Twisted Metal Review
Insane, no-holds barred fun for fans and newcomers alike.
Very few gaming franchises in history have the kind of distinct style and fan-base as ‘Twisted Metal’ does. The brutal and demented car-combat gameplay of the series has been a high point of Sony’s canon of games on the previous Playstation consoles and has been a part of most of our childhoods. Now, the franchise makes it’s mark on the Playstation 3 with its latest iteration by developer Eat Sleep Play. And it’s just as much explosive fun as you last remember it despite some minor setbacks.
Fans of the previous games will notice from the get-go that the controls are familiar and the training mission does a great job of explaining it to the uninitiated. Which is important, because there are a lot of different mechanisms at play here. Not only are there a plethora of special weapons and combos that you can pull off with every button including the directional buttons. Once you get your training to kill out of the way though, the game welcomes you to its all-new story mode.
The single player campaign story is divided into three parts and follows the characters Sweet Tooth, Mr. Grimm, and Dollface in short campaigns competing in Twisted Metal championship. As always, we have Calipso holding the deadly championship where the last man standing alive will be granted whatever wish he has. Through wonderful and stylish live-action cut-scenes, we see each character’s backstory and motivations for joining the championship and what they want as their ‘wish’ at the end of it. It’s great to see the characters back in grand fashion and the cut-scenes themselves are gritty and are the highlight of the game. It will take you a while to realize that they’re actually a great blend of animation and live-action that is reminiscent of classic grindhouse movies as well as some Rob Zombie films like ‘The Devil’s Rejects’. Unfortunately, the plot itself feels episodic and doesn’t hold up its momentum by the end of the game. It’s disjointed and feels very bare-bones after an incredible set-up, as if there just to have a reason for the matches to happen. Not to mention that it’s rather brisk and can probably be finished in a day.
As far as the levels go, most of them obviously revolve around deathmatches where the objective is to defeat every other contestant and be the last man standing. These are the most exhilarating parts of the game, but other types of matches that involve racing are tacked on and aren’t nearly as dynamic to play. But every once in a while, there are boss battles which are immensely fun and have an added level of crazy. The bosses in question are well designed and provide quite a lot of challenge, making the story mode more fun to play. Overall, the story mode basically serves as a warm-up for the insane multiplayer mode that the game really sells itself on. And rightfully so because it’s where the true essence of the game lies.
Twisted Metal offers both online and offline multiplayer for gamers, which is something it should really be commended for since many high profile games opt against it. In retro Playstation fashion, you can invite friends over and actually play split-screen multiplayer in quick battles that are extremely fun to play. Not only that, the game also offers the choice to play the story campaign as offline co-op which is way more than we could have expected to be honest. Once you actually go online though, the game has a lot to offer including detailed customization of cars as well as a variety of game modes that thoroughly entertain fans and newcomers alike. Here is where the game truly shines – large insane car battles where players all around the world are pinned against each other to fight it out in a brutally unrealistic manner. There are some significant connectivity issues though, and many times my attempts to connect online resulted with a network error and it’s not the first time I’m reading of this happening. But I expect the developers to fix this soon in an upcoming patch.
Despite some of the issues that are mentioned above, ‘Twisted Metal’ has always promised one thing and has always delivered upon it – a lot of fun. I’m sure fans have already bought the game, but it’s a solid recommendation to anyone looking for a brutal and exhilarating car combat game that does the unthinkable – successfully transitions to a newer generation console without alienating its fanbase or dumbing itself down like some other franchises have seemingly failed to do. I’m looking at you, Max Payne 3.