Review by Sour
"Careful what you wish for..."
Instead of the typical racing games at the time, Twisted Metal decided to use it's vehicles for something else: vehicular combat. The idea was green lighted and ended up being pretty well received. Some critics didn't care for it but a lot of players just couldn't get enough of the mayhem. Twisted Metal would be the first in a long-running franchise that continues until this day. Numerous copycats would be created in light of the success of Twisted Metal but none could simply compare, though Vigilante 8 was actually pretty good. Here, we'll talk about what made Twisted Metal so great.
Story: 10/10: In the sprawling metropolis of LA, underground resides a powerful man named Calypso. A man with a disfigured face and mysterious powers, Calypso sent e-mails to select individuals, offering them a chance to enter a special, and deadly competition. The contestants will enter a battle royal with their cars (or trucks, in some case, motor vehicles either way), and he or she who survives will be granted one wish of their choosing. Several people accept the offer for one reason or another. Greed, lust for power, fame, and vengeance would drive (no pun intended) these people to enter the contest, risking their lives to obtain their one wish. Upon winning the tournament, your character will make their wish and depending on the character, it could turn out very badly for them, or even very badly for Calypso. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!
Game-play: 10/10: Upon starting the game you'll be given the opportunity to select one of several characters. The game is set up as a series of battle royals. You'll have to be the last man standing to win each round. At your disposal, attached to your vehicle are machine guns and missile payloads, and few other things. The controls are pretty smooth, something that's still a fact today. You'll start off with your special weapon which regenerates slowly, and a few other weapons at your disposal. You can drive around and explore to pick up power-ups and new weapons to add to your arsenal. Each character has their own special, and the amount of pick-ups is pretty good. You can run across homing missiles, remote mines, and the like. It's best to stock up on weapons before attempting to make your kills. And don't worry, the computer controlled players will be at each others throats, sometimes helping you make an easy getaway. As the levels progress, you'll be pitted against more enemies, adding to the mayhem (and thus increasing your chances that they'll stay off of your trail).
The game has two modes: Single player, and Two player. Single player pits you against the story mode, at the end of which you'll receive an ending. Each character has their own ending so you'll have to beat the game with everyone to get them all! Two player mode pits you and a friend in a death-match in a map of your choosing, maps taken from the single-player mode. This can be pretty fun as it pits you against another human player, and thus meaning you'll have to put more thought into your strategy instead of a predictable AI that typically just likes to bum rush you.
Graphics: 7/10: The game takes a huge hit in this section. The car models and environments are pretty blocky and pixelated. I really feels like they could have done better here. Perhaps they just didn't have the money at the time, but plenty of other Playstation games looked better at the time. Or it could be they just didn't put the effort into it in exchange for the great game-play. The graphics aren't totally horrendous though. The cars look like cars and the buildings look like buildings. But the clownhead on the top of Sweet Tooth's car is as flat as paper despite the rest of the game being in 3D, which tends to make one raise a brow. They could have done better here, but the game is fun regardless.
Audio: 10/10: Twisted Metal offers a pretty rockin' soundtrack and it falls somewhere between hard rock and heavy metal. This helps add to the chaotic atmosphere and most of it's pretty catchy, perhaps prompting you to tap your foot or bob your head. The sounds are so-so, nothing terrible. Some of the weapons have weird sound effects upon shooting them, but the machine guns sound like machine guns and the explosions sound like explosions. As you'd rive around your can hear the revving of your engine and putting of the exhaust. The actual sound effects haven't really aged that well, but it's not even really worth noting and doesn't detract from the fun factor of the game.
Overall: 8/10: The only reason I'm giving it this low of a score is because even for the time it was released, the graphics were pretty sloppy. The game is still playable however and you should have no trouble getting into the game. You'll be taking out those other contestants, dashing their dreams of getting their one wish before you know it! So if you like driving, good tunes, and total mayhem, then pick up yourself a copy of this game if you can find it at your local used games store or on E-bay. It sold well enough to become part of Sony's PS1 Greatest Hits collection for a reason. This game is downright fun.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/15/10, Updated 07/06/10
Game Release: Twisted Metal (Long Box) (US, 11/05/95)
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