A time capsule from the 90's.
Car combat is almost non existent in this day and age, the most we get to see car combat is with Mario Kart's Battle mode and even that is nowhere near as good as it was originally. No back in the days of the PS1/PS2 they were quite popular, leading the charge was the Twisted Metal series of games and for good reason. They were a lot of fun to play and were really the best games of the genre. But Twisted Metal - along with the whole genre - seemed to have just faded away into nothingness. The games started to go in a weird direction with the last one taking itself a bit to seriously and straying away from what it originally was. Thankfully here I sit writing a review for the new Twisted Metal, even better I'm here to tell you that it is actually good.
Twisted Metal's story mode is split into three chapters that have you play as three different characters, each of the characters hopes to win a competition to get a wish granted by Calypso. In order to win the competition you have to go through a series of events that involve blowing up other cars and occasionally racing.
Thats really all there is to the story in Twisted Metal, but the small amount of cutscenes that there are I found very interesting and well stylised. There done in cheesy live action sequences that will either make you cringe or make you smile depending on whether or not you enjoy bad movies. Each of the wishes has a "Monkeys Paw" type effect and each of the three outcomes is both surprising and ends in a "Oh Snap!" moment.
The missions themselves are more varied than I made out, it's more than just multiplayer with bots. There is of course Deathmatch challenges and cage matches, but it also varies things up with Juggernaught challenges, races and really crazy boss fights. I mean really crazy boss fights too, each of them you start off thinking how the fuck am I going to do this! When you finally beat them it's one of those punch the air kind of moments. The campaign is short but sweet and is good training for the real reason you're buying Twisted Metal, the Multiplayer.
There is online play for up to 16 players, split screen and LAN play so whatever floats your multiplayer boat they have you covered. I have only tried the online modes so cannot say if the split screen/LAN is any good but I'd wager that if you can get a bunch of friends together you could have some fun. Expect some Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers level of shouting and cursing and you have the right frame of mind.
Setting up a game online can be an issue for some, in different ways too. First off the online seems like its years old. Instead of a clean list of modes to choose from it's a full list of every single game going, as of right now its still not easy getting into a game. Network errors come up quite often which in there news section says they would address but that hasn't updated since February so take that as you will.
The multiplayer has its own levelling system, XP is earned through playing matches and blowing shit up. Each time you level up you earn an unlock token and can unlock a new veichle or side arm or skin. You don't have to do anything of this though as you can choose to play unranked games which gives you accsess to everything right off the bat, but it seems these games are not as popular as ranked and can be hard to come by unless you create your own.
There are the basic modes at offer here including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Last Man Standing (Have a set amount of lives), Hunted (Marked Man) and Nuke (Capture the flag). None of them really original but that doesn't mean there no fun, I found the most fun is in standard DeathMatch and Team Deathmatch but thats just me.
Now none of the above matters at all if the game plays like shit, thankfully it plays rather well despite its learning curve. When you first start playing I recommend the training mode, it has a nicely step by step interactive guide on how to play. It does take a while to get used to how the game plays, almost all of the buttons on the controller do something and they often overlap. At times you may find your self jumping when you wanted to fire a missile or turning into a flying robot when all you wanted to do was pop off a freeze ray. In any case if you give it enough time it will not become an issue, it's worth sticking with it for an hour or two before deciding whether you want to keep playing.
Once you get good is when it starts to get crazy, you'll be cruising round the 8 maps at a awesome pace and learning where all the good places to be are. The veichle selection is very good and even has a few different ones like the Talon which is a helicopter and a motorbike that is very weak but very fast, one of them even has the ability to turn into a flying robot Transformers style!
The games music track is as you would expect, mostly rock songs but a few rap and techno songs thrown in for a little variety, but yes all of the rock songs make this game just that little bit more amazing. The game looks nice especially the cutscenes but it's not anything groundbreaking, you will have no complaints with the graphics here.
Twisted Metal is an odd game to release in 2012, a genre that was pretty much dead and at no less launched at full price. This game is pretty hardcore and is not something you will pick up and play as soon as you get it, but give it a little work and Twisted Metal is a fun and exhilarating experience.