I was a big fan of the original Twisted Metal games on the PS One because at the time there was no other game out there like it. Sure there was Destruction Derby but that didn’t feature crazy cars and big guns! Now it’s back for a reboot on the PS3 but does it still provide the same thrill or has it been left behind since then?
The plot focuses on three characters who’ve assembled to fight in Calypso’s Twisted Metal Tournament. Sweet Tooth is back to get the reward of murdering the one that got away, as well as Mr. Grimm and Dollface. You jump in any number of vehicles with different strengths and speeds and race around a number of arenas to usually end up being the last man standing.
Interestingly, they’ve still gone for treated actors in the cut-scenes which, although a unique style, does jar with the in-game graphics. Then it’s time to get in the ring so to speak. Pick-ups are littered across the ground and at first things can be a little overwhelming. Guns, shields, bombs and other powers can be selected and fired using the d-pad and triggers and you need to work this out whilst being pummelled by your opponents. Get out of the mayhem and you can line yourself up to fire cannons or use the auto lock-on to do some serious damage – get stuck in the carnage and it can feel unfair as you get pounded from behind again and again. Whilst some people may enjoy this activity I found it rather frustrating. When health gets low you can rush off to find health or swap your car for another one you chose at the start in the garage.
Game modes include deathmatch, team deathmatch, a mode where you must stay inside a moving electric grid otherwise you lose health, races and a mode similar to capture the flag where you must grab hold of enemies, drag them to a machine, turn them into a rocket and fire them at a huge effigy! Random but quite fun.
If you stick with the game you will actually find some strategy behind all the mayhem but you do have to forgive quite a few failings to get there. The graphics aren’t great, the game feels very rough around the edges and the default controls are just horrible! Luckily you can change them to something you’re more used to but that still won’t help you if your car gets stuck in some of the scenery and you have to restart the stage! Scenery damage is also inconsistent meaning you can sometimes drive through a building only to be defeated by a waist high wall! Reversing is also counter-intuitive because the steering switches as you reverse. Have the dev team actually driven a car?
As well as the single player mode it’s also good that local multiplayer hasn’t been forgotten – after all that’s where its roots lie so you can play split screen locally as well as against other online. When taking the game online you can join or create servers with up to 16 players in them but at the time of writing this, joining other people is sketchy at the best of times. Hopefully this will improve from today on its UK release.
There is a lot of fun to be had here but for me the game’s a big disappointment and could have done with being delayed a little bit more to refine it. It gets 6 out of 10.
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