Nukezilla Review: Twisted Metal
As a product of the mid-90s myself, I was excited to see Twisted Metal making a comeback. After all, the game is about cars, and I am one. Also, this particular brand of car game got put out to pasture by its parent company about eight years ago, so why couldn’t the same go for me?
The story starts with the murderous clown Sweet Tooth getting a… and murdering his f… cream truck. Oops. Sorry about that. Misfires. You see, I’ve had a history of electrical problems. Actually, that’s a pretty good segway, as this game’s problems really start showing right around the time you power on the console to play it. Everything about the game is better in your head than it is in practice.
The controls don’t make much sense and aren’t really explained that well. The campaign plays out more or less like the other entries to the series, but with one difference I’ll get to in a minute. Go from level to level, blowing up other cars because the mysterious Calypso said so. Then you get to the first race level. Good lord are these bad. I have to open my doors at drive-throughs because my power windows don’t work, and I feel embarrassed for the people that worked on this. Actually, it turns out most of them were already fired, and the company is going in a different direction. I never want to wish ill on someone, but…
Then there’s the multiplayer. Split screen on a widescreen TV is just about impossible to follow. With already small UI indicators squashed almost beyond interpretation, it really isn’t good for anything other than screwing around with at a party. Online is similarly problematic, as Twisted Metal‘s developers seem to have done the appropriate mid-90′s company thing, and been outwardly excited and encouraging about the internet, but in practice were frightened and confused by it. Dedicate three hours of your day to playing the game online, and you might get two or three matches in. It’s not that they take very long to play. It just takes you at least 20 minutes to actually connect to a group of players and get one started. Oh, and there’s an online pass. If for some reason you are still thinking of buying it used after all you’ve just read, I’d just skip it.
While driving around and listening to the Destructoid podcast on a Zune run through a cassette deck adapter the other week, I heard David Jaffe say he doesn’t think the single player is worth $60, but the multi is for many people, and they should rent it and give it a try. The multiplayer with the online pass. How nice.
The best thing this game has going for it is the downloadable copy of Twisted Metal Black that comes with it. Between that and the $36 I got for trading in the rest of it at GameStop, I’m fine with my purchase. But really, just buy the voucher off some guy on ebay. Or wait for Black to go sale separately. After all, just playing Black again is what most people wanted anyway.
Well, I’d love to spend all day going over it’s numerous faults in deeper detail, but for some inexplicable reason, my V8 only runs on premium unleaded, and with gas prices these days I’ll just cut to the chase: