Not The Twisted Metal We Remember and Love.
Twisted Metal is surprisingly Sony's longest running franchise, which blows my mind considering in almost twenty years, there are only six games in the main series (we don't really have to count that psp game do we?). Twisted Metal is also a franchise that has laid dormant since 2001. Sony doesn't have too many killer app franchises left exclusive to their system, so a new high profile Twisted Metal game seems like a win win situation for everyone. And while I found some enjoyment in playing the franchises latest installment, I can't help but walk away disappointed in a lot of missed opportunities here.
Twisted Metal has always been known for having a pretty insane roster of crazy characters, so the idea to strip the game's story down to just three main characters is plain ignorant out the gate. Yes, I've heard the reasons behind why the developers decided to go this route, but it doesn't mean I have to agree with it just because they can justify the decision. I can't justify the decision. Instead you have Sweet Tooth, Dollface, and Mr. Grimm (who apparently has changed ethnicity in the last decade) to choose from. Going from there, you can choose to use a vareity of vehicles using those same characters. In story mode, each of the three characters has eight sections, three of which are Twisted Metal's brand of signature mini-movies. The crazy cutscenes are back, this time they are given extra spice by adding real life actors into the CGI, something that is actually pulled off nicely. These cutscenes have an almost "300" feel to them, and I enjoyed just about every one of them, despite how wacky they become. However, as Story Mode was always a favorite of mine in this franchise, especially in Twisted Metal Black, here it crumbles, just as this entire game does, when the developers decide to stray away from what Twisted Metal is at its core. A few "racing" levels are introduced, each one becomes even more garbage then the previous one, with the final race being an almost game-breaking nightmare. If you can get through these levels, then you get to endure the horrendous "boss" levels.
Unlike what Twisted Metal was, this new version boils things down into an awful can of putrid waste in the final moments of each characters story, revealing a "boss" level that becomes too ambitious for its own good. At the end of Mr. Grimm's story, you get to fight Dollface's gigantic robot thing. I'm not sure where this chick got this, or how it even ties into the story especially considering after you defeat that boss, you then play as her, but hey, I'm not here to nitpick the story. Either way, the final two level's of this entire game are some of the most horrible I've played in quite awhile, producing way too much trial and error, and not enough straight up car combat carnage. It's a reminder of when we stray too far from what a product is supposed to be, it doesn't pay off. I'm all for new ideas and new concepts, but Twisted Metal is never going to grow out of being a car combat game.
What's more disappointing is that once you finish the game, you don't unlock anything really cool, other then playing as the Preacher. I mean, you can beat the game on the hardest difficultly for a really cool laser pistol, but I'd kinda like that laser pistol if I was going to play the game on the hardest difficulty. Twisted Metal offers up some excellent split screen mayhem, which is something I grew up on with this series, and this one offers some online play as well. While I got to try out a few of the online modes, the multiplayer has also gone down a extremely ambitious route. The "statue" team game is extremely long, so long that I ended up quitting out of the match at severe boredom.
I can't say it is all bad though. I will admit I enjoyed Twisted Metal, but as a fan of this franchise since nearly the beginning, it's hard not to walk away wondering what could have been and what was final. Honestly, I really wish Sony and Eat.Sleep.Game. would have went the downloadable route and made this a $15 - $20 game with all the characters and just straight up deathmatch. The fact that this is a full price $60 game is even more embarrassing.
Twisted Metal isn't a bad game, but it is the first true disappointment of 2012.