Review: Metal gets Twisted

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Remember a time when Twisted Metal was synonymous with awesome? Remember a time when Twisted Metal was accepted as the most badass game out there? Remember a time when everyone played Twisted Metal and those who didn’t were just lame and picked on and beat up behind the neighborhood back alley after school in front of the hottest girl? (Hang on a second) Me either. But it’s a good thing we have the creator of Twisted Metal to remind us of such neat times! In comes the latest installment of Twisted Metal: Twisted Metal (simply that), exclusively for the PS3.

Twisted Metal is a destruction derby set on a grand scale all around the world, and the latest installment is no stranger. Places like: Forgettable Sunny Hills, Califonia, Flatland, Idaho, and Rage and Burn, Nowhere! (Kidding… half) In past installments places like New York or London or Paris where visited and had no shortage of memorabilia. The latest installment suffers from what all new-gen games suffer: arena maps. Every location plays the same, is forgettable, and lacks depth- hard to do in such a hectic game.

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Power-ups work much the same as in past installments; pick up a power, aim, and shoot hoping to destroy an opponent. A Special is introduced where each car has a unique weapon and/or move. Sweetooth can become a mech, fly, and ground-pound, Mr. Grimm can throw flaming chainsaws- that sort of dig. Handheld weapons are also an option, replacing the mounted weapons if desired, like submachine guns, revolvers, and rocket launchers. In all, I found no noticeable difference in handheld to mounted weapons.

Only a few vehicles from the past survived including Sweetooth’s van, Mr. Grimm’s bike, and Axel’s… big wheels (insert pun). A semi and heli are new additions to otherwise obvious choices for rides (maybe that tank/car thing too), each with its unique special weapon- as stated. I’ve found that the stats for each individual car mean squat (my compatriots agree as well) because I was taking less damage as an apparent “weaker” car, and was outmaneuvering fast cars in “slower” vehicles. Oh, well. [(Did you know 80% of all statistics are made up?) Think about this one.]

The single player story of Twisted Metal is as such: Sweetooth has an amazing barber for getting those flames like that, Mr. Grimm’s make-up is all-weather proof, and Dollface sure is. Moral of the story: Calypso is one lying son-of-a-bitch. And just like that… Multiplayer!

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Unless buying this game new, forget trying to play Multiplayer… needs a code to access. A few modes are available and players choose one of four factions to take up: Clowns, Skulls, Dolls, or Preachers. Nuke mode is the jewel of Multiplayer. It plays like Capture the flag, mixed with Assault (from Halo) where players fight to take a human back to base and sacrifice onto a missile where upon the end of a countdown launches onto the enemy’s idol (statue thing at their base). Addictive at first, with lots of customization and interchangeable parts for cars, after a few hours the game quickly wears.

The single player lacks concrete. Cut scenes are live-action, old school, and downright cheese. For some odd reason the Preacher is present and feels out of place like if his agent forgot to tell him he was cut from production. Completely hit and miss. Multiplayer can only last so long. Everything was done right… for a game that should have been left in the 90’s, but it seems like Twisted Metal could not stand the test of time. Nothing notable was introduced in this installment, just polished up a bit. Perhaps if this was a downloadable title it might have been worth a nostalgia trip, but as a $60 retail title, the amount of content is not appropriate. C+.