Review by JPeeples

"The game that started the car combat craze."

Twisted Metal was released in November of 1995 for the Sony PlayStation. Twisted Metal was developed by SingleTrac (the developers of the second game in the series, and Rogue Trip.) Twisted Metal was distributed by Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Here’s the storyline of the game: Twisted Metal is a tournament held by Calypso, an evil mastermind with ulterior motives for running the tournament, the winner of the tournament gets one wish that will be granted by Calypso. The object of Twisted Metal is to obliterate all of your foes in a level, the game has a main boss named Minion. Twisted Metal is a car combat game, it is the first one ever created, many people call it the greatest car combat game is history; mainly because it combines so many things; great character design, great vehichle design, superb level design, tight control, and an intangible, the feeling of the game, when you play the game, it sucks you in, you start to believe that you are really in this tournament, and that it is your life on the line. Now then, without further ado, let’s get on to the review.

Graphics- 7/10- The character and level design are superb; it’s just too bad that the same can’t be said about the game’s vehicles, which are somewhat blocky. The game’s character design is among the best in history, the characters exude confidence, fear, and insanity very well. All of the characters drive vehicles that fit their personalities to a tee, SingleTrac did a great job in this respect. For example, Sweet Tooth (driven by an escaped mental patient) is a tricked out ice cream truck. Another fine example of the game's car design is Yellow Jacket; it's a tricked out taxi cab. These are just some of the insane car designs in the game. The level design is some of the best in video game history, every level is memorable for some reason or another. For example, the Cyburbia level is chock full of houses and convenience stores to knock over, not to mention pedestrians to run down. The level design is one of the best aspects of the game, it truly sets the game apart from all of the other car combat games. Thankfully, the graphical faults, mainly the muddy textures on buildings and trees,don’’t detract from the game whatsoever.

Pros- Superb level design. Superb character design. Excellent vehicle design.
Cons- Vehicles can be blocky. Muddy textures on the buildings and trees.

Sound- 10/10- The in-game, level specific music is excellent. It has a very dark, sinister feel to it that helps to capture the feel for each level. The same goes for the game’s many ominous sound effects and voices, both of which help to create a mood for the game. The only downside to the sound is the odd sound that some of the weapons make, but it’s no big deal.

Pros- Great music. Voices and sound effects help create the mood for the game.
Cons- Weapons have an odd sound.

Gameplay 10/10- The gameplay is very tight. The game engine is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the greatest car combat engine that has ever been used. No car combat game, except its sequel, has been able to capture the feel of this one. In this game, as I’ve mentioned before, you feel as if you are your character. The game engine has a lot to do with that. It runs very smooth, flicker and slowdown are minimal, even when things get hectic. The game’s levels have many little nuances to them, no two levels feel the same, they all need to be played with their own, individual strategy.. The game’s levels all have their own secrets that experienced players can use to their advantage. The gameplay is also very balanced, any character can defeat another.

Pros- Excellent game engine. No slowdown.
Cons- None.

Control- 10/10- The control is rock solid. It is never jerky, every maneuver in the game can be executed flawlessly on your first try. The R2 button is used to fire the machine gun. The R1 button is used to fire any one of the game’s many weapons. The X button is used to accelerate. This control scheme is very player-friendly. In case you don’t like the default control set-up there are six others control configurations for you to choose from. You can fire off attacks with rapid fire succession thanks to the game’s amazing control Every character’s special move can be pulled off without a hitch. The game features, without a doubt, the finest control of any
car combat game.

Pros- Super-sharp control. The control scheme makes sense. The numerous control configurations are a nice touch.
Cons- None.

Presentation- 10/10- The game’s menus have a violent, gritty look and feel to them that fits the game’s theme and settings perfectly. For example, the menus have bullet holes going
through them.

Challenge- 10/10- The game’s enemy AI is super-tough. I for one, love that. The sub-boss and main boss will each require quite a bit of skill and cunning to defeat. The game does allow you to adjust the difficulty, but you can’t beat the game on the easiest setting. I love the game’s challenge though, the game is never frustratingly hard, you always want to play more and improve.

Replay Value- 10/10- The game offers up a ton of fun The game is so rock solid that you’ll want to keep playing for years to come.

Overall- 10/10- This is, without a doubt, one of the finest car combat games on the market today. If you see it, snatch it up, you’ll never regret it. It gets so many things right, it’s not even
funny.

Buy or Rent?-Buy- While it won’t take you too long to beat the game, it’s so chock full of fun that you’ll play it for years to come. You can find a copy of it now for about $10, so there is no real reason to rent the game.

Final Thoughts- I remember the first time I played this game, there was something about it, some intangible quality that made it so fun, and I remembered that intangible when I played this game again. I love this game as much now, as I did when it was first released. It is timeless in my opinion.

PlayStation 2 Enhancements- The muddy textures on the buildings and trees are virtually eliminated, the same goes for the blockiness on the vehicles. If I was judging the graphics with the PS2 texture smoothing on, the graphics would get a 10. The loading time isn’t reduced by much because there isn’t much there to begin with.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/04/01, Updated 04/04/01


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