After some waiting, a copy of the recent PS3 overhaul of Twisted Metal
managed to stay in a Redbox long enough for me to rent it. I've no real nostalgia or anything in regards to the franchise, as I never got into any of the older titles in the series. I'd only glanced over a couple of reviews in passing, but got kind of interested after seeing how fun the multiplayer looked on an episode of MASH TacticS, as well as on Anthony Carboni's review and New Challenger visit from Pico Mause. I decided to give it a shot, and remembered halfway home several headlines mentioning how the multiplayer was hidden behind an online pass, so my initial plans were hosed, but I figured I'd at least take a crack at the single player.
All in all, I kind of agree with the more middling range of reviews and reactions out there. I wasn't particularly impressed by any aspect of the game, and while it was at least generally fun, there were plenty of sticking points that dragged down things a bit.
One of the more popular complaints is the control scheme, which is a bit odd to anyone unfamiliar with the Twisted Metal
s of yore, but that's overcome easily enough by looking through some of the other control options. I grew comfortable with the Racing controls fairly quickly, so my only response to that complaint is that people must be growing too lazy or dumb to press the Start button to find the menu.
The story, on the other hand, definitely feels as unnecessary as some have said. Sweet Tooth's tale alone feels like Every Rob Zombie Slasher Movie: The Fanfiction: The Game, and I just couldn't get into it. This is made somewhat hilarious thanks to the presence of both White Zombie and Mr. Zombie's solo project on the soundtrack. The idea of much (or any) over-arching story in a game about driving over glowy missiles so you can blow up your friends seems fairly unnecessary. I would've been happy with, "This dude's a crazy clown, he kills people," as my motivation for the matches I was presented. I only watched Grimm's intro clip, but judging by the monkey's-paw-esque resolution to Sweet Tooth's tale, I'd bet dollars to donuts he ends up getting sent back and being the distraction that screws up his father's jump in the first place.
Gameplay feels far too long, to me; none of the weapons really feel appropriately meaty, and every match felt like too much attrition. Given fire and explosives, it's a little disappointing to find oneself only slowly whittling away at one's opponents' health meters. All the maps I played felt a little too expansive as well, aside from the races; playing cat and mouse when you're down to your last opponent or two, regardless of how much fun stuff there is to drive through, gets tedious quickly. Upping the damage rate and shrinking the stages, either en masse or with something in-game that sections off areas as you have fewer and fewer enemies remaining, would've cut down match time to something much more manageable.
That being said, Twisted Metal
looks fine enough, albeit not being particularly eyecatching or mindblowing, and the soundtrack, while dated, felt appropriate for the goings-on, as well as a throwback to game's PS1 roots. I don't feel like it was a waste of time, but I'm in no hurry to pick up a new copy for myself. If I were to get Twisted Metal
as a gift at some point, I wouldn't say no, and I imagine online action is much higher on the Fun Times scale, but again, no rush. It's not as bad a current-gen update as, say, Duke Nukem Forever
ended up, but it could've been cleaned up a bit.
LOOK WHO CAME: