Beta Impressions: Twisted Metal

It has been a long wait for the Twisted Metal franchise to hit on the PS3 but with the release of the multiplayer demo its release is not far away. I have spent quite a bit of time getting to grasps with Twisted Metal through the demo over the past week and I thought it would be best to share my impressions of what I have played.

I fondly remember Twisted Metal on the PS1. It was fun to say the least and fortunately the demo shows that this element of fun has not been lost over the 17 years from its first release. I think this is a major part of gaming and it will be defiantly be one of Twisted Metal’s main selling points.

The demo allows you to play both offline and online game modes. The offline game modes consist of the tutorial and challenge mode. Of course the tutorial should be the first place you go to once get on the demo for the first time. The tutorial is extremely useful into getting you to grips with the slightly confusing (at first!) control scheme. Unlike other racers where the R2 button is the accelerator the square button is instead used. At first the controls seem confusing but after playing for only a few minutes you will realise that the button layout works perfectly to adapt to the play style of Twisted Metal.

After completing the tutorial it is up to you to choose to battle online or against the AI in challenge mode. If you choose challenge mode you will immediately realise that it’s called challenge for a reason. The difficulty against the AI is insane. My car is destroyed within seconds. You will then further realise that Twisted Metal is not a single player game and the fun to be had is in the online game modes.

Moving on to the online proportion of the game you will find there are two playable modes: Deathmatch and Nuke. Deathmatch is the standard all on all game mode. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to try out Nuke as I never seem to be able to find a game to join. The online is very fun indeed. The Deathmatch mode is fast paced and very explosive. There are half a dozen players all firing rockets, machine guns and shotguns simultaneously which makes it a very intense battle. All the vehicles on offer are all fast meaning there are frequent chases at blistering speeds around the maps. What is best is that the gameplay remains smooth even with all this action going on at the same time.

What I really like is the destructible and large scale maps in which battles take place. Buildings get knocked down if you slam into them with your car or get blown up by a miss fired rocket. It all looks very good as well and the presentation has an arcade feel to it. There is also a lot of variation in terms of weapons and vehicles. There are dozens of weapons to utilize such as shotguns, machine guns, homing rockets and flamethrowers. Each weapon also has a secondary fire. They are all easy to cycle through and are fast to equip which is essential for the game. In terms of vehicles there are large trucks, fast sports cars and even a helicopter to command. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses in battle and you can also switch you vehicle in a game if you don’t like the one you are using.

Another good point to draw from the demo is the soundtrack. The menu music is very good and suits the game. The in game sounds also help you to immerse in the intense online battles. On the subject of the menu if you don’t like clowns you will hate the menu screen!

I have been really impressed by the Twisted Metal Beta/Mulitplayer Demo. It has a great element of fun and anyone who plays it will enjoy it. I hope the full game brings the same feeling. After playing the demo it is one of my most highly anticipated titles for 2012.