Spinning tires, or spinning in its grave?
Twisted Metal is a hard review to write because there is just so much nostalgia here. This game reminds me of those late nights with friends, a case of Mountain Dew, and my Playstation so much that my bias shows through. That’s why I’ve rewritten this review in order to be as fair as I can be. While this game has its share of ups, it has its equal share of downs. Twisted Metal is a car combat game with a story that centres around a competition put on by a powerful (and magical) business man know only as Calypso. Fans of past iterations will recognize him and his wish granting ways. You see, Calypso thrives on death, murder, violence and mayhem, so each year he throws the Twisted Metal competition to watch the ensuing chaos. The competition ends when only one person remains alive and then they claim their prize of one wish granted. One of the major downs here is that the story has been cut down to just three contestants. This is a major problem for me because there were so many characters I liked from the other games that didn’t make it back. Trying to unlock all the endings was a part of the games longevity. The story, which is told through live action scenes, suffers the most because it was your reward in the past games to find out why your selected character was in the Twisted Metal competition, and what they wanted for their wish (which always turned out bad). These dark endings were always a main draw for me, so coming into the new Twisted Metal, I was already disappointed. On top of this, the three stories you get aren’t that great. Sweet Tooth, Mister Grimm, and Dollface are the characters you play with, and out of the three, Sweet Tooth’s story was the only one I enjoyed, despite its cheesiness. Even though there are only three tales, it isn’t entirely bad though because now, you can play as any vehicle you’ve unlocked instead of being tied down to just one throughout. This is a big plus because some of the levels require more speed or heavier armor. These variances on the levels kept the game fresh throughout, and compelled me to keep playing when plain old car combat began to grow old. The best way I can explain the game play is either by referencing other Twisted Metals or Mario Kart with violence. You pick one-three vehicles (depending on the level) and you do everything you can to destroy (or out race) the other opponents. A lot of your time will be spent speeding around picking up missiles and other power ups so that you can use them to destroy everyone else. The rest of your time will be spent shooting said missiles and getting into large pile ups. The levels are pretty interesting and range from a death trap stadium, to a quiet, peaceful suburb. The level designs here are fun and well thought out; definitely some of the best in the franchise. There are a lot of hidden nooks and places to go, and so many destructible things lying around. I laughed out loud when I did a power slide through a movie theatre and watched as the seats flew up. Its things like this that really made Twisted Metal for me.
If you grew up playing the franchise, then you should buy it
The campaign is very skill and thought oriented, but the online multiplayer is chaos incarnate. It’s every man for himself, and it’s not uncommon that a kill will be poached by other players, stealing your points at the last second. So much of this game feels left to chance or luck, that an entire match can be turned around within a second if you aren’t on top of your opponents at all times. With this said, the online component is the best aspect. With plenty of vehicles, and different gaming modes, there is enough content here to keep people playing for a while, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. I had a smile on my face for hours the first night I played. The sounds are good, and the soundtrack is novel enough. There is a descent variety here, even if some of the songs are recycled from previous Twisted Metals. I’m a Rob/White Zombie fan, so once again the nostalgia kicked in. The explosions and death rattles of burning victims all sounded great, but Sweet Tooth’s voice acting was too cheesy for me. His raspy guttural voice just sounded too contrived, and fake. To be fair, everyone’s voice acting was subpar. Once again, there is a large selection of vehicles to choose from, and now you get to select a sidearm as a customization. To be honest, I couldn’t tell a noticeable difference between the weapons. They did different things, but each one seemed just as useful and balanced as the last. Of course, I didn’t get the laser pistol, so I’m not sure how that stands up. Maybe a stats explanation could have helped with the variations, but I just couldn’t see a difference in the missiles that took forever to reload, and the machine guns that were infinite. Each one has its own tactical aspect, and each one seemed useful. This also holds true for all the vehicles with two exceptions. The helicopter (Talon) was too powerful in competitive play. The first game I played I won with almost double the score of the other people who had been playing for days already. The second exception is the motorcycle (Reaper), which just seemed too weak. Ram damage was enough to kill me in a single hit at times, which doesn’t balance out to his powerful, but difficult to use special move. All in all, Twisted Metal is a great game for people who love Twisted Metal games. The single player aspect is fun enough, but the campaign is lacking since you are only getting a fraction of the story when compared to the older games. The game play is good, but it needs some tweaking before it can be taken serious in any competitive sense. This game has a descent amount of value for the buck, but its worth is subjective to each player. If you grew up playing the franchise, then you should buy it, if not, then maybe you should wait until the price drops.
The Bad: The story lacks, Brings nothing new to the table