The new Twisted Metal deals with several glaring flaws that hamper what could have been a glorious return of car combat

User Rating: 6 | Twisted Metal PS3
For those of you that, like me, enjoy car combat games, you will know how I feel when I say that I have felt starved for a decent car combat game for years before this game was released a little more than a year ago. And then Twisted Metal was announced at E3 2010. I was pretty excited. And then I bought the game soon after it was released. After that, this game was just one disappointment after the other. This game does a lot of things right, and a lot of things wrong as well.

Game play: 6. For those of you that are not familiar with car combat as a genre, allow me to explain: you drive around blowing each other up; that's basically it. Now that's not to say that Twisted Metal is a shallow game. Actually, it is a very deep game with a high, if steep, learning curve. The controls are pretty complex, as just about every button does something. There are many different types of weapons scattered around the map. Also, each car has its own special weapon.

The single-player mode has a story mode, challenge, and tutorial. The story mode has a variety of different missions that are not just limited to blowing up other drivers on different courses. There are bosses, races, and other different themed missions. The story mode takes about ten hours to complete.

Challenge mode is basically an arcade mode if you just want to play a normal match by yourself. Tutorial teaches you how to play the game.

You can play multiplayer locally or online. Local multiplayer has most of the basic modes you see online: death match/team death match, capture the flag, survival, etc. There are nine maps to play on and 17 total vehicles.

Online you can play Nuke, which is an interesting team-based mode. In Nuke you are either setting a bomb by hovering around a semi-truck, or defending against it.

The controls are great unless you cannot do complicated controls. There is a big learning curve for this game, which is certainly a good thing.

The vehicle roster is unbalanced: there's a gargantuan semi-truck that is game breaking in local multiplayer and totally useless online; the motorcycle, Reaper, is broken beyond belief, as its special can instantly kill some vehicles and takes the vast majority of health for larger ones; Talon is a helicopter, so I do not even need to explain all the things that are wrong with that being in a CAR combat game; lastly, Sweet Tooth, the famous ice cream truck, is almost as over powered as Reaper. If your special can hit me across the map, you're overpowered.

The story mode sucks. In the Twisted Metals of the past, there were many characters; each with their own story line. In this game, there are only three characters to play as in the story mode. The racing missions are just stupid, and the boss bottles are cheap.
The challenge mode is also bare-bones. There are only two modes.

The split-screen multiplayer too is bare-bones to the max. Only nine maps when playing with three or four people? Really? That's less than what Twisted Metal: Black and Vigilante 8 had, and they're both over ten years old! How did this even approach Eat Sleep Play as acceptable?

The only part of the game that is good on content is the online mode, and even that is riddled with issues. The game is unbalanced, and the community knows it too. You may notice that the skill rating for the vast majority of Reaper and Sweet Tooth users is high; that's not a coincidence.
For some reason, Eat Sleep Play decided it would be a brilliant idea to add a sniper rifle that can kill in one hit with a head shot into a CAR combat game. So naturally, you're going to see jackoffs drive up to a perch and snipe people, or even worse, people using Talon to pick people off. In what way, shape, or form did this seem like a recipe for a balanced game to Eat Sleep Play? One mere inkling of common sense would have made them realize how awful of an idea it is to implement this ideas into a CAR combat game.
It gets even worse: the online community is plagued by two major non-game play related issues. To start, there's the networking error that constantly prevents you from entering a lobby. And when you get into that lobby, you better hope the host didn't get bored waiting for the minimum five other people to join his lobby and decided to watch TV or get away from his TV to go crap, masturbate or God knows what else, and then NEVER starts the match. And believe me, it happens a lot; another oversight by the developers of this game. Would it have been too much to ask to have a timer that automatically starts the game when the host takes too long to so themselves?

Presentation: 6. The graphics are pretty good considering the speed at which this game goes. These cars are driving pretty damn fast, so you cannot expect the graphics to be top-notch.

The sound track is composed of some original music, rap, and heavy metal.

The story is pretty poor for even Twisted Metal's standards. Maybe that's because there's only like five characters.

Value: 6. Like I stated earlier in the review, the main story mode should provide about ten hours of playtime. The challenge mode is decently fun since most of the game's flaws are not seen in that mode.

You and your friends will be pretty disappointed by the lack of content in the split-screen multiplayer (especially when you compare it to the amount of content online).

The online mode's value is pretty meager as well. Even if you could tolerate the game's utter lack of balance, the technical and dead-host (that is what the host not starting the game is referred to as) issues will surely become tiring sooner rather than later.

PROS
A lot of maps (as long as 3-4 people are not playing)
Good learning curve
Tight controls
CONS
Bare-bones split-screen mode
Mediocre story mode
Online mode is hampered by networking issues and dead-hosts
Poorly balanced
The very existence of a sniper rifle in this game

Overall, as a car combat fan, I do not think I could recommend this game to anyone except for the thirstiest of car combat fans or those that bent on playing Twisted Metal online (by the way, the community is small last time I played). Anyone else, pass this game on, and download Twisted Metal: Black instead; because that game is vastly superior to this new Twisted Metal that tries to resurrect a missed genre, and in doing so, makes so many silly mistakes that one would have to wonder if Eat Sleep Play even looked at the game they were releasing before doing so, and gives you a disappointing lack of content. And then, worst of all, makes you wonder how amazing of a game this could have been.