First ImpressionsTwisted Metal: Black

GameSpot brings you further details on and the first screenshots of Twisted Metal: Black for the PlayStation 2.


As reported yesterday, SCEA has announced Twisted Metal: Black as one of its PlayStation 2 games. This latest installment in the Twisted Metal series is being developed by Incognito Studios, which consists of members of the original Twisted Metal and Twisted Metal 2 development teams. Sony promises that the game will have a foreboding, moody atmosphere. Judging from the video clip shown and the information provided by company representatives, this will likely translate into darker environments and more cutscenes highlighting the game's quirky and twisted cast of characters.

Twisted Metal: Black will feature eight single-player and ten deathmatch battlegrounds. The environments themselves will be more cluttered than those in previous Twisted Metal games. Incognito Studios hopes to incorporate moving traffic, changing weather, living pedestrians, and more interactive objects. Additionally, the game will feature 14 different vehicles, and the developers plan to put more emphasis on the drivers themselves. The gameplay will reflect this, as each character will have his or her own unique combat techniques and driving style. For example, the game's lead character, Sweet Tooth, can now transform his vehicle into a robot. According to David Jaffe, senior game designer at Incognito Studios, the inclusion of deeper characters and gameplay will mean that Twisted Metal: Black will "have dynamics that are more similar to fighting games than the traditional car-combat games."

The Sony Gamer's Day video demo of Twisted Metal: Black displayed the game's foreboding look and feel. All of the action took place in nighttime settings, with elements such as black clouds, rain, and lighting contributing to its darker look. The game is still all about car-combat, however, and as such, its gameplay is still rooted in the genre. Ultimately, Twisted Metal is about tracking down your opponents in vast environments and hurling a speeding sidewinder at their ill-fated chassis. However, there were some cool effects that wowed the crowd during the presentation. In one of the stages, a giant cargo plane flying precariously close to the ground was one of the destructible elements in that particular environment. In another section, a massive Ferris wheel came off its bearings and was rolling down a highway, smashing everything in its wake. Incognito hopes to incorporate more of these over-the-top environmental elements into the game as development continues.

Twisted Metal: Black will support up to four players at once and will be backed by a multimillion dollar advertising campaign from Sony. The game does not have a solid release date at this time, but we expect it to arrive in mid-2001.

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