I have fond memories of the original Twisted Metal on PSone. It was a smack talking couch combat regular with friends. The game play was basic but fast paced and exciting. Purely named ‘Twisted Metal’ is the first iteration for the series on current generation consoles. Having not played Twisted Metal on PS2 or PSP I was eager to get my hands on the new title. First impressions? I’m way out of practice.
For those unfamiliar with Twisted Metal it’s a vehicle based combat shooter. To be honest the game play hasn’t changed much since the original release. It does sport a few new game modes, characters and vehicles. Although still a fun game to play, it has some minor issue that could make it a struggle to truly invest the time required to get your moneys worth. Personally my biggest gripe seems to be the AI. It really seems it’s a ‘them VS me’ scenario. With large death match battles and every crazed lunatic seemingly hunting only you it makes it not only chaotic madness but detracts from the immersion. Yes the chaotic madness is one of the things that makes Twisted Metal the game it is. But when you’re first learning the play the game getting completely smashed by multiple assailants at once can be a tad frustrating. (yes I may just be a bit crap at Twisted Metal)
My next minor crumble is the controls. As far as I can tell they’re very similar to the original PSone controls. Again not necessarily a bad thing but personally I felt it took a long time to get accustomed to them and even now after many hours of game play still don’t feel natural. Other people I’ve spoken too have felt the same way. Obviously big fans of the series (and I know there’s a lot) will have no problems sinking back into the old ‘Twisted’ control scheme.
Graphically Twisted Metal looks fantastic. Especially once the frantic action begins. The game is so fast and there’s so much happening on screen at any one time with no real noticeable slow down. The stages are large and very well designed and encourage some exploration. Hidden rooms and short cuts are everywhere and mastering these and understanding the terrain will be the difference between winning and loosing. A vast majority of the buildings are fully destructible which is incredibly satisfying.
As I said at the start the game play hasn’t evolved much from the original version. The story line is simple and although dictates the main premise for the game, it has little impact on the physical game play. Although this time much more emphasis has been put on the character back grounds. With some very well made, although a little disturbing, real action cut scenes.
Unfortunately I couldn’t test the multi-player mode and from what I understand it is the real saving grace with this game. With four player split screen or up to 16 player online the attraction is obvious.
Closing comments: Actually the more I play the more I’m torn on my opinion of Twisted Metal. The controls still annoy me and the AI is a pain in the ass. But not many games can get you on the edge of your seat as Twisted Metal can (I might even admit a little fist pump at the end of one stage… might). The story mode is basic (and a bit of a grind) but the game play is solid and fun. If you’ve got access to the multi-player and if you’ve enjoyed any of the previous releases then you’ll LOVE THIS GAME. If you’re new to the franchise and not a fan of moderately steep learning curves then it might be a tough sell. Available now on PS3.