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Terminator Resistance is a First-Person Shooter in the Terminator franchise, powered by Unreal Engine 4, set in the "Future War" scenario of the first two films. It was released in November 2019 and developed by Teyon, a Polish studio previously responsible for the infamous Rambo: The Video Game Rail Shooter. Even though the game was released in the same time period as Terminator: Dark Fate, it has no ties to that movie or its changes to the Terminator timeline. For all intents and purposes, the game is set in the "original" Future War timeline seen in the first and second film, with some elements from Rise Of The Machines and Salvation.
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Besides the usual first person shooter combat, the game has stealth elements, gathering and crafting, dialogue trees with NPCs, and the ability to hack enemy turrets.

Players take the role of Jacob Rivers, a Tech-Com soldier in the human Resistance against Skynet, the malevolent A.I. that destroyed human civilization during Judgement Day and is currently hell-bent on exterminating the remaining survivors of humanity with its army of Terminator Killer Robots.

A free DLC, Infiltrator Mode, was added on November 5, 2020, adding a new single map mini-campaign, in which you take the role of a T-800 Infiltrator wiping out Resistance outposts. A second DLC, Annihilation Line, was added on December 10, 2021. It is the first story-focused DLC, which takes place halfway through the main campaign, involving Rivers helping out with Kyle Reese to investigate a civilian settlement that's gone radio silent.

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A tie-in comic, Zero Day Exploit, was released by Dark Horse in November 2020, comprising two issues following Commander Jessica Baron and scientist Dr. Edwin Mack's activities prior to the start of the game's plot.

It was released for the PlayStation 5 on April 30, 2021 as Terminator: Resistance Enhanced, as well as a free upgrade for PlayStation 4 owners.


Tropes found in Terminator Resistance:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The second-gen plasma weaponry you obtain from John Connor's command post in the game's final level. The second-gen plasma sniper in particular does the most damage of any weapon in the game, and with some damage-enhancing chips can even kill a T-850 with a single headshot, even without leveling up your weapon damage skill.
  • Action Girl: Jennifer and Baron are two female members in the resistance. Baron in particular is the commander of your Resistance cell as well as a pretty hardcore Blood Knight. Annihilation Line has Ferro, an explosives expert and member of Kyle Reese's squad.
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  • Action Survivor: Jennifer is a scavenger who never held a gun in her life until the day you met her, but will still fight alongside you during your first major battle against Terminators in Chapter 8.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Averted. All items have a set, unchanging value in "trade resources". You can sell items for precisely the same price as you buy them back, which makes trading posts double as item storage (though the Resistance Quartermaster resets his inventory every Chapter, as he brings in new stock).
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Annihilation Line DLC serves to elaborate on a flashback from the original film, where Kyle Reese (and a soldier, Cpl. Ferro, who was only identified in supplementary material) take down an HK Tank, before the driver who picks Reese up is shot down by an HK Aerial. In the DLC, it's recontextualized as part of a larger mission that Reese, Rivers, Ferro and Evans go on to search for survivors at Northridge Outpost.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The Annhilation Line, Skynet's massive formation of Terminators marching across the land killing everything in their path.
  • After the End: Par for the course. The "Future War" setting of the first two films is depicted lovingly in this game.
  • Airborne Mook: Scout drones and Armored Scout drones work as airborne scouts and gun platforms for Skynet's forces, and are more numerous than the very deadly gunship HK Aerials.
  • Airvent Passageway: Many of them in assorted maps, useful as stealthy ways past Skynet's forces or to enter otherwise-inaccessible areas.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: This happens twice in the game. Once when being forced to flee your first shelter after the Infiltrator finds you, the second when the resistance shelter is attacked by an army of terminators who massacre everyone in the shelter.
  • Anachronism Stew: While the game establishes that Judgment Day took play in 1997, the "Remington" shotgun (actually a Russian MP-133 introduced in 2000) are of specific models that didn't exist until the middle of the 2000s. Some characters are also seen with post-2000s military gear. As above, the "M16 Assault Rifle"'s appearance as an M16A4 is a subversion, as it was adopted by the US Marines in July 1997, one month before Judgement Day.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Most enemies in the game will have weak spots that can be targeted and hit for additional damage. Non-humanoid enemies will often have it marked with a glowing spot, while terminators will suffer additional damage from being shot in their Cranial Processing Unit.
  • Back Stab: Terminator endoskeletons can be completely disabled by a single-use electrified knife known as the "Termination Knife" to the back of their neck, but it can only be done if it hasn't detected you and is unaware of your presence, making it perfect for those that like to be stealthy and take down as many Terminators as possible before going loud against their numbers, as it can help immensely if used correctly.
  • Beta Couple: If you rescue Laura from an Armored Spider and save Mark's life by getting him some medical supplies, they quickly become inseparable as the story progresses. The game never outright confirms it, but it's strongly implied they're an item by the time of the finale.
  • Big Good: John Connor. He doesn't have much screen time, but when he does, he shows why he is humanity's best hope.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Although not outright labeled as such, a number of late midgame maps have Aerials patrolling the skies. These things can fire missile barrages that are a guaranteed One-Hit Kill even with a maxed-out Toughness perk, and their secondary weapon - a violet plasma cannon - deals almost as much damage. Aerials are also immune against anything short of violet plasma weapons and missiles, and they're extremely tanky even if you do have the tools to damage them. You can engage these patrols if you really want them gone, but it's generally more advisable to just avoid them.
    • The HK47 in Pasadena also serves in this role - you don't have to engage it (taking a good photo is enough for Baron), but removing its presence makes clearing out the nearby Skynet outpost much easiernote . You also get an achievement if you manage to take it down.
  • Book Ends: The game begins with a Terminator grabbing at Jacob and being stopped at the last moment by the Stranger. The game ends (excluding the final choice) with a Terminator grabbing at Jacob and being stopped at the last moment by Skynet's destruction.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The Skynet plasma rifles play this straight, drawing ammunition straight from your total, and are only limited by an overheating mechanic. All other plasma weapons avert this by using a magazine of some sort. The overheating and clip limit can be increased through attachment mods.
  • Boring, but Practical: Numerous examples.
    • The ballistic weapons aren't nearly as flashy as the more advanced plasma guns, but enemies that aren't Immune to Bullets continue to show up throughout the entire game. Holding on to your trusty M16 can thus save you a lot of plasma ammo for the enemies you really need it for.
    • Pipe bombs are simple to use and relatively cheap to craft. They also deal huge damage to almost anything, especially with a few points invested in the explosives perk. Use them properly and they can make many hostile encounters a whole lot easier.
    • As far as perks go, the ones for lockpicking, hacking and increased experience are of no immediate help against Skynet's goons, but there's a huge amount of great loot to be found behind locked doors or in code-locked chests, and the up to +30% experience points will get you to the level cap quite a bit faster.
  • Bowdlerize: The game has been progressively censored with updates in its Optional Sexual Encounters, cropping nudity with letterboxing and adding Modesty Bedsheets afterwards.
  • Bullet Time: A stimulant that slows down time briefly (actually enhances reflexes and perception, but the game effect is this) is available for Rivers, and the Infiltrator in Infiltrator Mode can earn this by breaching doors and walls or landing headshots.
  • The Cameo: In the hospital, a dissected corpse of a Resistance fighter resembling Robert Patrick can be found strapped to an operating table while the T-1000's theme plays. Presumably, he was the template for the T-1000.
  • Cap: The level cap is 28, which doesn't reward enough perk points to fully max out your Player Character. You'll need to search every nook and cranny for those rare perk books for that.
  • Character Level: Experience for leveling up to invest in new skills comes from destroying machines and plasma storage containers, crafting items, and completing quests. All of these values can be increased by a percentage through the Fast Learner perk.
  • Children Are Innocent: Highlighted via Patrick, Jennifer's kid brother. Various discussions are made of how he is being forced into a terrifying situation (that of the constant struggle for survival against the machines), and how he's been conscripted to help scavenge food and supplies for the Resistance.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: Skynet Chips for upgrading plasma weapons. No color are the worst, the ones with a little blue bar in the lower right corner are better, the ones with the little yellow bar are better still, the ones with the purple bar are best (and the purple ones can slot to any chip regardless of symbol-matching, making them really useful).
  • Continuity Nod: T-600s appear in the Annihilation Line DLC. They have rubber skin and wield miniguns. They're not exactly like the T-600s from Terminator Salvation (more of a "30% different, legally distinct" version), but look close enough that you can still tell they're supposed to be the same Terminator model.
  • Cowardly Boss: The T-850 Infiltrator shows a sense of self-preservation compared to other Terminator units. During the fight, it'll periodically take cover, throw grenades, and run away after taking enough damage, with the first time being straight through a brick wall. You have to pursue it until it turns around and re-engages you a few times. It only stops running when it cuts you off from the rest of the Resistance.
  • Crapsack World: Naturally. For most people, survival means hiding in ruins, scavenging for food, fighting the robots they might be able to kill and running from the rest. For those lucky enough to live in a Resistance shelter, it means doing those same things with a quota under threat of eviction, fighting the robots that everyone else has the luxury of running from, or living comfortably if you have a very valuable and very broad skillset (you're a mechanic? Good. Get to work fixing these plasma generators. Oh, you're not also an electrician and fusion expert? Get Out!) And those who were finally comfortable living that way now have to contend with the Annihilation Line, either picking up and running straight away or hiding and hoping to run later. Even in a shelter, you've just made yourself a bigger target, and if an infiltrator gets in, you're screwed. Resources are scarce, life is cheap, and things are quickly getting worse.
  • Degraded Boss: While the T-850 infiltrator serves as a Climax Boss about 3/4ths of the way through the game, somewhat weaker versions of it will appear throughout the last few levels as a sort of Heavily Armored Mook variant of the regular Terminators.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Upon first returning to Pasadena, you can find a plasma sniper rifle in one of the unmarked houses near the beginning of the map. This is a chance to obtain arguably the most powerful regular weapon in the game a level or two earlier than normal. Similarly, things can align just right for you to salvage and buy the skill to use a Skynet Gen-2 Plasma Rifle a full level before Resistance Gen-2 plasma weapons become available. This will make dealing with Terminators substantially easier for that mission.
  • The Dreaded: While you never encounter it in the game itself, the ending makes it clear just how dangerous the T-1000 is, with Connor remarking that no human soldier would have even a chance against it in combat.
  • Drone of Dread: The Terminators have an accompanying sting of music that calls back to the T-1000's theme.
  • Dynamic Entry: In Infiltrator Mode, you can Breach doors and weakened walls. Doing this has your Infiltrator smash through, getting a brief period of slow-motion to target and and kill the startled enemies on the other side.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: If you play your cards right, all your companions can survive the war, and after decades of surviving the horrors unleashed by Skynet, Jacob might even find his future wife to build a new life with once victory has been achieved. It'll still be a long road to recovery for mankind, but by Terminator standards it's a positively glowing outlook.
  • Easter Egg: The "Infiltrator Mode" DLC has three such hidden secrets, which can result in an achievement if one of them is found. One includes a shrine built towards Skynet, while another involves a visit to the ruins of Tech-Noir — complete with the original (light-up) sign and usage of "Burnin' in the Third Degree," the song that played during the associated club scene from the first film.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • In the later levels Skynet will upgrade its T-800 army with tougher T-820 and T-825V variants, likely using knowledge from the future it acquired from the time-traveling T-850. The T-820s use more powerful second-gen plasma rifles, the T-825s dual-wield plasma rifles, and the T-825Vs dual-wield second-gen rifles. All are also slightly more durable than regular T-800s. Overall, T-820s and T-825Vs deal twice as much damage as regular T-800s/T-825s, and have almost twice as much health.
    • In Infiltrator Mode, Tech-Com soldiers are slightly tougher than regular Resistance soldiers (about to survive 1 or 2 shots more) and are equipped with Gen 2 plasma rifles, which hit harder than the Gen 1 rifles regular Resistance soldiers have, and can cut down even a Terminator like yourself quite quickly.
  • Explosive Barrel: These come in both regular fuel and gas containers, and Skynet's plasma storage containers. The latter especially will trigger a huge explosion when shot, capable of seriously damaging or destroying nearby enemies.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: While Baron is ostensibly on the side of the angels, she doesn't run her resistance cell much more kindly than a Skynet work camp. Soldiers and civilians alike are expected to work to near exhaustion and are kept in fear of getting on her bad side by questioning orders or saying they can't complete the work they've been given. Unfortunately, this atmosphere of paranoia has caused a significant amount of damage to the resistance cause. One scout unit fell into a Skynet trap because they were too afraid to question an illogical (and false) order, while a front line unit was convinced by an infiltrator to reset their defenses for the same reason. Meanwhile at the bunker, Ryan starts causing havoc by giving bad engineering advice because he'd been informed that if he couldn't maintain resistance electronics he would be evicted (even though he had explicitly stated he was a car mechanic, not an electrical engineer.)
  • Fetch Quest: Most of the story missions and side missions consist of Rivers going out and retrieving or delivering something. Unlike most games, the missions are completed as soon as the item is retrieved without having to take said item back to base first.
  • Flamethrower Backfire: T-808s use a flamethrower. You can shoot the fuel tank it to blow it up, which will heavily damage the Terminator but this alone won't be enough to take it out.
  • Final Solution: The Annihilation Line, Skynet's newest plan to exterminate the human race for good. A massive line of HK Tanks, Aerials, gigantic rocket mortars, and terminators slowly spreading out in a circle from Skynet Central. The few people who manage to hide out behind the line must contend with perpetual patrols by HK Aerials and squads of T-800s, while Skynet busies itself building new rocket emplacements, control towers and fuel depots on top of the ruins of people's homes.
  • General Ripper: Baron runs her Resistance cell with an iron fist. Everyone in her shelter under the threat of eviction for the slightest error or for failing to meet productivity quotas, and she is regarded as hostile and bloodthirsty by those who work with her. Gaining her trust will have her admit to a Dark and Troubled Past that motivates her anger against both humans and machines. She admits that, if it weren't for the war with the machines to keep her focused, she'd probably be some sort of nuclear wasteland bad guy.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Rivers' ultravision goggles can detect enemies, even through walls. Later on he gets an upgraded version that has a camera installed to take pictures of Skynet installations.
  • Golden Ending: With the ending consisting of a Fallout-style slideshow dedicated to the game's various characters, the best ending essentially consists of the most positive outcome for each of them. It requires finding a working boombox for Ryan before getting him kicked out of the Resistance shelter, telling Erin to go look for her husband in Mexico, telling Jennifer and Patrick to just leave the bunker, and allowing Mack to study the Infiltrator CPU. Doing so results in no deaths among your companions and a seamless transition of the game's story into that of the first film, which ultimate results in mankind defeating Skynet for good. If you romanced Jennifer, her and Jacob also find each other following Skynet's defeat.
  • The Goomba: Spider scouts are your first enemies, can be destroyed with a pistol, and deliver a close-range electric shock instead of a volley of plasma. Later on you'll usually find them in larger groups.
  • Guns Akimbo: The T-825Vs dual wield plasma rifles, just like the endoskeleton from the prologue of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • Hacking Minigame: Both a Fallout/Elder Scrolls style lockpicking minigame and a more Frogger styled hacking one representing "bypassing firewalls" appear.
  • Hand Cannon: The AMT Hardballer (.45 longslide with laser sighting) in Infiltrator Mode deals incredible damage, being about as powerful as a Gen 2 plasma rifle. It does 135 damage, compared to the 30 damage of the regular Colt .45 pistol. It also has an extended 20 round magazine. Agent 47 would be proud.
    • The Hardballer can also be found in Annihilation Line. While it doesn't work on Terminators (who are Immune to Bullets), it handily blows away any lesser robots.
  • The Heavy: While Skynet is as always the ultimate villain, the T-850 infiltrator from the future serves as the main antagonist of the game.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Resistance minigun operators in Infiltrator Mode can take quite a lot of hits, able to withstand about half a mag of assault rifle fire before dropping. They're still mere humans, though, so they operate their miniguns as a stationary turret rather than carrying them around and hipfiring.
  • Hide Your Children: Averted. Near the end of the game if you fail to convince Jennifer to leave the safe house, her little brother Patrick will be slaughtered along with her and everyone else when the Terminators raid it.
  • Immune to Bullets: T-800s are literally immune to bullets thanks to their hyperalloy chassis, so you're only able to evade them until you manage to get your hands on a plasma rifle. You can knock them down with a few shotgun blasts, but after several seconds they'll just get back up again unharmed.
    • That is, unless, you remember how Kyle was able to nearly destroy one with a pipe bomb in the first movie, in which case it's no surprise it works here as well! If you happened to stock up on them, and if you're careful (they'll still terminate you with a couple shots) you can clear the entire hospital of endos without a scratch. (Of course, you can also hack the Skynet turrets, which will then blast the endos with plasma.)
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: On the whole, Skynet's forces are frighteningly accurate, even on the lower difficulties, undoubtively due to their iconic scan vision that makes the weapons they wield be as accurate as a sniper rifle due to their internal targeting parameters in combat. However, certain "armored" enemies have large armor plates they can close over their weak points. Since those weak points tend to be eyes, they're left engaging in this trope until they open up again (you can take a few steps to the side, and watch them empty ammo into the spot where you used to be, while continuing to blast them in utter safety).
  • Incredibly Durable Enemies: As you would expect, Terminators are very tough in a straight fight. You can forget about taking a T-800 down with an M16, and even with the phased plasma rifle, it can take up to a full mag and a half to bring one down (though they become easier once you upgrade your plasma weaponry's damage stats). The T-850 is even tougher, being tremendously more durable than a T-800.
  • "Instant Death" Radius: Go ahead. Get right up in a Terminator's face in front of it, regardless if it's wielding any weapons or not. See what happens. Approaching from behind to use Termination Knives on them is another story however.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle:
    • You have a limited amount of inventory slots, which can be expanded with the Backpack perks. Most weapons take two slots, but some (such as the pistol and Uzi) only take one. You can also only have four weapons on your weapon wheel to switch two quickly. Keep only the four weapons you use most often, leaving the most room for salvage as you run missions? Tie up inventory slots with backup backup weapons that may or may not be useful on this particular mission?
    • Chips for upgrading plasma weapons are something like this. The chips have various symbols on the right and left sides (a single line, double line, triple line, or square), and you have to match the symbols on all three chips in all three slots to complete a circuit and make the total upgrade viable. So you have to have a chip in Slot A whose right symbol matches the left symbol of the chip in Slot B, that chip has to match its right symbol with the left symbol of the chip in Slot C, whose right symbol has to match the left symbol of the chip back in Slot A. This makes getting the upgrades you actually want very challenging, and something of a Luck-Based Mission. Purple chips can match to anything.
  • Invisible Wall: Everywhere, and often pretty blatantly at that. There are some spots near the map edges or big piles of rubble where you can't walk although you should be able to.
  • Item Crafting: Workbenches are scattered across levels, allowing you to use scavenged resources to craft tools, ammunition, or explosives to help you.
  • Jerkass: Colin, the resident survivalist of the group from Pasadena and your mission control early on, is hostile, abrasive, and seems to treat any attempt to do beyond the bare minimum for the other survivors as a personal slight against him and his time. Before the game starts, he refused to go back for a cache of medicine for the other survivors, even as one lay dying, and it is later revealed that he was keeping a large stash of combat drugs for himself in the area. All this makes it rather hard to care when the T-850 impales him on some rebar.
  • Jump Scare: Crawling through ducts almost always disables your weapons, but you never encounter enemies in there, so that's okay... except for one set of ducts in the Resistance base where you suddenly cross paths with a Scout Spider. The critter immediately breaks down on its own once it's out of your sight around the next corner. Also, it turns out it belongs to the Resistance's resident scientist, who seems to have a habit of losing the thing.
  • Kill It with Fire: T-808s are T-800 variants equipped with flamethrowers for burning out humans. You can blow them up by targeting the fuel tanks on their back. Heavily damaged terminators also catch fire on their own if you hit them hard enough.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: First-Generation Plasma Weapons are "red," having red highlights, shooting red bolts, and using red plasma cells. Second Generation Plasma Weapons are violet.
  • Made of Explodium: Plasma Containers, power sources for Skynet's robotic armies. You can find small ones scattered about most maps, frequently near convenient clusters of enemies you can heavily damage or outright destroy by shooting the plasma container. Larger versions are within Skynet forward bases, where you can hack a computer to blow the whole thing.
  • Logical Weakness: While it does make sense for most to aim at an HK-Aerial's "head" section, it's MUCH more effective to aim at either of its two engines, since not only does it incur a lot more damage, it can sometimes stun it momentarily. Normal non-rocket/red plasma ammo will not work against it however.
  • Mauve Shirt: You can rescue a survivor named Laura in a side quest in the game's first area. She'll tag along with the rest of your group for the remainder of the game, but since her presence is optional she really doesn't play a part in anything that happens later, since the game has to play out the same whether or not you met her. The same goes for the survivor Mark, who starts out the game in a coma and can only be saved with meds from another optional sidequest.
  • Mighty Glacier: T-800s slowly walk around in combat, but are armed with plasma rifles and can take quite a lot of hits before going down. HK Tanks are this even moreso, being armed with two dual plasma guns and armored enough to tank a dozen rockets even on their weak spots, but the ones that you fight are either mostly or entirely immobile due to the circumstances of the fight.
  • Mini-Mecha: The T-47, a non-humanoid Hunter-Killer walker variant that is something of an intermediate between a T-800 and the regular building-sized Hunter-Killer appears as a Giant Mook enemy type. They're as tall as a house, armed with dual miniguns and missile launchers, and can take almost 14 times as much damage as a basic T-800. A few plasma variants show up in the final battle
  • Multiple Endings: The game has a Fallout style "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue recapping the fate of all the characters you meet during your journey. Your actions during the game can determine their fate.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • While the overall world and especially the night-time sequences are based on the "Future War" scenes from the first two films, the day-time sequences have a look and color palette that seems to be a nod to Terminator Salvation.
    • The game has the suicide-bomb Silverfish enemies from the old Terminator 2: The Arcade Game.
    • When the Stranger first saves you, he tells you "Listen to me if you want to live". This is a hint as to his true nature. Later in the game, he saves you by running over a Terminator with the same black truck driven by the T-1000 in Terminator 2.
    • The outfit worn by the T-850 is an In the Hood version of the punk outfit worn by the T-800 in the first Terminator film.
    • In the hospital level, you'll find a dead Resistance member who resembles Robert Patrick, who played the T-1000. This guy is presumably who the T-1000 got his face from. A note found in the hospital is written by Dr. Silberman and mentions a patient named Sarah, all but stating it's the same hospital that Sarah Connor was kept in during the second film.
    • The T-47 seems to be based off a similar Mini-Mecha Skynet unit from the ending cutscene of Terminator 3: The Redemption, as well as having features of the Harvester mech from Terminator Salvation.
    • If you find the dog for Patrick, he'll ask you what he should name it. Jacob comes up with "Max" and "Wolfie" the respectively real and fake names given for Connor's dog in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
    • The beginning of the final level has you following John Connor as he walks through a corridor with soldiers saluting him, before emerging from the corridor and pulling out his binoculars to scan the horizon, a scene similar to the introduction to Judgment Day.
    • Disabling a Terminator by stabbing it in the back of the neck was done before in Terminator: Salvation.
    • Your hacking device is Suspiciously Similar Substitute to the Atari Portfolio used by John Connor to Hack the ATM and Cyberdyne Vault in Terminator 2: Judgment Day sharing the same physical design but without the Atari branding.
    • When Mack is hacking into Skynet's database, his monologue is nearly word-for-word what John Connor says as he hacks an ATM in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
    • The Big Jeff's Burger Boy Statue can be found early on in the game as can the same style signs used for Alamo Guns only now saying Bonds. Both of these appeared in The Terminator
    • Several Trucks in the world are sporting the Cryoco logo. This was the company transporting the liquid nitrogen that was able to freeze the T-1000 at the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    • When you obtain a boombox for Ryan, the song playing, both when you find it and when you listen to it with Ryan later, is the same song playing as the Terminator stalks Sarah through Tech-Noir before the first big rescue-shootout between Kyle Reese and the Terminator.
    • Various Resistance Soldiers can be seen with Scoped TC2000-R Plasma Rifles without magazines in Bullpup configuration, much like Kyle Reese's "M-25 Plasma Rifle" in The Terminator.
    • The Infiltrator CPU that you need to steal for the good ending is held in a glass tube and holding rack, similar to how Cyberdyne stored the CPU of the first Terminator in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
    • During the Optional Sexual Encounter with Jennifer, the music is the game's rendition of the piano version of the main theme that plays when Kyle and Sarah have extremely plot-relevant sex in The Terminator.
    • A few unique to the new "Infiltrator Mode:"
      • The update includes 3 new weapons from the films, namely the AMT Hardballer (.45 longslide with laser sight), portable minigun, and M79 grenade launcher.
      • The playable T-800 seems to be based off of the T-800 seen in Kyle Reese's flashback, played by the late Franco Columbu.
      • When you use a Repair Kit to heal damage, a graphic identical to the "Rerouting Power" from Terminator 2: Judgment Day is shown.
      • The first time you highlight a fallen human to Search them, a scan identical to the one the T-800 performed on the biker to determine his clothing was a match happens.
      • If the playable T-800 is killed, it displayed a red screen of death followed by the screen shutting down in a similar way as when T-800 in Terminator 2 is melting inside the molten metal.
      • The objective for the T-800 is to assassinate resistance leader "Daniel Ramirez", named almost like Dani Ramos, the main heroine of Terminator: Dark Fate.
    • The final mission of the Annihilation Line DLC ends up being this. It's a recreation of Kyle's dream from The Terminator. Your ''squadmates end up dying the way Kyle's squadmates die in the film: Ferro gets blown to pieces as she tries to throw a canister grenade at an HK Tank, and Evans is the driver that picks up Reese after the tank is destroyed, only to be killed by an HK Aerial after it blows up the getaway car.
      • The letter Rivers' father finds in the time capsule at the beginning of the DLC? It's a letter addressed to Kyle Reese by John Connor and it contains the photo of Sarah taken at the end of the first film.
  • Never Found the Body: Commander Baron was last seen slumped against the wall and bleeding out, swearing to go down fighting. The epilogue reveals that no body was found after the battle.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Downplayed as of the "Infiltrator Mode" update. Infiltrator Mode is not a full campaign, rather one mission from the perspective of a T-800 Terminator. Rather than being (usually) the sole surviving Resistance soldier facing off against legions of Skynet forces, you're a lone T-800 facing off against legions of Resistance troops and scavengers. Your goal is to kill everything that gets in your way, obtain intel to acquire your primary target, Terminate them, then acquire necessary intelligence for Skynet: the name of John Connor's mother.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the T-850 was so heavily outmatched by the T-X that you can easily forget the T-850 was actually designed to be considerably tougher than the older T-800s. Here, when you actually fight it, it really shows just how much of an upgrade it is over the normal T-800, when you're fighting it from the perspective of a normal human.
  • Nonindicative Name:
    • "Infiltrator Mode." Your Infiltrator starts with massive amounts of its flesh covering missing (nearly its entire left side, including face, shoulder, arm, and parts of its chest and leg), so everyone knows it's a Terminator on sight and tries to kill it. There's no actual infiltration, just killing everything between you and your mission objectives. Whether or not this is a bad thing depends on how much the idea of playing a ruthless killing machine Terminating everything it encounters appeals to you.
    • Plasma miniguns have only one barrel, meaning they aren't actual miniguns. Interestingly, this makes them one of the precious few rapid-fire cannons in video games where the term "chaingun" would be more accurate, assuming their internals work broadly similarly to a real-life ballistic chaingun. Otherwise they'd just be a heavy machine gun that happens to shoot plasma.
  • Not Completely Useless: Ballistic weapons once you get your issue plasma rifle. Plasma charges are still plentiful, and the assorted types of Gen-1 plasma weapons can put out the hurt, but it's wise to carry at least one ballistic weapon, such as the M-16, for backup. Ballistic ammo is likewise plentiful, and they can deal with assorted lesser enemies, letting you save your plasma charges for Terminators (which, being Terminators, No-Sell anything less destructive than plasma weapons). Otherwise, you just might find yourself critically low on plasma charges when facing multiple Terminators, because you spent them on spiders, silverfish, and drones that the M-16 could have handled just fine. (Of course, once you get a Fricken Ray Gun, the temptation to use it may override this bit of common gamer sense for quite some time.) Similarly, keeping one Gen-1 plasma weapon as you upgrade to Gen-2 plasma before the final mission. Being able to make use of the wide variety of ammo you'll find in the world, and having the proper weapon for the proper situation, is always good practice.
  • Not Quite Dead: Terminators often do this. If you're not paying attention to their health bars, some solid hits will have them collapse and seem to be dead, only to get up several seconds later. If you are paying attention to their health, you can shoot them while they're down to finish them off before they come back. Justified, as Terminators are famously difficult to put down for good.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: While for most of the game it's pretty clear which are the "good" choices and which are the "bad" choices, near the end the steps to get the "good" ending are somewhat counter-intuitive. You have to lie to Erin about her husband being alive so she'll go to Mexico to find him, and tell the Resistance that Ryan is lying about knowing how to fix electronics, so they kick him out of the shelter. These acts can kind of seem like dick moves, but they end up saving the two of them since they're not around for the later massacre. Though the Stranger does warn you to get as many people out of the shelter as possible in the mission prior, and he gives you a final warning before you do the task, so it's not too subtle. You also need to tell Jennifer to leave the shelter to save her, but this is much more straightforward, especially since the Stranger already told you to do so earlier.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Much like the references made towards it in the film series, the "Colorado assault," wherein John Connor sent a team to attack and destroy Skynet's central core while a secondary team attacks the time-displacement complex, is discussed, but never seen. Unit 124 manages to destroy the core, and you only find out about this when a Terminator about to crush your head freezes, and Skynet's units start powering down.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: If you get enough approval with Jennifer and Baron, you can have this with either or both of them. Baron is using it as incentive to kill Dr. Mack and almost literally kicks you out of bed immediately after, while the encounter with Jennifer is a more tender and caring Pre-Climax Climax, highlighting the stark contrast between their characters.
  • Pivotal Boss: The battle with an immobile HK tank is structured like this- you have to attack its weak spots while avoiding its fire as it tries to train its guns on you. Luckily you can shoot its head to stun it, giving you a chance to get into position.
  • Plasma Cannon: Naturally. Skynet's terminators carry the same plasma weapons seen in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, while the resistance actually have a variety of their own plasma-spewing weapons. Plasma weapons are your only shot at actually killing a Terminator in a straight gunfight.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Your encounter with Jennifer, if you choose to have it, marks the start of the game entering a full-throttle blitz to the end.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Second Generation Plasma Weapons are purple, being more powerful than their red First Generation equivalents.
  • The Quisling: Baron mentions a human trading info with Skynet for food and sexual favors (in this case, using her as said sexual target) in her backstory.
  • Rare Candy: Perk books are rarely found in out-of-the-way spots, usually behind locked doors. Each one gives one perk point when picked up. You'll need to find all of them if you want to max out your character.
  • Red Herring: In Annihilation Line, one of the members of Kyle Reese's squad is Evans, a huge, brawny dude with a reserved though somewhat abrasive personality who expresses a strong desire to meet John Connor. The game does quite a lot to make you suspect he's a Terminator. Turns out, while Evans' genetic material was copied while he was in a Skynet prison camp for the production of Infiltrators, he himself is entirely human. Even with his rather flat affect and somewhat anti-social personality, it should have been pretty clear he was never a Terminator, given he still acted way more "normal" than any T-800 has ever managed to.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: You can kill rats and harvest their meat for trade resources. Mark even comments that he has a rat quota when out scavenging for the Resistance.
  • Regenerating Health: If you're critically injured, your health will regenerate up to 25% of your total life, which is enough to barely survive 1 single red plasma shot from a T-800 on Normal difficulty. You're reliant on health kits for most of your healing.
    • Rank 5 'Toughness' grants full health regeneration at a moderate rate a few seconds after you stop taking damage, as well as 50% damage reduction (10% per rank).
  • Relationship Values: Completing side quests for your companions and talking to them between missions improves their opinion of you, assuming you don't act like a complete Jerkass. A small message will pop up to tell you how your actions influenced your standing with the respective character, although there's no in-game way to keep track of your total. If you want to unlock the good endings, you need to gain your companions' trust so they'll listen to you when then time comes. It's also a prerequisite for both Romance Sidequests.
  • Resolved Noodle Incident: The Annihlation Line DLC gives full context to Reese's first future flashback/dream from the original movie.
  • Robot War: Naturally. It's Terminator.
  • Romance Sidequest: Jacob can romance Jennifer and Baron during dialogue.
  • Scavenger World: Makes up the game's economy. While a lot of the stuff you can scavenge is useful either for combat or crafting, the majority of retrievable items in the world are simply labelled "Trade Goods." These come in the form of uncommon luxury items like cigarettes, soap, sugar, chocolate, liquor, canned food, medicine, rats, and drinkable water.
  • Scenery Gorn: True to the glimpses of future Los Angeles as seen in the first two films, the world of the Future War looks incredibly bleak. The radiation from the nuclear blasts may have dissipated, but the city is one giant pile of rubble, the air is still choked with dust, and you can't walk down any street without stepping on a couple dozen human skeletons. And to top it all off, Skynet's busy setting up creepy-looking outposts everywhere. That almost the whole game takes place at night makes it even bleaker, with the world's color palette being almost entirely greyscale at times.
  • Sentry Gun: Skynet plasma turrets guard strategic points and outposts. It's possible to sneak up behind one and hack it to turn it against the machines.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Enemy turrets can be hacked to turn against Skynet forces. Your character lacks the expertise to do this to actual Terminators, however.
  • Sex for Services: Get enough approval with Baron, and she'll have sex with you to convince you to kill Dr. Mack. You don't have to go through with the murder, even if you do sleep with her.
  • Schmuck Bait: In the "Annihilation Line" DLC Chapter, there's a little girl that is heard whimpering for help inside of a ruined building, it's revealed that it's actually a Terminator that was merely using its oft-overlooked voice mimicry ability that Terminators are known to possess. After eliminating it Rivers curses himself for his stupidity, but Kyle reassures him that doing what he did only proves his humanity hasn't abandoned him and not to be too hard on himself for his understandable mistake.
  • Shout-Out: When Connor tells Baron they need to contact Doctor Mack, she exclaims, "He's a man, not a god!", a widely mocked piece of enemy chatter from the developer's previous game, Rambo: The Video Game.
    • The V-25 Plasma Rifle's front end (barrel and handguard) resembles the Pulse Rifle's front-end from Aliens more than the Muzzelite MZ14 it is based on.
    • A magazine article in the Hollywood Hills mission makes reference to a "Gale Wisher," combining the names of Gale Ann Hurd and William Wisher, Jr. Gale Ann Hurd was the producer of the first film, executive producer of the second (as well as co-writing the first film's screenplay in addition to being married to the director, James Cameron). William Wisher Jr. also helped on the screenplay, and wrote the novelizations of the first two films, in addition to making cameos as both Officer 1L19 in the first film and as a tourist in the Galleria in the second.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Zig-zagged. On the one hand, the shotgun has the highest per-shot damage in the entire game other than the rocket launchers or a heavily upgraded gen 2 plasma sniper. On the other hand, it can't damage Terminators, though it will knock them down and stun them for a few seconds.
  • Shows Damage: The Infiltrator during its boss fight will be more and more tattered and shot up the longer you fight it, though it can be hard to see due to the lighting and having to duck to avoid getting shot up by its plasma minigun.
  • Side Quest: Levels often feature a sidequest given to you by an important NPC. Fulfilling these quests affect your Relationship Values and their attitude towards you, which is important when trying to get them to leave the Resistance Shelter before the massacre occurs.
  • Sighted Guns Are Low-Tech: Averted. Most weapons, even the plasma rifles wielded by the terminators, have an iron sight or an optical sight mounted on it. The only usable weapon that doesn't have a sight of any kind is the plasma minigun, which appears to have hipfire as the intended method of shooting, and even then, you have an aim mode that gives a slight zoom effect.
  • Skelebot 9000: Due to being tasked with combat missions instead of infiltration, all the T-800 units encountered are endoskeletons.
  • Socketed Equipment: Plasma weapons can be enhanced with chips scavenged from destroyed machines. These chips can boost fire rate, clip size, stability or damage. The catch is that the chips have to be "compatible" via matching symbols to complete a circuit, and three compatible upgrades must be installed in order to have any effect.
  • Spider Tank: The Armored Spider is a combat unit rather similar to the T-7Ts from the Terminator Salvation video games.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Bethesda's Terminator Future Shock, with light role-playing elements inspired from Bethesda's later Fallout titles.
  • Stable Time Loop: Averted. The Stranger's surprise at discovering Skynet's central core isn't where it's supposed to be shows that temporal events are still in flux. Also, at the end of the game you can straight up say Screw Destiny and decisively refuse to perpetuate the Stable Time Loop, even if it means some other soldier may have to sacrifice themselves in your place.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Played straight at first- you're first given a pistol as your starting weapon along with a lead pipe that can be used to destroy wooden planks. A little later on you can obtain an Uzi a your rapid-fire weapon and a shotgun for close-range and high power, and then the M-16 as your "best" standard weapon. When you meet the terminators and are expected to fight them, the standard weapons are all but outmoded note  and you have to switch to plasma weapons to stand a chance.
    • The plasma weapons themselves also have the "standard FPS" variety. The resistance assault rifles are the balanced automatic weapons, while semiautomatic rifles, sniper rifles, and even plasma miniguns allow some choice in combat. Skynet's plasma rifles differ in that thy don't feed from magazines and have an Overheating mechanic instead.
    • Adding on, you also can get your hands on a rocket launcher and several types of grenades for explosive damage.
  • Stealth Prequel: The Infiltrator mode DLC ends with the Infiltrator sussing out the tech commander and accessing his data base to reveal the name of John Connor's mother, kicking off the events of The Terminator and thus the entire franchise.
  • Strictly Formula: The first maps follow a very familiar pattern for this type of game. A Batman Cold Open which doubles as a Justified Tutorial as your unarmed Player Character learns to navigate the environment by running away from bad guys, learns the value of thoroughly searching your surroundings by gaining your first meager weapons and items, learns combat and stealth by fighting and/or avoiding a small selection of not-particularly-threatening enemy types, interacts with the first major characters, then puts it all together for a small boss battle before exiting the first map into an area that serves as a base of operations, introducing the light RPG elements like skills, shopping, crafting, and lockpicking. Along the way, exposition by way of dialogue introduces you to the world you've just stepped into, including your player character's rough background and motivation, the state of the war between the Resistance and Skynet, and the concept of the Annihilation Line. It'll feel familiar to players of Skyrim, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, Far Cry 3, and so on. . . the trick is seeing the formula carried out pretty well and applied to the universe of The Terminator.
  • Super Prototype: The T-850 infiltrator is one sent from the future by Skynet, as a result it's tougher than an entire squad of T-800s and is fought as a Marathon Boss that's very tough even with an entire squad of Resistance fighters backing you up.
  • Tank-Tread Mecha: The HK Tanks, just like in the original movie versions. You first see a line of them advancing inexorably on the Resistance defensive lines, and later fight a crippled one head on. In the final battle, a hacked one acts as support, while you have to personally deal with another one as Skynet desperately tries to stop you.
  • Terminator Twosome: It turns out that Skynet from the future sent a T-850 infiltrator Terminator back in time both to kill Rivers and to give its past self research data and combat info that could help it turn the tide of the war, while Connor sent future Rivers back in time to save his past self.
  • They Look Like Us Now: Once the Resistance gets incontrovertible proof that Skynet is fielding Infiltrators (in the form of a dead one your team just killed), paranoia runs rampant with several people leaving the Resistance base because they're suspected, for no real reasons, of being Infiltrators... or because they suspect the base is lousy with Infiltrators already.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Rivers can craft sound decoys to distract and lure away enemies, especially the Silverfish.
  • Uncanny Valley: invoked Several people who had peaceful encounters with the Infiltrator say there was something off about him, but they can't put their finger on what exactly.
  • Universal Ammo:
    • Downplayed with ballistic weapons. There are two types of bullets: small and medium. Handguns use small and rifles use medium, even if your handguns are an M1911 and AMT Hardballer, which are chambered in .45 caliber, and an Uzi, which is chambered in 9mm. Though, a 1911 can be chambered in 9mm, and an Uzi can be chambered in .45ACP, even though the ammo capacities for both don't seem to suggest either seem to be the case.
    • Averted with everything else. The M16 is the only rifle in the game; the minigun in Infiltrator Mode has its own ammo type. Shotguns also have their own ammo. Gen 1 plasma weapons use red plasma cells and Gen 2 plasma weapons use violet ones, with no interchangeability.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment:
    • Downplayed. In Chapter 6, when you first encounter T-800s, if you're lucky you can obtain a Skynet plasma rifle from a T-800 if you manage to destroy it with either explosives or a hacked turret, but you can't use it without a specific skill that's too high level for you to have so early in the game. You'll obtain a Resistance plasma rifle a couple chapters later, which has no skill requirement. Skynet Weapons require you to have certain levels in the Weapons skill to use. Justified, as Skynet can design its plasma weapons to be carried and fired by robotic troops with Super Strength, so can make the weapons bulkier and heavier than the average Resistance soldier would be comfortable with.
    • Although you can eventually learn how to wield Skynet plasma weapons, the flamethrowers wielded by some T-808 can never be picked up and used. It's a justified example though - with Terminators being fireproof, engaging them with a flamethrower would be supremely stupid.
    • The T-600s in the Annihilation Line DLC wield miniguns (a useable weapon in the Infiltrator mini-campaign), which you are unable to retrieve from them after killing them, as they're far too heavy and unwieldy for a mere human to carry.
  • Vehicular Turnabout: In the final battle, the resistance uses the codes you scavenged to hack a HK Tank as support to smash through Skynet's forces defending the Time Displacement Equipment.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The dialogue trees give you the opportunity to be a complete Jerkass to almost every character you meet.
  • Violation of Common Sense: One midgame map contains an essentially destroyed building with only one wall segment left standing. In that wall is a hard-locked door that you can just walk around in a few steps. There's really no good reason to waste lockpicks on this door, but successfully opening it rewards an achievement. Even worse, you need to be at least level 12 to max out the lockpicking perk in order to have a shot at messing with this lock, which requires completing every side quest and killing pretty much every enemy on every map you visited up until this point just to grind the necessary XP. In other words, unless you knew about this door from the beginning and built your character specifically for it (to the detriment of your combat and survival abilities), you won't even be able to attempt to open it.
  • What the Hell, Player?: In Annihilation Line, during the first combat mission, if you run off to be a Kleptomaniac Hero instead of sticking together with your fireteam, at the end of the mission Kyle Reese will chew you out for being unreliable.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Laura has an intense fear of spiders, which doesn't help when Armored Spiders are involved. This is the reason why she hides when Jacob finds her and refuses to leave until he destroys it.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: John Connor and Skynet are trying to turn the tide by ambushing the other with knowledge of future events and misleading the other that the future won't change. Connor saw the central core switch coming forcing Skynet to go back in time to not lose the war.

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