Review By: Preston Orrick
This is where it all began; Calypso’s demolition derby, the creepiness of Sweet Tooth, the pulse pounding soundtrack amidst vehicles of destruction racing across the screen. Before the madness of Twisted Metal 2 and Twisted Metal: Black, there was the original car combat mayhem game, Twisted Metal for the original Playstation.
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the first car combat game, but it was the first that really got me engaged in the genre. Sure, the graphics are outdated, but the game play, in short, kicks ass. With twelve characters to choose from and six levels to cause chaos, Twisted Metal is short but packs a punch.
After choosing from a number of strange and deranged characters, you start off in the Arena, a circular dome of doom. There is no escape from this hellish environment. The only way out is to kill a randomly selected enemy. Power ups are scattered throughout the level, from ice missiles to homing missiles.
Ramps are available throughout the arena to jump over or onto your enemy. The round will end once your opponent is destroyed. A health bar at the top of the screen displays your enemy’s health. If you run out of lives along the way, there are level codes available for a second chance.
Following the arena are five more levels, each becoming increasingly harder as the number of contestants increase. These levels range from a small town with ice skaters and Christmas trees to a final battle to the death atop a rooftop. There is one unlockable level; an arena with five contestants instead of just one in story mode.
The twelve playable characters in the game consist of a varied sort, all looking to win the competition and have one wish granted by the twisted tournament owner, Calypso. Each character comes equipped with their own special weapon, ranging from three powerful homing missiles to the most powerful special in the game, a flaming, explosive head. Every car handles about the same, some moving a little bit slower than the others.
The game itself is very fun and never lets up on the action. The heavy metal soundtrack is perfectly suited for the game and fuels the action. Health power ups are evenly spaced about and every level boasts a fresh design.
Playing through once is probably enough for anyone, but the replay factor comes from the multi-player. Levels are sized down to fit when playing multi player, but that does not hinder the fun.
If you haven’t played through this Twisted Metal, I recommend giving it a shot, especially since it many of its sequels ended up on the ‘Greatest Hits’ list.