vierten Level kommt erneut eine Duellszene, genau wie im ersten, nur daß es diesmal im Krankenhaus zur Sache geht.

Darauf folgt wiederum ein Puzzle (jetzt ist Arnies Gesicht dran), und noch 'ne Verfolgungsjagd, und noch 'n Duell - halt, Level 6 ist eine Ausnahme, denn hier gibt es die einzige horizontal scrollende Ballerei des Games. Also viel Action, ein bißchen puzzeln, ordentliche Grafik, passende Soundbegleitung (Musik & FX), eine präzise Joysticksteuerung - alles paletti? Nicht ganz, denn bei genauerem Hinsehen sind es halt doch nur vier Level, die man hier zu acht breitgewalzt hat. Andererseits macht jeder einzelne davon Spaß, was ja eigentlich die Hauptsache ist.

Formulieren wir es mal so: Wer komplexe, anspruchsvolle Spiele mag und gerne dicke Anleitungsbücher wälzt - Finger weg! Wenn Ihr dagegen eher die simpel gestrickten Games bevorzugt, bei denen man bloß zum Joystick greifen braucht und sofort losgehen kann, dann schnappt Euch den Terminator, Leute! (C. Borgmeier)


Terminator 2: Judgement Day logo

The thinking person's hardman gets pixelised again for another computing outing - something he hasn't had too much luck with in the past. Could it ben fifth time lucky, perhaps?

In this very magazine, just three months ago, we ran an article talking about games based on film licences - what's good about them and where they can easily go wrong. One problem that crops up time and time again, we pointed out, is that game designers try and stick to movie scripts too closely, ending up with something that doesn't work too well as a game because it's split into too many scrappy little chunks, or the plot of the film doesn't lend itself to action sequences, or whatever.

As history teachers are prone to say, those who ignore the cock-ops of the past are doomed to relive them, and while Terminator 2 isn't in the same league of awfulness as, say, Ghostbusters II or Return of the Jedi games, it has managed to fail into all the classic traps which, really, you would have thought conversion specialists like Ocean would have sniffed out a long time ago.


It's quite sad, really

IT'S NOTHING PERSONAL, BUT...
But I'm getting ahead of myself. First of all, just what has the Amiga conversion of the year's biggest movie got to show for itself?

Well, anyone who's seen the film (and I'm guessing that at least half the people reading this are abundantly familiar with Big Arnie's recent sci-fi fest) will be completely comfortable with the game. The programmers have attempted to recreate all the best action sequences inside a total of eight subgames, and flick fans who boot this up will know exactly where they are in the story.

We all know how this works, don't we - it's a set up Ocean have used in half their games - and nearly all their film licences - from Batman onwards. Not only do we get a sideways scrolling shoot-'em-up, three beat-'em-ups and two driving games, but a couple of single-screen puzzlers too. You may find it all a bit formulaic and unimaginative, but it's a structure that'd still prove pretty jolly (if a little formulaic) were it not for one small problemo - all the games are crap.


I fully expect to see this floating up to the top end of the chart pretty sharpish

TERMINATOR 2 - IT'LL BE CRAP.
That's not to suggest for a moment that Terminator 2 is destined to plunge into the great software incinerator, however. Far from it. I fully expect to see this floating up to the top end of the chart pretty sharpish. It's competent enough (just). It does its job (which isn't saying much). And it's got Arnold Schwarzenegger's mug on the cover (adds sales of ten thousand immediately).

The trouble is, it absolutely fails to offer anything of intrinsic value. Rather than do anything interesting with the licence, it merely manages to copy bits from lots of other games - most of which are well past their sell-by date anyway. Ocean sell 'dreams, not software' is something we hear quite a lot, and rarely has this been so abundantly and obviously true as it is here.

It's quite sad, really. The beat-'em-up sequences do not require a great deal of skill, the shooting scenes demand no skill whatsoever, and the driving games are, at best, rudimentary. Programmers Dimentia would have been a whole lot better off designing one single game - even that old warhorse, the standard horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up a la Rolling Thunder - and 'Terminated' it by throwing lots of movie characters in there. Instead, they've decided to try and reproduce every action sequence from the film they could, and ended up up producing a pig's dinner. Anyone who thinks they're really going to get eight good games in here for the price of one should have learned better a long time ago.

So where does that leave us? Well, for younger gamers there is enough here to justify the asking price, and, I suspect, plenty of Terminator freaks will ignore any derogatory reviews and go right ahead and buy the game anyway. But if you're just a gamesplayer looking to make your pounds yield a good few hours of entertainment, look elsewhere. Terminator 2 isn't for you.


EIGHT WAYS TO SAVE THE WORLD
Terminator 2 has lifted eight sequences from the movie, and turned them into eight mini sub-games, bunged chronologically on top of each other...
1 A quick shoot out followed by a straight beat-em-up against the baddie T1000. Really, all you need do win this first round is press the joystick button continuously (or, to preserve effort, just hit auto-fire). The only skill involved is minimalising your own damage (indicated by the deteriorating face in the corner). This section is taken from the shopping mall wherein the two big guys from the future come face to face for the first time. The liquid metal man does a bit of his spooky shape-changing here, but it's nothing special. 5 After that little scrap, your energy will probably be hovering around the zero mark, so it's time for another puzzle. This time you must repair Arnie's face (which has actually been drawn very well indeed). This screen follows the same principle as that of section three.
2 It's onto the juggernaut chase in the flood overflow. Arnie is riding a scrambler motorbike with the young John Connor riding pillion. You must protect John from the advancing juggernaut (driven by you-know-who), and stil stay alive by avoiding obstacles. Extra points can be picked up by going over bonus shapes on the ground. This section is seriously primitive but quite demanding in an entertaining kind of way. 6 Oh dear, it's sideways scrolling shooting time. You are up against the SWAT team outside the headquarters of Cyberdyne Systems (they're the guys who manufacture the computer which may or may not waste the entire world). There are three ways to shoot at the cops - up, down and straight. Yep, this section is as silly as it looks, and twice as easy to complete.
3 Puzzle time. Failing to complete a puzzle does not mean death - this is simply a bonus screen which allows you to beef up energy ratings. Here, it's the Terminator's job to rebuild a damaged hand. This section is actually lifted from the first movie, but we won't quibble about that. It works on the same principle as one of those plastic puzzles which demand that you move pieces around until they're all in place. Once you've learned how to beat this in the required time, it's all very simple. Initially though, it's a tough old nut to crack. If you fail it's not a total disaster - you'll be given a 'percentage completed mark', which will determine the levels of repairs that do get made. 7 That dreadful T1000 chap still hasn't given up. Now he's chasing Arnie and the good guys down the highway - in a helicopter. Avoid hitting other cars, keep firing the gun out of the rear of the Transit, and you'll get through this easily enough.
4 It's back to combat. This time you're in the psychiatric hospital trying to get Sarah Connor out. The T1000 has other ideas, and you must fight it out. This is exactly the same as in round one except that your opponent is stronger. Watch out for those long distance headbutts which the metal liquid man relies upon. 8 And finally, it's into the seething steelworks for a finall beat-'em-up. This section is not all easy to complete, but that's not to say it's any good. As in all the fight sequence, controls are seriously limited. The only way to win is to have enough energy to sustain lots of damage, and to keep hitting Murder Man as hard and as often as possible. When that's over, so is the game, and it's stright back to the beginning again. Ho-hum...

Terminator 2: Judgement Day logo

It may have taken seven years, but, as promised, the Terminator is back. We all know that the film is one of the most expensive ever (with almost a quarter of its budget going out to people who had to be paid off before filming could even begin), but for those of you who haven't seen it yet, allow me to completely ruin the plot for you.

Ten years after the evens of the first film, Sarah Connor has been banged away in a high-security institution for her insistence that she knows when the world will end. Her son, John, is already showing signs of becoming the genius leader he will eventually mature into, and with these details cemented, it's time to wheel on Arnie in his T800 role.

However, this particular Cyborg has in fact been sent back to protect John (by John himself - still with me?) from the unwanted attentions of the more advanced T1000 unit, which boasts the shape-shifting capabilities and is by far the star of the film. What follows is a series of destructive set pieces, which includes the trashing of all manner of buildings, cars and helicopters as the two Terminators battle over young John.

Starting in an arcade that John frequents, the game takes the form of a beat 'em up with the player assuming the role of Arnie has he trades punches with the powerful T1000. Both Arnie and the T1000 are represented by two large sprites, both of whom punch and fire their guns at each other.

However, the second Cybor's shape-shifting capabilities also allow him to elongate his neck into a powerful punching device giving him a slight advantage. A problem Kevin encountered when he was working on the game's storyboard was that as both machines are virtually indestructible, then creating the breaks between scenes proves especially tricky. By stunning the T1000 with a succession of punches, though, Arnie eventually wins through to a digitised sequences and the next stage.

A vertically-scrolling chase ensues with Arnie and John escaping the pursuing T1000 who is following in a massive truck. This is a very simple fare, with the player controlling the bikes as it weaves past obstacles until the end of the stage and the next level. Any lost energy can be replaced in the first of the two puzzle games, which recreates the reparation of Arnie's hand in the first film. As with the later stage, where Arnie's head is in for repair (but who's going to tell him he needs it!), the player must solve a sliding block puzzle with a strict time-limit and, depending on the percentage solved, part of the T800's health is replenish.

After a brief horizontally-scrolling session against the combined might of an armed SWAT team and dabbling at the aforementioned 'face puzzle'. Arnie then moves on to another vertically-scrolling chase sequence. This time, the T1000 is in hot pursuit in a helicopter, and Arnie steals an armoured van in which to make a quick getaway. With Sarah in the back, the player must guide the van and keep its movements steady so that Sarah's cross hair can be trained on the pursuing 'copter. However, Sarah's aim is ruined whenever the van moves to avoid an obstacle and the T1000 also fires back, depleting our heroine's already low energy. Of all the sections, this is both the most innovative and playable, as guiding the cross hair and keeping Sarah from harm requires a deft hand and good reflexes, something which the rest of the game rarely requires.

Nowhere is this lack of originality more apparent than in the steelworks section where the final showdown between the two Terminators takes place. A visual showcase in the film, this is a repeat of the first stage dumped against a glowing steel-work's backdrop. I really can't help but think that more could have been done here, and this scene fails to make use or incorporate any of the film's stunnng sequences - surely Arnie could have split the T1000 up more?

This sums up T2 - The Game really. What's there is, is really well done. But lacking in originality. The sub-games are simplistic and dull, which are the last two adjectives I would use to describe the film. By no means a dire licence, but definitely not all it could be.


WHERE'D THE MONEY GO?
Terminator II's humungous budget has been the talk of Hollywood as everyone wonders quite how they managed to spend such amount. The sad truth of the matter is that a quarter of the money went on paying off some of the people behind the first film. For instance, Gate-Anne Hurd, Cameron's ex-wife and co-producer of the first film, demanded five million dollars before she'd give her permission for a sequel, and other executives from the first film needed paying, too. Cameron himself picked up a cool six million dollars for directing and producing, and, as for Arnie, as well as his well-published five million dollar Lear Jet, he also picked up a hefty seven million dollars for repeating the role. Still, at least he uttered at least 700 words in the sequel compared to the 72 in the first film - that's what we call good value-for-money.
SUB-GAMES
Most of the film's budget went on creating the visually stunning T1000 effects, which depict the unit turning into virtually any person or object it encounters, but the film is also very strong on characterization and plot which are nigh-on impossible to be squeezed into a credible game. In comparison to the brilliant film, no matter how hot the game, it's still going to come across as a slight disappointment. However, ignoring any comparisons, the game still isn't all it could be.
Programmer Kevin Bulmer has taken the sensible option of basing key action sequences of the film and creating a series of sub-games around them. Unfortunately, although the sub-games are technicaly proficient and, for the most part, fairly playable, the whole package comes across as disjointed and, frankly, unimpressive.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day logo

"Arnold Swarzenegger is a poof," shouted David Wilson, after he'd learned to throw his voice. Fortunately he said it in Cleethorpes, where the chances of Arnie actually hearing him were about a trillion to one. With his ego thus inflated to butt-kicking proportions, he sat down to take apart Ocean's Terminator 2.

Remember how Arnie worked his way through the phone directory of people called 'Connor' in the first Terminator movie:
"Are you Connor, ahz 'ole? Tom O' Connor?"
"Dat's right, of course, and welcome to Name That Tune"
"Uzi 9mm!" Dagga dagga dagga!
Ultimately, he came to a rather grisly end, but he did say "Ah'll be beck," and sure enough here's Terminator 2.

In accordance with his recent superstar status, he can no longer be a baddie, so despite looking pretty much the same as he did in the original Terminator, he's now a different (more lovable, sort of) Terminator. He's been reprogrammed by future humans to come back in time and protect Sarah Connor's son (who, as you'll remember, grows up to save mankind). Why does the kid need protection? Well, because there's another Terminator after him. This one's the baddie - a mean mutha, T1000 series killing-machine with the uncanny talent for regeneration.

I won't spoil the movie for you, but suffice to say the game draws on different action sequences from the script. This allows the game to take on different guises from straight beat 'em up to top down avoid 'em up, with single screen puzzles as well. Between each of the levels are interleaving animated graphics, digitised from the movie, just to put you in the right frame of mind. Er... and that's about it, really.

Amiga reviewDavid: Ocean and film tie-ins... enough said. (Can I go home now? (No. Ed.) Of all Ocean licence beat 'em ups, Terminator 2 must have had a good hundred metres head< start in the 'chances of being a corker' stakes. Not only was it to be based on one of this year's hottest film licences, but it's also been coded by Dementia - the team behind Corporation.

Well, I have to say Terminator 2 is a huge disappointment. Take the first beat 'em up section. There are only two sprites - Arnie and the T1000 - although they're both pretty big. The animation's not bad - the way the baddie sprite's head extends in a blur to heat butt Arnie is really neat. It's all set on a single screen, though (and this formula is repeated three times!).

The second section gives you a chance to replenish some energy as you go into a Robocop 2 style, puzzle subgame. There are two of these, and both take the form of those little square puzzles we used to play at school - the ones with lots of small squares in a big square (with one missing). You've got to slide the pieces around - firstly to reassemble Arnie's metalic wrist, and later, the exposed bit of his metal skull.

Next it's off into an overheat viewpoint, vertical scroller. You and Joe Connor are on a motorbike (sprite about an inch in length), and the truck chasing you never actually gets to be bigger than the first bit of the cab (about a half inch strip). The whole thing looks like a snippet of Spy Hunter (a good game from circa '86). Avoid the oil, puddles and other obstacles and leap the ramps and Beetles. Eventually the truck explodes and you end up in the next level.

Guess what? It's exactly the same as the first (with a different background). The second puzzle sub-game precludes the more traditional Ocean licence fare of level six. Arnie scrolls laboriously left to right, firing at an army of SWAT geezers. Get to the end, and you're into the penultimate Spy Hunter level (you can fire as well as avoiding obstacles).

The final level is exactly the same as the first, except with different coloured backgrounds and ultimately the ability to finish off the T1000 once and for all. Zzzzzzzzzz. Exciting, huh?

Okay, Terminator 2 may not be the worst game in the world (and the competition for that accolade is intense in the film tie-in field) - the graphics are good, and there's variety in the gameplay. But, given the subject matter, it's a massive disappointment, with little to redeem it in the gameplay department. Stop