Developed by Eat Sleep Play
Distributed by Sony Computer Entertainment
Rated M (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language)
Available Exclusively for PlayStation 3
Twisted Metal has been around nearly as long as the PlayStation brand, making it the longest running PlayStation-exclusive franchise in the history of the company. The concept of the game revolves around a car combat tournament that draws all sorts of insane characters to the events with promises that the winner will be granted any wish by tournament host Calypso. Typically, Calypso contorts the meaning of the winner’s wish to make the outcome undesirable, giving the game a real horrific feel along with some of the psychopathic and demonic characters that make up the cast. Ten different games have included the name Twisted Metal in their titles over the sixteen-year span, including this newest release in the series.
Twisted Metal puts a different twist on the classic plot this time around. Only three contestants–Sweet Tooth, Doll Face and Mr. Grimm–enter the contest; however, they do bring some partners in crime along for the ride, thus creating three rivaling gangs. The Clowns, Dolls and Skulls each have their own chapter in story mode, challenges, boss fights and endings. The three protagonists each have unique reasons for wanting to enter the tournament, and there are multiple live-action cutscenes to accompany each storyline. It also seems that Calypso will have his own problems to deal with while running this year’s tournament.
Although Twisted Metal shares many characteristics that the series has been known for, there are plenty of new enhancements and features in this new release. One of the coolest new features in Twisted Metal is the ability to drive different vehicles for the same characters. There are seventeen different vehicles you can unlock and customize in the Custom Paint Shop with a variety of different colors and skins. You can then choose up to three different vehicles to enter a match with, and they can be swapped out by visiting special garages set up around the arenas. The variety of the vehicles is extraordinary, as you can choose anything from sports cars, motorcycles, helicopters, SUVs and much more; and you can also equip your very own sidearm to the vehicle before a match.
Plenty of classic features return in this new vision of Twisted Metal as well. Each vehicle has its own unique set of statistics such as speed and armor, and they also have their very own special attacks. Classic techniques like freeze blast and shield have returned as well, and they can be activated with the touch of a button for a portion of your special meter. Of course, there are a variety of weapons, power-ups, traps and other useful items scattered around the arenas you can utilize to take out your opponents.
Although Story Mode is fairly short, there are a variety of other ways to enjoy the game. Other single-player modes include Challenge Mode and Training for those who are having trouble mastering the game’s controls. Twisted Metal can also be played in cooperative and multiplayer versus modes. You can compete online in a diverse selection of game modes complete with classic modes such as Team Deathmatch and Last Man Standing and earn experience points that are used to acquire a plethora of unlockables such as new vehicles, sidearms and skins for your vehicles.
Twisted Metal has an amazing presentation. The game’s graphics are superb, and each arena feels alive before you consequently destroy it piece by piece via the entertaining destructible environment features. The game’s menus look awesome and allow you to quickly get into the game type of your choice with your vehicles customized to your preferences. You’ll also have some great tunes to listen to while competing in matches or browsing menus, but you can read more about that in our Twisted Metal soundtrack review.
It’s really hard to find flaws with the game, but its controls do have a bit of a learning step. Also, the game’s storyline can be a bit cheesy at times and contain a few plotholes. That said, Twisted Metal still contains an overall great storyline that fans of the franchise and the horror genre can truly appreciate. Combine this with chaotic gameplay, fun and unique game modes and a ton of unlockables that will keep you coming back for more, and you’ve got yourself an amazing game that should be a candidate for game of the year.
Twisted Metal was released on February 14, 2012. For more information, check out the official Twisted Metal website.
5 out of 5