Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is based on the movie of the same name, but with an extended story line. In 2032, the player is the T-850 model 101 Terminator, operating under Skynet control. He is captured and reprogrammed by Kate Brewster to help the human resistance, in addition to being ordered to cross the destroyed battlefields of Los Angeles and Hollywood and take over the Skynet base. Once the base is under their control, Brewster sends the Terminator back in time to protect her younger self and John Connor from the T-X, the technologically advanced female Terminator and Skynet's most lethal killing machine. The Terminator teams up with John and Kate in the present day on their mission to stop Skynet from starting World War III.
The game is a first-person shooter combined with hand to hand combat. The first-person mode features the Terminator Point of View (POV), showing the infrared heads-up information display seen in the movies.
A GameCube version was announced, but was ultimately cancelled.
According to Art Director Mark Soderwall, they crafted Schwarzenegger's model from his real measures. Afterwards they tweaked a few thing to make him look more Terminator-like, e.g. a bigger chest. In their approval meeting they talked with Schwarzenegger and his manager. While the manager had problems with every detail they changed, Schwarzenegger was very relaxed about the looks. His only suggestion was to make the chest even wider.