Monday, February 20, 2012

Twisted Metal Review

Well, finally we've moved into 2012. The few games that have already released (Soul Calibur, Final Fantasy, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Darkness 2, and UFC) haven't interested me. I've been patiently waiting the 4 months that Twisted Metal got delayed, and boy was it worth the wait.


As of writing this review, I haven't beaten the story, but I have completed the Sweet Tooth portion. From what I've noticed, either people played the old school Twisted Metals and loved them, or have never given them a chance. There really aren't too many people that I know that have played them and not liked them. In the case of Twisted Metal for PS3, its outstanding. It's lived up to the expectations pretty well, being a combination of old school play style with new school game mechanics and graphics. A big pet peeve is when developers try to renew a franchise and keep it too similar or change it too drastically. Twisted Metal utilizes the perfect balance of the old style and basic game mechanics, and adds something new that really doesn't affect the overall gameplay for the worse.

For those people who haven't played the series before, or for those who need a refresher, here's a bit about the game. Twisted Metal is at it's core a driving game, with the main objective being to destroy all other contestants. It follows the story of multiple crazy individual drivers, each with their own car (some familiar to the classics, and others new). There is a tournament run by a mysterious and powerful man named Calypso, in which all of these maniacs compete. The objective is simple, kill all other drivers, and Calypso will grant you one wish. In the past, however, Calypso's idea of granting these wishes might not be exactly what the winner had in mind. The story consists of three separate competitors each trying to win the tournament, being Sweet Tooth, Mr. Grimm, and Dollface, each with their own motivation to emerge victorious. The story consists of about 6 missions, from races to standard death matches, and always a lengthy final boss battle, which can be quite challenging. There are very awesome cutscenes featuring live action actors mixed with video game graphics. They definitely give the story a "twisted" feel.


The biggest and most notable thing about this game is the gameplay. While the story and graphics are good, without great gameplay, the series would fail. After going back to play Twisted Metal 2, its obvious that those game mechanics wouldn't work in this console generation. Its great to see that David Jaffe, the series creator, really takes an interest in what fans think, because it seems that he's made the best game of the series so far. There are many weapons and powers at your disposal, but nothing seems overwhelming. You have a special weapon for each vehicle, and can play to the unique strengths of each as well and suit it to your playstyle. It almost works like a standard fighting game, where each character has its own pluses and minuses and you can find a character that you like. Each vehicle is rated on its speed, armor, and special weapon strength. Usually, to excel in one, the other categories take a bit of a hit. Other than special weapons, there are numerous weapons placed throughout each environment, from homing missiles to napalm to bombs to sniper rifles. Also littered throughout the map are turbo refills and health boxes. Health boxes are crucial to success as they provide that needed boost to stay alive when the enemies are bearing down on you. It's nearly impossible to kill a car in the first sight, so its necessary to deal a lot of damage and come back later after the other cars have taken some of the health off as well. Matches last around 10 minutes, and can get pretty hectic, but are overall loads of fun.


The maps of this game are really good as well, lending to a variety of different environments from mountainous landscapes to rural cities. Each map has different variations on each one, depending on the number of competitors, and can go from close quarters to quite large. There are also many different varieties of matches that keep the gameplay fun and varied. Obviously, there are the standard deathmatch and team deathmatch modes, but there are also capture the flag type modes, and juggernaut matches. The juggernaut is a match where a semi releases a different competitor every minute, which means your main objective is taking out the juggernaut before it releases too many competitors, but this vehicle is heavily armored. The other mode, Nuke, revolves around capturing a certain objective and using it to blow up the enemies, so it plays similar to a capture the flag match with an added flair.


Lastly, the multiplayer. There's really not much more to say than that it's great. It's great that David Jaffe sticks true to the original and includes split screen multiplayer for up to 4 players. Its great that there's 16 player multiplayer matches with different challenges for each. Its also great that the unlocks throughout the game don't give any player an obvious advantage over anyone else. A balanced and fun multiplayer that anyone can join in on is such a rare gem nowadays. Usually, the person that plays for hours and hours has the advantage over the person who can only play a couple times a week, but in the case of Twisted Metal, everyone is on an almost even page. The gameplay, aside from a few hiccups online, plays very smooth which is great considering the action in Twisted Metal is fast paced and demands a smooth connection.

Story - 8.5
Its always awesome seeing Sweet Tooth do anything, and the cutscenes are awesome to watch, but it is pretty short.
Gameplay – 10

Very smooth overall, with a difficult yet achievable storyline. Nothing is out of balance and its just great fun.
Graphics – 9
The maps are very well designed, and the vehicles are awesome. The graphics themselves are pretty standard, nothing extremely special, but they fit the style of the game.
Sound – 9
The soundtrack is surprisingly good for the game, with a good mix of metal and rock. The acting is also really good as well along with the sound effects.
Replayability - 10


Overall Rating - 9

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