Twisted Metal is finally here….but I’m conflicted. After years of spin offs, side games, and tons of miss starts, the classic, vehicular madness that is Twisted Metal is back. It has everything you would expect from a PS3 exclusive such as ,great effect, excellent graphics, and an overall a good time. But there is something about it that just never got me saying “ I really like this game” or had me thinking “this is really enjoyable.” The one thing that had me going “meh” the entire time is an anomaly to me. Lets try to break this game down and see why I overall felt “meh” about it.
The game packs in 16 vehicles on the disc with more to come as DLC ( why Axel is DLC is beyond me) and each has two unique specials at their disposal. The problems I see with such a small number of vehicles is that each one should be equal in tier. Outlaw should have flaws that make him just as good as the much weaker Reaper. Likewise Reaper should have some advantages to combat the more iron clad Sweet Tooth However this is not the case. Some cars have ridiculously small Hit points ( ie Reaper) that their extra strong specials don’t even come close to making up for it. This makes it frustrating to the player as you will most likely want to try out Reaper as he is a badass motorcycle, yet you’ll find yourself quickly being decimated by the enemy CPU ( and this is on Easy.) With the state of mind that most cars simply can't hang with the best of them. You will quickly find yourself picking a car that you may not even like, but only use for practical purpose, like survival. This is extremely evident in story mode. Twisted Metals story mode has some serious pacing problems as you go through the 3 chapter story, each chapter being represented by Sweet Tooth, Mr. Grimm, and Doll Face. The problem with the pacing is in one particular boss fight Iron Maiden. She is hands down one of the most boring and frustrating boss’s I've seen in a long time. The fight has you killing one of Doll Face’s team leaders to sacrifice to a nuclear warhead launcher and guiding the missile into Doll Face’s gigantic robot. Sounds like blast right? No, the time it takes you to kill the leader (who flees), send him back to the nuke, grab a health pack wait 30 seconds to sacrifice them, leave the sacrifice circle to grab another health pack , finally launch the nuke, and by that time you’re already half way dead thanks to his teammates cover fire. To add insult to injury, this must be repeated multiple times. The problem being that I was using Outlaw, who actually has a decent amount of health, now the question is, how are you supposed to survive this suicide mission with a Car like Reaper when his health is the lowest in the game….by a long shot…and I was on easy. The problem is that this issue is online as well, but thankfully not as maddening as in story mode.
Online you are free to experiment more with weaker cars, but you’ll still be wrecked if your double teamed. Online mode though is what I believe actually makes this game shine, not all modes, really just the team based games. With the team, you have more of a role than just mindless killing. One team-mate can act as a medic with Junk Yard dog. While another play can act as a mobile base with Juggernaut and allow team mates to ride along and control giant turrets on the truck for massive damage. Online mode is full of fun if you know how to play your cars right (pun intended) and find a good team with some great synergy. Overall, do not shell out the full 60 dollars for Twisted Metal. If you rent it and like the single player, then by all means buy it for the online play ( as an online pass is required) and you'll fall in love with the online mode. However to me the, single player doesn’t have enough substance or soul in it to warrant a full retail price, but online is well worth the price of admission.