Twisted Metal Preview

Twisted Metal Preview

Anyone who owned a PlayStation in the 90’s is more than likely going to have a soft spot in their heart for Twisted Metal. There is something unnaturally calming about that fire-haired, deranged lunatic clown, Sweet Tooth that makes me smile whenever I think about him. Thankfully, rather than relegating those memories to nostalgia, Eat Sleep Play is doing the entire world a service and revamping the beloved franchise on the PS3.

The new game, simply titled Twisted Metal, was first announced at E3 2010 through a video trailer and a full size ice cream truck driven by Sweeth Tooth himself that about brought the house down.

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A Game That Needs No Introduction

If you are not familiar with the Twisted Metal series, it’s basically a free for all demolition derby set loose on the streets, but it is run by a bunch of deranged lunatics and convicts with fully automatic weapons. Sound fun? It is! This series is one of the PlayStation’s first exclusive franchises and it looks like it is going to remain that way.

If you are a veteran of the original series, which I sincerely hope most of you are, you are going to feel right at home when you play the new iteration of the game. Your favorite characters, vehicles, environments, and weapons are making a triumphant return in this updated car combat masterpiece.

 The 90’s Called, They Want You Back

David Jaffe, the game’s director, was pretty open about many of the games new features. He did however stress that the game is pulling from its roots as much as possible. The whole point of the game is take those memories from the 90’s, drag them into the present and give them a makeover. Much of the same inspiration remains the same for this game, but the experience as a whole is going to be significantly deeper and focused heavily on online gaming.

The initial demo that was released showed a great deal of throwback features that show this game is bound to reactive some long dormant muscle memory. The control scheme featured a “classic” mode which, if you remember, maps the accelerator to the square button. Jaffe remarked that this was included because that is how the development team had been playing the game through development.

Unfortunately, the development team has to accommodate the newer, younger, more spoiled/privileged generation of gamers who would prefer the accelerator be mapped to the triggers, so it has been announced that “classic” controls will not be default. However, using the “classic” scheme would seem logical as the game was designed with it in mind. Many of the maneuvers that you need to pull of will be far easier with the classic scheme as opposed to the updated controls.

For you younger gamers out there who prefer the racing controls be mapped to the triggers, know this. Yes, Twisted Metal does center around cars, but it is not a racing game in the least bit. This is 100%, whole heartedly a shooting game. Therefore, the cars are not going to handle like those of modern racers. They are going to be loose and arcadey so as to allow for faster aiming and tracking.

 Same Old Ice Cream Truck, But With New Inventory

Despite a return to some pretty deep roots, Twisted Metal is going to bring a lot of new features to the table. Twisted Metal is, at heart, a multiplayer experience and Jaffe really wants to expand the multiplayer universe with this game. The new Twisted Metal is going to issue XP and track your global ranking against other gamers around the world. When you reach certain amounts of XP you will receive rewards. As to what the rewards will be, we do not know. Jaffe did reveal that those who are persistent will be rewarded aptly and encouraged to keep moving forward.

Plenty of new gameplay dynamics were introduced that, he admits are still being balanced in order to provide optimal gameplay. A new helicopter has been introduced into the series called the “Talon”. This helicopter sports a rather devastating magnet that can attach to another vehicle in order to increase firepower. At this stage, he said the Talon helicopter was a bit overpowered, but promised that it would be ironed out by E3 this year.

Another new vehicle introduced was the “Juggernaut”. This semi is actually quite beneficial to any faction rolling with one as the semi allows for one vehicle to drive up into the back via some fancy Knight Rider driving skills. Once inside the semi, the car begins to rapidly replenish health while the driver is tossed into a rather powerful machine gun turret atop the trailer. This may seem horribly unfair to anyone in the immediate vicinity, but Jaffe as assure us that the games reliance on factions balances the gameplay tremendously. A group of motorcycles will have absolutely no problem bringing down this semi if they work together and time their attacks just right. Everything is balanced just right.

However, the game mode that got the most attention, and deservedly so, was Nuke Mode. In this insane addition to an already insane game, factions are in a race to capture each others leaders (a NPC). Once capture, you must return the leader to a missile launcher on the complete opposite side of the map. It does sound like capture the flag, however, there is a twist. After you tie the leader to your vehicle and drag him to the missile launcher, you must remain in the designated area for a specific amount of time in order to fill a meter. Once the meter is completely filled you can initiate the “sacrifice” and strap the leader to a giant nuclear missile. Once you launch the missile you must guide it back across the map and into a giant statue atop that faction’s base. Why not just take the helicopter and fly across the map to the launcher? Well, Jaffe says that in order to balance that, the missle meter fills absurdly slow while using the Talon, so it’s not in your best interest.

If you haven’t picked up on it by now, this game is going to be incredibly balanced!

One new feature making its way to the series that plenty of fans are sure to be excited about is that Sweet Tooth is no long isolated inside his ice cream truck. Finally, Sweet Tooth can expand his horizons and hop into a car or onto a chopper. Among the other iconic characters making a comeback are Dollface, Mr. Grimm, and Preacher.

Along with swapping cars, players will be able to utilize “crew attacks” by fighting inside selected vehicles with friends. Each character still maintains a unique personality and style, but each is organized into a selected crew and able to fight together to optimize attacks.

Twisted Metal, believe it or not, has an incredibly deep back story and a lot of lore behind it. Plenty of that back story was told through some of the systems most recognizable cut-scenes. These live action cut scenes are making a comeback and you can count on them being just as cheesy and awesome as before.

Whether you are new to the series or a long time veteran, there is something here for everyone. An absurd amount of weapons attached to ridiculously over-powered cars is truly a recipe for success in this industry. SO, if you haven’t played the original games, do yourself a favor and download them from the PSN store and get yourself properly acquainted/addicted or if you are a long time fan, go pop that disc back in a return to the 90’s until this game launches later this year.

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