With the commercial failure of the Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines video game, Atari was hard-pressed to create another Terminator game based on the third movie. The sub-title Redemption is said to reflect both the "redemption" of the Terminator's mission half-way through the story and also to reflect a redemption for the Terminator franchise.
In 2032, a squad of Tech-Com soldiers stormed a Skynet facility just in time to stop a T-X from entering the Continuum Transporter. However, they were no match for the T-X's superior combat capabilities and all were gruesomely killed. The T-X managed to enter the Continuum Transporter without any fuss.
Meanwhile, Kate Connor and the Resistance ambushed the T-850 that was responsible for the death of John Connor. Rather than destroy the machine, Tech-Com's technician Daniel was called in to reprogram the Infiltrator to be sent back to 2003 to protect Kate and John's younger selves. Shortly after, Daniel was quickly killed by an FK Hover attacking the Resistance Headquarters, but the T-850 shoots it down and it was sent by Kate to fight its way to the Continuum Transporter.
The T-850, with the assistance of several Tech-Com soldiers managed to fight its way to the main gate of the Skynet bunker, but it was forced to retreat when ambushed by two FK Hovers. It destroyed them both, but the helicopter its rode was shot down by a T-900, Skynet's standard infantry unit. The T-850 managed to reach the Skynet bunker again by taking control of a FK Tank, but a helicopter got the T-850 inside and it travelled back to 2003 to ensure the survival of John Connor and Katherine Brewster.
During the T-850's battle with the T-X in the Cyber Research Systems building, it was thrown into an electro-magnetic accelerator, which is revealed to be a primitive Continuum Transporter, and was sent back to an alternate 2032 where it discovered that both Kate and John had been terminated and humanity exterminated.
In this bleak reality, freed from the need to constantly fight off the Resistance, Skynet had been able to create a number of massive machines made to rebuild the planet in Skynet's image. In order to reach the Continuum Transporter, the T-850 first piloted an FK Venom through the ruined streets to reach a giant FK Titan. Hijacking the Titan, the Terminator then piloted it towards a parked FK Carrier. Boarding the Carrier, the T-850 managed to fight off several attacks before the vehicle was too damaged to fly, where it then crashed lands into a terraforming plant. The T-850 then piloted an FK Hover deep into the base, where it then used a Venom to catch up to and commandeer an escaping FK Bomber, which it then flew into the chamber of Continuum Transporter. Defeating the FK Guardian along with T-900 Terminators guarding the time machine and reactivating the device, the T-850 traveled back to the 2003.
However, not all was lost as the Terminator once again fought his way through Skynet and sent himself back to 2003. He appeared just in time to fight off the T-X with John and Kate trying to escape to Crystal Peak. By this time, the T-850 fought with not only the T-X, but other prototype T-800 units that were reprogrammed.
In the final moments, the T-850 was shot down by the T-X and his hydrogen fuel cells were ruptured, slowing him down. However, he prevented the T-X from reaching John and Kate by blocking her route to them, and eventually catched up to them and placed his fuel cell in the T-X's mouth, thus leading to the destruction of both Terminators.
During the Future War, an older John Connor reactivated the T-850 by placing its chip into an FK Reaper.
John Connor introduced himself and it is made clear to the T-850 in FK Reaper that they are now in the future and the T-850 has been "resurrected" into an extensively modified FK Reaper. John ordered the Terminator to provide cover fire and it stomps into battle, aiding the Human Resistance once again.
The game concludes with the words: "The battle has just begun...".
- T-600 (Primitive Endoskeleton in CRS Facility)
- FK Series§The Redemption timeline
- The story of the game is an alternate version of the film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines as the game parallels most of the main events of Rise of the Machines film (albeit with a few modified scenes to reflect a faster pacing and more serious tone of the game), until reaching a plot twist at the middle. During the T-850's battle with the T-X in the Cyber Research Systems building, instead of losing the fight and being reprogrammed by the T-X, he is thrown into an electro-magnetic accelerator, which is revealed to be a primitive time displacement machine, and is sent back to an alternate future 2032.
- The scene where T-X enters Continuum Transporter is different from both Rise of the Machines novel and Terminator 3: Eyes of the Rise.
- The date of Judgment Day is implied to be July 24, 2003, just like the novelization of Rise of the Machines but different to the date in Rise of the Machines film, which is set in 2004.
- Instead of Hunter-Killer, Skynet's force is consisted of FK Series during the Future War. In addition, the design of T-850, T-900, and T-X are different to how they look in previous Terminator 3 fictions. T-850 has been largely redesigned and T-900 is an upgraded version of the T-850.
- According to video clips from IGN, the Head-up display for the Terminators in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is based on the Terminator HUD from this game.
When the T-850 arrives in 2003, he leaves the Desert Star cocktail bar after taking the male stripper's clothes and the song "Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers is playing. In Rise of the Machines, it was actually "Macho Man" by Village People. ("Bad to the Bone" was featured as the protector Terminator left the Corral bar in Judgment Day.) Also, as he leaves he puts on normal-looking, bad-ass sunglasses right from the start, not the star-shaped sunglasses he momentarily wears and discards in the movie.
- When the T-850 arrives in 2003, it leaves the Desert Star cocktail bar after taking the male stripper's clothes and the song "Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers, which was featured in the scene when T-800 leaving after it acquired clothes in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In Rise of the Machines film, it was "Macho Man" by Village People instead.
- Hollywood Sign, LAX, and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was featured.
- The highway sign and police radio inform the highway that runs by the Desert Star is Route 49, which is located in the northern California. However, Rise of the Machines film implied Desert Star should be be in the desert outside of Los Angeles.
- The T-850's truck crashes through a sign for Walden Auto Wrecking, with a phone number listing 555-4361. There are actually a few Walden Auto Wreckings in the US, but none in California. The 555 prefix of the phone number is a long-time convention in Hollywood TV and film. *A sign for JLG Gradall is seen on the wrecking yard grounds.
- The T-X's mission parameters reveal that Kate's birth date is 21 February 1978, while 3 May 1984 for John's. This means John was born before the event in The Terminator, which took place on 12 May 1984. Additionally, in Rise of the Machines film and novelization, it seemed that Kate and John were about the same age and in the same school grade.
- "Katherine" is misspelled "Ketherine" in T-X's Termovision.
- When the T-850 leaves the Desert Star, the police are chasing another car already and it apparently ends in an explosion for no known reason. Then, the police began chasing the T-850 in the stolen truck. Random explosions follow the T-850 through the chase, even when it passes randomly burning vehicles on the side of the road, again for no reason.