Review – Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition

The folks at the long-lasting Terminal Reality are mostly known for two things: for creating the BloodRayne franchise, which has been re-released a while ago to mixed results, and for helping the defunct LucasArts in developing the craptacular, but adorable, Kinect Star Wars. But just like any other company, their history starts way before these better-known titles. The first game developed by Terminal Reality was actually called Terminal Velocity, a sci-fi combat flight simulator released way back in 1995. I had never heard of it prior to a few days ago, but Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition is now available on modern platforms. I had no idea what to expect from it, but retro is my bread and butter, so I was eager to try it out nonetheless.

Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition Graphics

You can almost hear the dial-up modem sounds in your head.

You need to understand, first and foremost, that despite the name, Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition is basically just a port of the 1995 classic (?) to modern consoles. There are very few enhancements outside of the improvements on resolution, aspect ratio, and controls. This follows the same pattern as the re-release of BloodRayne, which was equally developed by Terminal Reality and published by Ziggurat. As a result, you need to know what you’re getting. This is almost like playing a GOG retro re-release on a console, of a game that has aged. A freaking a lot. But beneath the twenty-eight year-old pile of jank, there is an actually interesting game.

First impressions were indeed rough. Menus and FMV cinematics are pretty much the same ones featured in the 1995 original. In the case of the latter, this results in videos with horrendous resolutions being plastered onscreen. You can almost count the number of pixels onscreen. Just make sure to jump into the game itself as quickly as possible, as that turned out to be quite fun.

Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition Bosses

The occasional boss battle spices things up, but the core gameplay loop remains the same: shoot everything in sight.

At its core, Terminal Velocity is a very basic and straight-to-the-point combat flight simulator, to the point of almost feeling like a game where you just control a flying camera armed with a plasma cannon. Physics are simplistic, controls are basic, and objectives are pretty simple to grasp, usually revolving around following the compass in order to search for whatever you have to destroy next. The basis for games like Descent and Forsaken could be seen while playing Terminal Velocity, though. It wasn’t bad, but then again, I do like retro gaming. I had fun despite the game’s myriad of issues.

I started finding some actual positives in what, at first glance, felt like one of the laziest remastering attempts I had ever seen in the current gaming landscapes. Despite the poor sound mixing, I really enjoyed some of the game’s MIDI tunes. The in-game visuals, though dated as all hell, looked crisp enough in a big screen. I had no issue looking for objects at a distance. Plus, there is just something about the archaic and braindead gameplay loop that I ended up enjoying quite a bit.

Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition Legacy

Terminal Velocity flew (slowly) so then Rogue Squadron could fly… faster.

This one was quite a surprise. With the appropriate pair of rose-tinted glasses, you can actually have quite a lot of carefree fun with Terminal Velocity. I’m not going to sugarcoat the fact that this game is beyond dated, but there is enjoyment to be had with such a simplistic gameplay loop. It is the quintessential “shut your brain off and have some fun” kind of experience. 


Graphics: 5.0

The in-game graphics are beyond dated, but the remastering efforts were noticeable; it isn’t awful to look at. The same cannot be said about the menus or the cinematics.

Gameplay: 7.5

The physics are nonexistent, the controls are dated, and the mechanics are simplistic. Still, the control scheme is actually pretty good, and it’s responsive. Shut your brain off and enjoy a simpler combat flight simulator loop.

Sound: 6.5

There are one or two very catchy songs in the game, but the rest of the soundtrack can just be considered decent enough. Sound effects are decent, but the sound mixing is flawed.

Fun Factor: 7.5

With the appropriate pair of rose-tinted glasses, you can actually have quite a lot of carefree fun with Terminal Velocity.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition was provided by the publisher.