Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by: Eat Sleep Play
Genre: Racing Action
Number of Players: 1-16
Release Date: US: February 14, 2012
M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
Available on: PS3
Steer – Left Stick
Free Look/Reverse – Right stick
Sharp Turn – X
Toggle Standard/Alt Fire – Triangle
Brake/Reverse – Circle/Double Tap Circle
Gas/Turbo – Square/Double Tap Square
Turbo Dash – Shake Sixaxis controller
Cycle Weapons – L1 and R1
Jump – L1 + R1
Fire Main Weapon – R2
Fire Side Arm – L2
Freeze – Directional Buttons Up
Mine – Directional Buttons Left
Rear Fire – Directional Buttons Down
Shield – Directional Buttons Right
Change Target – Click Right Stick
How it Plays
As you can see from the controller instructions every button on the controller is utilized to some degree. I also did not include the instructions for the Talon (helicopter) and Juggernaut (large semi). The game is unforgiving to this generations seemingly approach of streamlining experiences for a larger audience. Twisted Metal controls like the older games and demands some time before they become second nature. It took me about 15 minutes before it all clicked, but once it did I found the controls extremely responsive and had no troubles executing the commands I wanted. Only had issues with some of the auto targeting of the weapons, but with such a fast paced game as this; definitely commendable what the developers accomplished in the controls.
Right from the start, the single player experience starts differently from previous Twisted Metal title. You choose your difficulty and then a cinematic starts; you do not get to choose your combatant. The story starts with Sweet Tooth, then Mr. Grimm and finally Doll Face. Each chapter has about 8 events and a mid chapter and final cutscene. The events vary from typical deathmatch, endurance (survival mode), cage matches, races and various other goals and surprises. Before most matches, you choose up to three vehicles. You do not have lives as in previous twisted metal games, but instead, three vehicles and when you find yourself in danger, quickly find some health or head to the garage (wrench icon) and switch vehicles. Your damaged vehicle in the garage will slowly regenerate. Boss battles and races only give you one vehicle to conquer the challenge.
The battles are hectic, fast paced and the opponents for the most seem to be only focused on you. The environments are very destructible, vary greatly and some have definite surprises and demand exploration. Initially the game felt like every other twisted metal, drive fast, get pickups, shoot, do a tight turn 180 and shoot some more. It was once I got to a certain race event that the game really started to feel like an updated car combat game. I was speeding through the course, jumping hills, driving through houses all while a dozen rocket streams flew pass me and untold amounts of gunfire – this is car combat insanity and I couldn’t help but crack a smile at everything that was going on at once. Other events are a miss and some of the bosses hit real levels of frustration though, certain segments of Doll Faces final battle definitely come to mind.
This all punctuated by a very varying and old school music soundtrack. Tracks vary from heavy metal, rock, hip/hop and more. Chasing down enemies while NWA is playing wouldn’t be my first choice but it is a right one. They chose well for the tracks. The sound effects are also solid. Tires screech, missile launch, bullets roar and everything hits metal convincingly.
Twisted Metal series always generally had a fighting game style of storytelling. Pick a character see an opening, beat the game and see that specific characters ending (with a twist!). As mentioned before there is no choice in who you are. The games cinematics feature real actors in obvious green screen rooms; think Sin City with a more vibrant use of colors. The stories themselves are mostly bad, but I did like Mr Grimms ending. The scenes though are not helped by the actors mediocre skill at their craft. The three characters stories where suppose to be related somehow but I did not get that impression. Overall visually it was a treat to look the cutscenes themselves range from laughable to decent. There are also a few epilogues that can keep this story going for some more games.
This is where the games really shines. The single player is just a warm up and an extended training session for the real reason why you should be playing this game, the multiplayer. Supporting up to 16 players, I unfortunately did have some difficulties matchmaking but was able to put some extensive time into this portion. There are a few different modes (I do wish for more) but Team DeathMatch and Nuke is where I spent most of my time. The network performed well, other than actually getting into games, but once in everything was smooth and the action is just as hectic as the singleplayer. Overall the game is balanced but like most fighters there are some obvious power picks and weaker choices for beginner to intermediate players. Darkside and Talon can be forces to be reckoned with and smaller vehicles like Reaper and Crimson Fury can go down in a few well placed hits. Teamwork pays off in this game and few well coordinated players can clean up the opposition. Headset recommended.
Twisted Metal was one of the first games I owned for the original Playstation console. At its core, not much has changed but it also does not have to. The pace and action of this game is demanding and always has been. It is a hardcore gamers type of experience and also unforgiving in what it is. This is Twisted Metal, you dive in with no seatbelt and helmet, training wheels are not an option here. Enjoy the single player and stay for the multiplayer
This Review was written after about 5 hours of the story mode and 8+ hours of multiplayer play on a PS3.