|Dev: Eat Sleep Play|
|Release: February 14, 2012|
|Players: 1-4 (Local), 1-16 (Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Violence|
by Adam Dodd
Fans have been clamoring for Sweet Tooth's inevitable return, and they're about to get what they've been asking for; Twisted Metal is coming back in a big, bad way This entry will be in a similar style to 2001's Twisted Metal: Black, once again shedding the cartoony aesthetic of the original games and replacing it with the dark and gritty visuals that made Black such a hit a decade ago. Let's dig into what else this game has to offer.
Like the rest of the Twisted Metal series, this is all about the frantic battle for survival. You're going to have to fight and claw your way to the top in arenas that can support up to 16 players. Thankfully, there's also a four-player split-screen option—a feature that's missing from too many games these days—so you can grab a few friends and play locally.
A brand new addition is Nuke Mode, where you choose a side and protect your statue from the enemy team while also trying to destroy their statue. You can't just drive up to the statue and start unloading bullets or unleashing volleys of missiles at it, instead you have to abduct the enemy team's leader and sacrifice them in order to launch a missile at the enemy's statue. Do this three times and your team will come out victorious.
There are four factions to choose from: the Dolls, the Skulls, the Clowns, and the Preachers. Obviously, the Clowns share a remarkable resemblance to Sweet Tooth, the psychotic clown we all know and love, and the Dolls are similar to Black's Dollface. Fans of the series can probably deduce that the Preachers and Skulls will have something to do with The Preacher and Mr. Grimm, respectively.
Like any good sequel, there's going to be a pretty decent selection of new vehicles and weapons to choose from. Some of the new additions include a motorcycle called the Reaper and a hearse called the Shadow, along with an extermenator van, a meat wagon, a Talon helicopter, two semi trucks, and much more. And if you're dying to jump back into the familiar seat of your favorite vehicles from past games in the series, you'll have the Junkyard Dog, Crimson Fury, and Sweet Tooth's insanely creepy ice cream truck to choose from, among others. A welcome addition here is the ability to choose both your driver and the vehicle you'll be using instead of choosing a vehicle and getting whichever driver comes with it.
How you perform is going to be important because it will affect the XP you receive that in turn influences your global ranking against other Twisted Metal players. The XP system will also be a source for rewards—as you accumulate XP you'll unlock new features, though little details regarding these rewards have been unveiled so far.
Twisted Metal has managed to retain much of what made it so popular in the '90s with its old school controls—you can choose the classic format where the gas is mapped to the X button, or you can go with the more modern trigger layout—and arcadey vehicular combat, but it's nice to see Eat Sleep Play introducing a few new features to the mix as well. Multiplayer offerings have come a long way in the last ten years, and it looks like Twisted Metal is more than capable of evolving with the times.
Teamwork is also being pushed a little harder this time with new "Crew Attacks" that have you joining a teammate inside their vehicle. One example is the Talon helicopter that can use its magnet ability to grab other vehicles to form a massive tower of vehicular death. Another is the Juggernaut semi truck, where a second player can actually drive into the back of the semi to use the turret emplacement on the truck's roof. These special abilities will definitely add some strategy to the mix, making the game less about who has the quicker trigger finger and more about who can work well with their team.
Twisted Metal has been a long time in the making, and I'm sure fans of the series are foaming at the mouth to have the chance to cause all sorts of mayhem with or against their friends. This game isn't likely to disappoint, especially with such an intriguing and welcome arsenal of additions and tweaks to the classic Twisted Metal formula. This game sounds like it's going to be a must-have when it releases in February.
CCC Contributing Writer