Features & News

Demo Impressions: Twisted Metal

February 17, 2012, Author: Stephen King

After a massive absence from the franchise, Twisted Metal is back, baby! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, Twisted Metal is a car combat game with crude humour, masses of weapons, destructive vehicles and a hell of a lot of character. I have been looking forward to the game’s hopefully triumphant return for years now, and it seems that the moment has finally arrived.

I remember when I was a lot younger, I played through the original games just to make sure that I got used to every character and saw their individual endings; it took hours of play and the help of a very good friend, but it was all worth it in the end.

However, the question everyone wants to know the answer to, “is Twisted Metal still relevant now?”

The answer, I am happy to say, is an emphatic yes!

As it has been a number of years since the last time I have indulged in Twisted Metal’s particular brand of (car)nage (see what I did there?), I decided the best place to start would be the training. I can safely say that this was the best thing I could have done. It turns out that the control scheme is a little dated, which means they have made very little sacrifice to modernise the controls.

We all float down here....

This is great in the way that the game is even more like its predecessors, but not so great in that I haven’t used a control style similar to it in nearly ten years. Despite the old school controls, you get used to it relatively quickly, even when it comes to learning the newer bits and pieces. They even make use of the PS3’s six-axis control; a little flick forward will have you boosting off into the horizon.

On top of there being standard weapons, there are many other different types of weapons to use, from missiles to guns and each character has special attacks; one of which is a corpse on a trolley being fired at other cars. One of the more interesting attacks in the game is the ability to use the passenger in the car to snipe other players. I didn’t find this attack too useful; every time I stood still for any length of time I was murdered. However, I can see this being much more useful in the team based games.

Then of course comes the battle training in which you are faced with multiple enemies, all of them hungry for your blood. I am going to be honest with you and tell you that I couldn’t count the number of times I lost against the enemy A.I. It is a little embarrassing; especially as a seasoned pro of the original PS1 games, but at least I eventually managed to push my way through to success. With this under my belt, it was time to move on to the next mode… the multiplayer.

You're in my sights!

So, after graduating from the training mode, it was time to take this madness online. This reboot of the Twisted Metal seems to be focusing most of all on multiplayer. The original games were mostly focused on the story driven single player, and despite the fact the online is not new to the series, it is new to me.

At first things were a little sketchy with several attempts to join games met with server failure. Even when managing to get into an online lobby you could sometimes be waiting quite some time before you actually make it into a game. This is more than likely due to the time of day that I had chosen to play as opposed to any negative comment about the game. Although once you get into a lobby you will find yourself matched up before you know it.

After my training and eventual success in the single player and the first multiplayer mode to contend with was the standard deathmatch. I figured I would be more than capable of taking on the rest of the world. However, it turns out that other people are insanely good at Twisted Metal and I died… a lot. However, that didn’t stop me enjoying myself. The big takeaway from this for me was that the action was still as crazy and fun as it was the last time I played.

The next multiplayer mode is new to the series and is titled Nuke. The simplest way to put it is that it is Twisted Metal’s attempt at capture the flag. The truth, however, is a lot more complicated. Each team has a massive statue that you must destroy, but in order to do that you must firstly capture the opposition leader. After keeping the leader under your control you have to dump them into a missile launcher, which will in turn launch a user-controlled nuclear strike against the opposing team’s statue. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to complete this task once, you have to do it three times to win the game! Despite not winning this game type once, I enjoyed every second of play. The madness is so well realised, and I find myself loving playing even if I suck.

I bring you fire!

The last time I actually dabbled in Twisted Metal was a very long time ago; since the original Playstation game, World Tour, but I am looking forward to this game hitting stores. The absolute insanity that made Twisted Metal what it was has been portrayed exactly as I remember it; crude, loud and full of action.

The gameplay is a little difficult to get into to start with, as it has been years since games have actually controlled like this, but once you get used to it you will be back in the saddle in no time. Sadly the beta was only live for a few days, and it has left me hungry for the taste of Twisted Metal.