Skynet (video game)
European cover art
Skynet, stylized as SkyNET and known as The Terminator: Skynet in Europe, is a computer game based on the Terminator film series. It was intended as an expansion pack for The Terminator: Future Shock, but was adapted into a standalone product. The game was developed by Bethesda Softworks.
Skynet is played in the first person perspective. Each of the eight levels in the game requires the player to solve a number of objectives before continuing to the next level, while fighting enemy terminators with a wide variety of guns and grenades. Another obstacle in each level is the harsh terrain, as many areas contain too much radiation for the player character to remain alive. The terrain is navigated in three ways, 'on foot', in a jeep with a mounted cannon, or in an HK fighter (a modified terminator robot that flies). Before each mission, the player is briefed via a full motion video cutscene.
Skynet features a deathmatch mode, which allows players to fight in a number of maps as either a human or a Terminator. Human players move quickly and silently, but are relatively fragile and can only carry lightweight weapons. Terminators, on the other hand, move slowly and make loud hydraulic noises when they walk, but are very resilient to damage and can carry heavy weapons. Players are able to change various options including time limits and time of day.
Skynet is driven by Bethsoft's XnGine. While the majority of the game uses textured polygons to display structures and enemies, many of the items, weapons, and level decorations are still shown using older sprite technology. The game went gold on November 11, 1996.
Next Generation gave Skynet five out of five stars. The reviewer said the game fixed the problems with the "revolutionary" The Terminator: Future Shock by enabling "high resolution SVGA graphics", adding a multiplayer mode with maps designed specifically for deathmatch, and including an involved storyline. He concluded, "The sheer beauty of the game, combined with the incredible amount of flexibility of the engine, means Terminator: SkyNET could be the best first-person shooter of the new year." Scary Larry of GamePro found that the high resolution mode runs choppy even on high-end PCs, and had a more measured reaction to the game in general, concluding, "Although not as intense as Final Doom or as attitude-filled as Duke Nukem [3D], SkyNET will keep you blasting into the wee hours of the next apocalypse." He was most pleased with the mission objectives which involve riding vehicles and the intuitive, easy-to-remember controls.
- "Future Perfect". Next Generation. No. 26. Imagine Media. February 1997. p. 132.
- "About Skynet". bethsoft.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 1997. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- Goble, Gordon (November 11, 1996). "SkyNet goes gold!". gamecenter.com. Archived from the original on January 17, 2001. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
- "PC GamePro Review: Skynet". GamePro. No. 101. IDG. February 1997. p. 53.
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