Twisted Metal


Written by Chris Price
25 Sunday 25th March 2012

It does seem that after proving his mettle with five hugely popular God of War games, Sony have allowed him and his new unit Eat Sleep Play a little indulgence. Twisted Metal has Jaffe’s bloody stubbornness to confirm coursing through its veins.

Twisted Metal throws a bunch of pimped out stockcars into a series of bullpens, where each aim to maim their competitors. And then back over the freshly immolated drivers for an energy bar bump. Yup, a shoot ‘em up with energy bars. It’s that old fashioned. It’s got a fresh feel to it - not due to being particularly original (there’s very little here that hasn’t been poached from the likes of Quarantine, Destruction Derby, Carmageddon, Roadkill or even GTA3). It feels fresh because there’s very little similar on this current generation of consoles.

Campaign mode is the story of the Twisted Metal tournament, run by Glenn Danzig-lookalike Calypso. Its a pretty weak attempt at justification for the ensuing mayhem, but traces the stories of a trio of broken protagonists in a stylish Aesop’s Fables manner, which compliments the games underlying jet black humour, wearing it’s PEGI-18 rating like a badge of pride.

But the Campaign mode can be dusted in a day without too much fuss. As such, consider it more of a training ground for the real substance of Twisted Metal. It’s native environment is the multiplayer – up to 4 player local split-screen, 16 players online and LAN support, each with four factions to pick from and plethora of inventive multiplayer modes. It’s here its wealth of fan service and collectibles is most abundant, from weapons to vehicle customization. A huge selection of collectible weapons, all with unique properties – from missiles to mines, to one-shot-kill sniper rifles – each benefitting your various approaches

The single player AI puts up a courageous battle, but provides a solid training ground. Its pace and the games casual relationship with driving physics certainly won’t endear it to race fans and a control system that uses all the of the Sixaxis’ buttons, along with motion movement will be initially total overwhelming. Its unfamiliarity could prove its downfall - its macabre Psychovillain theme certainly won’t prove palatable to everyone.

Twisted Metal is very much a relic of the first generation of Playstation gaming. It’s part-shooting, part-pinball field battle is more akin to dystopian action sports arenas of the likes of Speedball 2 and Mario Kart – with the emphasis on power-ups, drift, boost and jumps. As a result, its unfamiliarity might prove initially awkward. But persist and you’ll uncover a refreshingly uncomplicated experience, packed with clever ideas and surprising moments.

Twisted Metal is available now only on Playstation 3

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