Welcome to Sony's oldest original franchise. Featuring over six games, Twisted Metal on the PS3 was the last entry, at this time, to be released. It serves as a sort of a reboot as far as the world of Twisted Metal is concerned, but sticks to its fundamentals where gameplay is concerned.
While the original series features a bunch of psychos and wackos fighting on their vehicles to have their wishes granted, the reboot axed most characters, so now we've only got Sweet Tooth, Dollface and Mr. Grimm as playable characters(As well as a 'Holy Men' faction) and Calypso as the returning wish-granting NPC. The game's main single player mode, Story Mode, takes you through 18 missions, 6 per character, interspersed with live action cutscenes. I gotta admit, I adored the story, it's dark, gritty, sick and... twisted. It's highly entertaining watching this kind of characters on a videogame.
As sickly entertaining as the story behind the three main protagonists is, this mode is prone to frustrate players. The combat stages are annoying, particularly on harder difficulty settings, since the CPU will gang up on you and ignore each other. Races are a challenging mess that require memorization, and don't even let me get started on how vexing the second boss is! As far as single player goes, you've also got a pretty good basics tutorial, training modes for the online modes and a challenge mode against CPUs. It's a bit lacking, and considering how frustrating the Story Mode can get... Single player options leave a lot to be desired.
One thing they did that deserves praise is how unlocks work. Most unlockables are selectable form the get-go in offline multiplayer and challenge mode, but must be unlocked separately for use in Single Player and Online Multiplayer separately. It's a fantastic concept, since you can just pop-in the game and have fun with other local players without having to dabble in Single player. What's not so praise worthy are the local multiplayer offerings. Story Mode can be played with up to two players, which is kinda neat, and there's Deathmatches for up to four players... But only Deathmatch. Other, more interesting, multiplayer modes can only be played only. Lame!
As far as gameplay is concerned, it's your typical Twisted Metal game. You are thrown in an environment, 9 in all, which can be picked in small, medium and large variations, and must drive around collecting weapons to unleash upon your foes, and thus eliminate them. There's a decent amount of weapons to use, side-arms(Weapons that are equipped by default and have unlimited ammo) as well as special moves unique to each vehicle. While most characters from the franchise are gone, some of their vehicles return, and there's a decent variety, each with their own Special weapon set ups and stats. When the game is at its best, it's a blast. Single Player runs silky smooth, and 2-Player Split-screen works pretty decently.
But where the game suffers the most is in its controls. You can either opt for classic controls or more modern 'racer' controls. Either one comes with its own caveats, so you will end up fumbling about while you get comfortable with whichever scheme you chose.
Twisted Metal has a lot going for it. An interestingly twisted setting, fun and smooth gameplay, huge, destructible environments as well as a decent repertoire of vehicles to choose from. Sadly, unless you plan to play the game online or in multiplayer, most of its virtues are thrown out the window thanks to annoying CPU bots and poorly designed racing stages, not to mention that it can take a while before you finally get a grasp on the awkward control scheme. Basically, you'll probably want to steer away from Twisted Metal unless you're planning on playing the Multiplayer modes.
7.0 out of 10