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Last night Dread Central took part in a sneak preview of David Jaffe’s upcoming Twisted Metal game for the PS3 console during Sony PlayStation’s pre-E3 event. Let me preface my experiences with the game itself by saying that I am not much of a gamer. I’m a button-smasher by nature (grew up playing arcade games) so I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to get the hang of it.
I sat out the first play session in one of the new Twisted Metal worlds Jaffe called Sun Springs, which is modeled somewhat after a pleasant looking California town. All that pleasantness went away once everyone’s fingers hit their controllers because the worlds that Jaffe and company have created here are meant for destruction, and Sun Springs soon became filled with piles of rubble and smoke.
When Jaffe explained the second environment we’d be playing that night – Black Rock Arena – it sounded like something too good to miss for me. The arena concept itself is a throwback to the Suicide Slides in the second Twisted Metal game, but things have been amped up since that incarnation was released in 1996.
Part of the fun of the Black Rock Arena is the team co-op involved; you share lives in order to destroy the opposing team, and when you’re not looking out for your opposing team to come and give you a beat-down, there’s wrecking balls swinging through, spikes randomly popping up, electrically-charged areas you must soldier through, and a driving landscape that changes every lap. It’s like Death Race times ten, but now you can actually set fire to the audience in the arena.
Being one of the few girls playing last night, I was immediately freaked out that my inability to use a lot of the complicated co-op tools or manage all the different weapons would scream “newbie” to my fellow players, but once I got the controller in my hand and set off, I didn’t care. I was ready to blow some shit up. And boy, did I ever.
The graphics in the newest Twisted Metal are beyond sick. Everything in the arena was so eye-catching, I had to remind myself I was playing a game and wasn’t there to take in the sights. And even though I definitely got my ass handed to me and had no real idea of how to do a lot of the weapon combinations Jaffe had briefed us on earlier, I totally didn’t care. Twisted Metal was still balls-out fun, and destruction and mayhem have never looked so good.
During the preview night Jaffe also unveiled two vehicles: the Juggernaut (if you think the semis in Maximum Overdrive were intimidating, you haven’t seen anything yet) and Axle (not the character though), a demented Oreo cookie-looking vehicle that offers players a deadly 360-degree concussion attack to destroy your opponents.
The last presentation Jaffe made of the night was for the “Nuke” mode in Harbor City, which he said was the mode he was “most terrified of but most excited for”, and there’s a lot to absorb with the mode. There are innings, and each team assembled has a goal of trying to take down the other team’s statue. While doing that, you’re blowing up oil trucks and gas stations, launching missiles, and dragging (and eventually launching) opposing team members alike. Far too much for my noob brain to pick up, but I eagerly watched the others players take their turns at what can be called a very twisted version of “Capture the Flag.”
Undoubtedly, Jaffe and his team have put their blood, sweat, and tears into the newest Twisted Metal, and it was remarkable to see its evolution since the last game ten years ago (Jaffe showed us the graphics side-by-side, and it was almost startling to see the differences). Fans of the franchise will be elated at the leaps and bounds made by this latest game, and for those who may have never played Twisted Metal before, I guarantee you’ll immediately fall right into Sweet Tooth’s demented world.
Look for our exclusive in-depth video interviews with Jaffe coming soon, and make sure to check out Twisted Metal when it’s released on October 4, 2011. In the meantime check out our sights and sounds video below from Sony PlayStation’s sneak preview night.