Developed by Incognito Entertainment, a Sony Computer Entertainment of America owned Studio, the Twisted Metal series is one of the oldest Playstation exclusive franchises. Since its debut in 1995, games of the series made an appearance on Playstation, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, PSP and PC.
Twisted Metal is short to describe:
Throw a bunch of crazy characters with their vehicles ( ice cream truck, police car, formula one etc.) into an arena full of weapons and let them battle until only one is left.
What makes the Twisted Metal series different from other car-combat games is its fighting game inspired system of special-moves. While every vehicle got one own unique super-attack (front loader Mr. Slam, for example, crushes his enemy with his bucket), there are a bunch of special-moves everyone can perform, like dropping mines or freezing an enemy. To do so, you have to enter Mortal Kombat-esque button combinations. Pressing Right, Right, Down, Down in the PSP version of Twisted Metal: Head-On would activate a shield that deflects enemy attacks, for example. However, the newest title Twisted Metal for the PlayStation 3, changed that, by making them shortened to 1 button for each special-move (Except the alternate special-moves) instead of multiple buttons, for example: the Freeze missile require you to press the Up button on the D-Pad, while the alternate Freeze missile require you to hold Triangle and press the Up button to fire it.
The first two games were developed by Singletrec and were both critically acclaimed. Following 2 however, Singletrec turned the series over to 989 Studios who produced the 3rd and 4th games which were both considered disappointments both by fans and critics alike. Starting in 2001 the game was handed over to Incognito Entertainment made up mostly of former Singletrec employees who worked on the first two games. Incognito first title in the franchise, Twisted Metal Black, was seen both a return to form as well as the darkest interpretation of Twisted Metal yet. To appease younger fans of the series Incognito also released Twisted Metal Small Brawl, which was a much more light hearted approach to the series. Four years later Incognito release Twisted Metal Head On as a launch title for the PSP. The most recent game in the franchise is simply titled Twisted Metal and is developed by David Jaffe's development studio Eat, Sleep Play. It has been strongly suggested that Twisted Metal may be Jaffe's last, as such the future of the franchise is unknown.
The story centers around a man called Calypso, who hosts the car-combat tournament “Twisted Metal” every once in a while. The winner gets nothing less than anything he or she desires. After finishing the game, the ending sequences (one per character) however indicate that these wishes backfire pretty much every single time, giving the game a “be careful what you wish for”- theme.
Producer of the series, David Jaffe, has confirmed that at one point a Twisted Metal arcade game was planned. The arcade game was set to be a collaboration between Sony and Midway. Jaffe says that he was even in talks with Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon about the title. Obviously, nothing ever came out of it and with the state of arcades at the moment, it doesn't appear as if the project will ever happen.