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Crapshoot: Bethesda’s Terminator game from the 1990s

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Terminator

From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. This time, it’s Bethesda’s Terminator game from the 1990s.

Before The Elder Scrolls hit the big leagues, Bethesda was best known as the company that made Terminator games—though not necessarily the best known Terminator games. The awful platform games, with the infuriating mechanic of having to shoot human enemies in the legs to maintain the second movie’s no-killing rule? Other guys. The for-the-time-impressive light-gun game? Nope.

Instead—with the exception of the deservedly beloved FPS Future Shock, one of the first to combine on-foot action and vehicles in a way that actually made it fun to jump behind the wheel—none of them were particularly remembered. Admittedly, in the case of the action RPG-esque Terminator 2029 and Wolfenstein-level-teched FPS Terminator: Rampage, that’s probably for the best.

But their first attempt? It’s the only Terminator game that lets you risk destroying humanity by buying Kyle Reese a pack of condoms while protecting Sarah Connor. How did that get forgotten?

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