games / Previews

Terminator: Genisys In-Theatre Game Experience Preview

July 2, 2015 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

Earlier this week, Paramount Pictures invited us to the legendary Paramount Theatre for an early look at Terminator: Genisys. However, the screening presentation was proceeded by a special look at the interactive Terminator: Genisys in-theatre video game. This is actually an interactive video game that is played in the movie theater auditorium. The controller is your personal smart phone. With movie theaters having to compete with video games, streaming HD video outlets and cable TV, I am all for innovative and interesting ways draw people back into the theater. The resurgence of 3D in the last several years is a gimmick I have never been all that enthusiastic about. I love watching the IMAX format on a real IMAX screen, especially if its a film that was specifically shot for the IMAX viewing experience. The Terminator: Genisys video game experience was a lot of fun and something different.

The in-theater Terminator: Genisys game is very similar to a smartphone or mobile type of game. Players take on the role of human resistance fighters, fighting Terminators and machine minions of Skynet in a ruined future. Using a smartphone screen as a controller, players tap the screen to fire their guns. The targeting and aiming cursor is automatic and random. Basically, the target for the Terminator machines randomly roves around the area, and when it goes over the Terminator target, that is when players have to fire. In my humble opinion, it is not the most intuitive targeting system. However, the reason it is executed in this fashion is done to accommodate a whole theater of players.

I was impressed with how the game actually incorporates a whole theater audience. This is done by players logging into the game, and the system divides the audience in attendance in various teams. So the game does provide a competitive aspect in that sense. Players in the audience are playing against each other. The team with the most accurate and best-timed attacks against the Terminators and gets the highest score wins.

In short, the game is a fairly short and simple shooter game. This is not a complex and super involved cinematic gaming experience. It is really a quick, short and fun cinematic experience where audiences settling in can have some fun before the film. It is definitely reminiscent of Terminator arcade shooters of old, especially if your remember the old school Terminator 2: The Arcade Game. I would be curious to see how far the developers of the game could take an interactive, in-theatre game experience. This start was pretty simple, but I wonder if it could offer some even more involved, complex gameplay further down the line.

Terminator: Genisys is now out in theaters. The Terminator: Genisys In-Theatre Game Experience is available at select AMC IMAX theaters from July 1-12 in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Dallas.