If you’ve been playing video games at least since the days of the first Playstation console, you’ve probably at least been aware of the video game Twisted Metal’s existence. After all, it is the longest running Playstation title to date. Whether you have or have not played any of the Twisted Metal titles, I encourage you to check out Twisted Metal (PS3).
Twisted Metal 1 was unique with its live action cutscenes and poor acting rivaling that of Resident Evil’s. Twisted Metal 2, also on the first Playstation, was one of the most popular of the series and is considered a “Greatest Hit”; this one remains my favorite after all these years with its comic book style cutscenes and incredible maps to play on. Twisted Metal 3 and 4 were games I mostly skipped out on, unimpressed with the gameplay, while Twisted Metal Black for the Playstation 2 did quite well for itself, but story-wise had changed so much from Twisted Metal 2 that I could not help but to feel disappointed that we were not seeing the original memorable characters. Noting that the fans were missing the Twisted Metal 2 feel, Twisted Metal: Head On (apply directly to the head!) on the PSP as a direct sequel.
Twisted Metal’s story has always been simple, but cool: A man named Calypso runs a world wide tournament in which drivers compete in. It reaps havoc on the world and turns it into an apocalyptic setting in many places. Calypso, imbued with demon like powers, offers one wish to the winner of the tournament. Through out the games, you play as a variety of interesting characters and get to see why their wish is so important for them to win the tournament… some more reasonable than others!
Now we have the newest edition, Twisted Metal 2012. This game is a nice combination of everything good from the Twisted Metal. Utilizing stylized live action cutscenes, the story moves with a dark sense of flare without taking itself too seriously. While they are a bit cheesy, I can appreciate that from a game that acknowledges its about murderous, weapon wielding, car driving rampages and sticks to its guns.
Twisted Metal’s themes may not be for everyone, but without spoiling Sweet Tooth’s ending, I can guarantee you that he gets what’s coming to him. That’s another thing about Twisted Metal games — the character you play may be a bad, bad guy, and there’s a good chance they will “get theirs” by the end of the game thanks to Calypso’s warped way of granting their wishes!
Unlike the older games, you do not choose a character based on their car. Instead, you play through a story mode of pre-selected characters, but you have the freedom to use any car you want. The only real downside to this is that you can only beat three different characters’ stories, whereas in the older games you could beat the tournament as a multitude of characters. However, it does work out since in the past a big issue with beating the game at all had been the imbalance of vehicles, especially those with lesser armor. This made it extraordinarily tough to beat the game as characters like Grasshopper or Twister, both in weak vehicles and Grasshopper with an even weaker special.
The gameplay is smooth, fluid, and extremely addictive. Its interface is clean–perhaps a bit too clean since you may not even realize you’re changing weapons until you learn to look at the bottom of your screen. Like most games, once you learn to use it you’re just fine.
As you can see, the gameplay is nonstop action. The online multiplayer is fabulous for this, though Twisted Metal also makes a great “party” game for your friends to participate or watch even while offline. Its heavy soundtrack really sets the mood, but you can also import your own music to listen to while playing. This was a feature I took advantage of with great joy.
I zoned out on this game for about four hours straight before realizing it was 4 AM, which in itself takes me back to my 12 year old self sitting in front of the TV, playing Twisted Metal 2 with my brother well past bedtime. I recall insisting on being one of the girl characters just for the sake of being a girl regardless of how imbalanced the cars were. Mine always died way too easily!
I waited on getting this Twisted Metal game despite being excited about it, and I regret not picking it up sooner. The only complaint I have with this game is that there’s not enough single player content even if the game is so much more exciting in multiplayer mode. I hope the next installments give us more to play with.
For old time’s sake, here’s a clip of my favorite Twisted Metal 2 Ending.
Still don’t get the “farm animals” part, but maybe I shouldn’t think too hard on it…