You play as John Connor, who has yet to become to leader of the resistance in the war against Skynet. The game doesn't follow the story of the movie, but rather is a prequel to it. The general idea is that there are three men trapped behind enemy lines, and John decides he has to go and rescue them. Oh and it doesn't matter how many people die on John's quest to rescue these three men (who are unimportant by the way) because it's a matter of principle. Apparently.