Twisted Metal – Review

| July 2, 2012 | 1 Comment

Calypso is back! And the tournament begins…

Last time I played Twisted Metal was sometime in the late 90’s, so I was very clueless when it came to the lore of this game, but when I thought back on it, my only memories were of the arena style deathmatches and pure vehicle carnage. Needless to say, I was surprised that the campaign mode was broken into 3 short stories based on the lives of 3 Twisted Metal contestants. Mostly told through cut scenes with voice over. The characters are all psychopaths and their lives would definitely fall into the category of a horror movie (so anyone with a squeamish stomach would do well to skip ahead).  This game is full of dark humor and will likely make some players uncomfortable. Still, the cut scenes were a nice reprieve from the gameplay and gave a little more meaning as to why I would want to continue on to the next battle.

Admittedly, my expectations were low, but this game excelled in more areas than I thought. Mostly, I was concerned that it would not keep my attention, but the variety of game modes and enemy types really kept this game from becoming stagnant and, as I said before, the character stories were a nice addition. That being said, this game has very little replay value outside of the multiplayer. And even that is solely dependent on interest of the fan-base.

Here’s my take on some of the main points:

  • Graphics:  The cinematics combined CGI and Green Screens. The effect was exactly as intended: a gruesome display of pure violence. This rich dark humor/horror theme is very consistent and well done. The actual game play graphics are quite good as well. The weapons, explosions, and destruction effects were all solid.
  • Sound: The music and SFX worked really well in this title. A mix of sadistic compositions with heavy metal favorites set the backdrop nicely for all of the death and destruction involved in the Twisted Metal Tournament.
  • Gameplay: A game like this could easily fall into the trap of tedium and repetition. However, I was very surprised at how well this game was able to continue to present different challenges and game types. Throughout the campaign there were multiple game modes: Deathmatch, Juggernaught, Death Race, and Boss Battles. There is also a game type called an Electric Cage Match, where there is a specific area of the map that is designated as a safe zone. Every so often the fence changes to a new location. Then, it’s a race to get to the safe zone and begin the destruction again! The variety of battles is one of the best things about the Campaign.It must be stated that this game largely keeps the same controls from the last time I played the series which was in 1996! These controls are way outside the norm for a standard driving/vehicle game, so there is bit of a learning curve, and those without the patience to learn the controls could find themselves returning this title out of frustration. I do find it a little odd that Sony wouldn’t move toward a more common controller configuration.
  • Multiplayer: I rented this game using Gamefly, and as a result, I will begin my tirade into the terrible business model of paying for an online pass. Sony will allow players access to the online multiplayer only with a code that is included inside a new purchased copy. Anyone who bought the game used or rented has to buy an online pass for $10 (This is a one time fee). This made my decision difficult; on the one hand, I have already paid to play this game (albeit not in the traditional sense), but now I must pay an additional non-refundable fee  in order to test the game fully to see if I like it, which is the main reason of renting instead of buying.
  • In the end, I was not drawn in enough by the game to fork over the $10  in order to play the multiplayer game. I did manage to play a few split screen matches, which were very enjoyable. The ability to play Campaign Mode and Standard Multiplayer was really nice and should be a requirement of any game thinking about adding a split screen component.

All in all, it was a fun game. But boredom creeps up too quickly. I give it a 3/5


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