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Opinion

Hi, I'm Twisted Metal And I'm Going To Kick You In The Balls

Don't blink.

I’ll happily admit, when I first booted up Twisted Metal a couple of weeks back, I was less than impressed. For the record, I thought it was terrible, and couldn’t wait to switch it off. Last night, though, something clicked – and after a good hour or so of not blinking my eyeballs have almost completely dried up and my head’s banging like a drum.

Ladies and gentlemen, Twisted Metal Is Back.

Let us rewind a bit, though. Twisted Metal’s not a game that takes itself too seriously, the grindhouse video inserts and the over-spun characters walk a disjointed path of hardcore imagery and pulpy nonsense, static and film grain deliberately placing the footage in the pigeon hole marked “low budget snuff” that Rodriguez pumps out with regular (and successful) abandon.

The menus are cheesy and cheap looking, the type face and logo desperately in need of refresh and the music – oh, the music. But, hey, it all kinda fits. It’s like Jaffe has just stuck two fingers up at the stuff poncy London design studios kick out for whatever’s new to market and shouted a big fat fuck you to anything remotely approaching a neat, slick interface.

This is heavy metal artwork against a heavy metal soundtrack.

But, you know what, after initially dismissing the game, a second look has turned everything around. The garish font, the silly colours, the ‘rock’ music, the fact that Sweet Tooth’s head is still on fire? It all just clicks into place. And the game itself, a breakneck assault on the eyes and brain? Absolutely, one hundred percent, the dog’s bollocks.

With mates, this is probably the perfect antidote if you just want to let go and have a little blast of crazy every now and again.

The controls, though, like everything else, take some adjusting to. Square’s go, circle’s brake, cross makes you turn quicker and the triggers perform everything from cycling and firing weapons to jumping; the digital pad for the onboard, persistent stuff like ice and shield. There’s a training mode which teaches you all this, and you’ll need it.


Sweet Tooth's the star of the show, of course.
But into the game and after being rattled around the first level without any clue what’s going on for half an hour, it all started to make sense. Bullets started to hit home, rockets found their targets, I was boosting out of danger and I’d figured out how to change vehicles. I was in control. I was winning battles. I was on fire.

Literally.

The game’s a real laugh, then. It’s vehicular combat, as I’m sure you’re aware, but it’s a genre title that’s amped up well past eleven, intentionally quick and decisive and never letting up. I wasn’t joking about the not blinking thing – exaggerating, sure, but I can promise you my eyeballs were as dry as a desert when I’d finished.

I’m glad I gave the game another chance. Twisted Metal’s story might make you wince and the game itself bombards you with relentless opponents and environments designed to punish you continuously, but it’s actually pretty damned good at what it does, which is make you a screaming killing machine with flames for hair, with nothing but a machine gun and a huge rack of heavy weapons for company.

You know, I’m not in a position to review this game – I’m not a big Twisted Metal historian and I won’t promise to know every last detail: I don’t. I just know that if you’re a fan of the series then this PS3 version plays to the strengths of the system (with some admittedly nice visuals) and really does kick you in the balls.

Twisted Metal is out today.

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15 Comments
  1. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    Brilliant

    Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 12:08.
    • nofi
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      Ta. Was an odd one, but it’s definitely one you have to try.

      Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 12:09.
  2. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Is TSA going to be reviewing Twisted Metal? I’m only interested in the campaign (not multiplayer) and would dearly love for it to be fantastic fun, just like World Tour.

    Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 12:12.
    • nofi
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      Campaign’s what I spent most time on. It’s a bit, er, bitty, but it’s outrageously good fun once you get to grips with it. It’s really, really fast though.

      Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 12:23.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        World Tour was chaotic. Sounds like I need to go read a good handful of reviews to get a feel for it. Cheers, fella. :)

        Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 12:44.
  3. Eldave0
    andUandU
    Since: Aug 2008

    Loved TM:Black but this new one definitely took some getting used to. Great game overall though and a lot of fun with 3 buddies.

    P.S. I thought the soundtrack was awesome but I’m a sucker for that sort of stuff \m/ ^_^ \m/

    Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 12:37.
  4. Michael
    Team TSA: Development
    Since: Forever

    Music sounds good.

    Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 12:38.
  5. scavenga
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    That was a nice read, glad the game is not as bad in its core like I felt it was when playing the demo.

    I just can’t picture myself even giving it another boot up on my PS3 though, I really, really couldn’t feel it.

    Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 12:39.
  6. kjkg
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    Funny how oyu changed your opinion so radically. Kind of had that last night with journey. Wasn’t even playing it, was watching my friend play (who just didn’t get it).

    Not sure if this one is for me. I think I’ll more likely share your original viewpoint, rather than the latter.

    Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 12:55.
  7. Moshbag
    Member
    Since: Nov 2011

    Good write-up, it’s true that the game is tough to get into, and playing for extended periods will hurt your brain. But when you get going, find some vehicles you like (Roadboat’s the man!), figure out some of the weapon locations, and generally find your TM mojo, it’s ridiculously fun. Definitely harks back to the good old days of World Tour. I’m getting my ass kicked online for the most part, but it’s still a daft laugh: a kill is so much more satisfying than in COD and its ilk.

    Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 14:22.
  8. Origami Killer
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Nice thoughts on the game. I was impressed by the Beta that was up not so long ago but it wasnt enough for me to want to get it. The single player on the beta was ridiculously hard.

    Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 15:13.
  9. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Gonna get this

    Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 15:48.
  10. DrNate86
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    I wanted to love the demo but really hated it. I found it impossibly hard and really fiddly to control. I still want to like the game though, and this sounds like perhaps I needed to give it more time. Hmm.

    Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 16:21.
    • aerobes
      Member
      Since: Aug 2009

      I’m the same here, wanted to love it …. played the demo a substantial amount …. I could feel my detest growing for it as I played. I can’t even pinpoint what I disliked so much. Weird one. Remembering how I felt though, I’m not even sure another chance is worth it. Just one of those I suppose.

      Comment posted on 16/03/2012 at 20:41.

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