Review by Sour

"The Twisted Carnage Continues!"

The successes of Twisted Metal and Twisted Metal 2 would bolster the creation of a third game in the series that wasn't quite as hot as the first two. However it would provide the same carnage as seen in the first two games, it just didn't add anything new. It's still a great game, they just didn't try very hard with this one and it shows, giving the game a very "average" feeling. Not too good, but not too bad. The soundtrack is great though as it was the first in the series to implement a soundtrack composed of hard rock and heavy metal hits. It's a pretty good game, all things considered, it just would've been nice if they had added some flavor.

Story: 10/10: It's pretty much the same story given in Twisted Metal and Twisted Metal 2. Calypso, a powerful man with mysterious powers invites select individuals to compete in a tournament of vehicular combat. Of course, the contestants will be risking their lives, and for what? Calypso guarantees that the last man standing will be granted any one wish of their choosing. Twelve contestants accept the offer in the hopes that their dreams will come true, each with a vehicle that suits their occupation or personality. However Calypso is far more sinister than he first appears. Upon completing the game with a character, you'll get an ending sequence where Calypso will grant the wish, but more often than not, it will be done so in a way that will harm the winning contestant, at times making their efforts seem totally moot. However, depending on the character, it may not go so well for Calypso either. You'll have to beat the game with each character to see each ending, so mount those machine guns and load up those missiles, it's going to be a long battle!

Game-play: 10/10: Returning to Twisted Metal 3 is the fantastic game-play. The series, this one included, features great controls, allowing you to drive around pretty fast and turn on a dime. The controls are extremely responsive and you shouldn't have much trouble getting them down, though it will take some slight adjustment as the controls are somewhat uncommon compared to other Playstation games, but they're still easy. Returning also are the single-player and co-op campaigns, as well as the death-match. The co-op mode is great, and can help you blast through the game even faster. There is one downside to this however, in that you'll receive no ending upon completion of the game. Death-match allows you and another player to face off against each other in a sheer test of skill. And of course the single-player campaign is where the main story takes place.

The game is a series of arenas. talking place all over the world, as with the previous Twisted Metal. Each stage is a battle royal where you must be the last man (or woman) standing. They did add something small here, however. Each level, at the start, has Calypso giving a narration, explaining the past of the current arena. He narrates at the very beginning of boss battles as well, which there are more of. In each arena are weapon pick-ups that you can add to your arsenal. Each character has a set of mounted machine guns which have unlimited ammo in case you run out of weapons. Each character also has their own special weapon that slowly regenerates as time goes by. This can be helpful when you're collecting other items as the special weapon will constantly stock, which can help you out in a pinch later on. You also have a special meter next to your weapon indicator. This energy is used when entering special combination's that will allow you to do extra things, such as tele-porting or creating a shield around you.

Graphics: 9/10: The graphics have made a *drastic* improvement over the last two games. The cars are much better looking and more detailed. They're no longer as pixelated as they once were. The backgrounds and cars look more polished and it's obvious that they tried much harder here than in the last two installments. However it's still nowhere near what the Playstation was capable of. For instance, fires still look pretty pixelated. Like a series of red and orange blocks. Still, it's quite obvious that they stepped up the graphics a notch and it's about time they did so. The lighting effects are also much better. The ending videos now also in CGI instead of hand-drawn sequences. These are pretty well rendered and animated, and quite fun to watch, especially Sweet Tooth's. Again, they did a much better job here.

Audio: 9/10: Once again the team behind the Twisted Metal franchise delivers with the music. This time, the music for arenas is taken from famous rock and heavy metal groups, most notably Rob Zombie, meaning they kicked it up a notch. They made a smart decision here, even though the music in the previous two games was just as excellent all by itself. Rob Zombie's style fits the games perfectly. The energy of the music flows through you as you totally annihilate your enemies. The sound effects have also been improved on a bit, though it didn't need much improvement in the first place. Explosions sound like explosions, and a motor running sounds like a motor running. The sound effects are still kind of silly for when you fire off your weapons, but like the other games it only adds to the twisted (OH YEAH, did it again) atmosphere.

Overall: 9/10: It's not quite as good or groundbreaking as Twisted Metal 1 and 2 were, but it's by no means a bad game. It sold well enough that a Twisted Metal 4 would be created and perhaps be the pinnacle of the series according to some. Twisted Metal 3's arenas just kinda felt uninspired. Still, it's a fun game and the sound track is excellent. Rob Zombie would go on to contribute more music for Twisted Metal 4, but that's a different review all together. So if you want to engage in some crazy vehicular mayhem, I'd recommend picking up the other games first to see if you like the series well enough to be able to enjoy this one.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/15/10, Updated 07/06/10

Game Release: Twisted Metal III (US, 10/31/98)

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