copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Twisted Metal 4



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Impact: Relatively memorable

While I was bored, I decided to take a look at the last Twisted Metal game that I played on PlayStation. After 3 semi-successful games, this one is scraping the ground that was once full of gold but is now a little bare. However the formula still seems to work...


Story


In case you never played Twisted Metal before, the game is about a special tournament established by Callisto, a mystery man, where the opponents must engage in a car destruction derby with all kinds of weapons. Only one can be left in the end. Callisto will then grant one wish to that winner…anything he could desire.


The story never stood central in any of the Twisted Metal games. Developers didn't seem to try and create any new and gripping ideas in this one either. You see an intro about the past of the Sweet Tooth (the evil clown). He returns to town to steal the Twisted Metal challenge from Callisto, to whom it originally belonged, by stealing his magic ring and kicking him out to the streets. Callisto becomes one of the contestants.


Gameplay


Well the idea is still the same: You choose a car, go to one of the maps where you battle it out with several opponents' cars using different weaponry until there's only one of you left. This continues until you pass all maps and win the game.


The game provides you with several very distinct maps set in all kinds of locations all over the world with all kinds of ramps for you to jump around using your car's turbo.

Maps feel cheaper this time around. They feel kind of small, simplistic and with less fun stuff to do there. There are some interesting secret (or not so secret) ways on some maps to destroy enemies as well as some secret shortcuts.


Also, the maps are less realistic. Whether it's good or bad depends on the player's taste. Some might feel really weird driving as a toy car in a gigantic bedroom. Others might find it original and funny.


There are several cars to choose from. Most of the original Twisted Metal characters are still here. The vehicles are very diverse, from a trike to a tank. Each vehicle has a special attack besides the general weapons that he can pick up from the battleground.


The new feature in TM4 is the ability to customize your vehicles. There are limits of course. What this practically means is that you can choose out of several base cars, and then you can choose its color and special weapons (which are copied from the special weapons of the main character cars).


AI doesn't have to be complicated for this kind of game and so it isn't. Basically, if you keep moving around, using available cover, you should be ok. The opponents' cars will drive around and when they spot you they will fire their weapons..... that's what they are there for.....that's what they do....That's all I can push out of it.


Controls are what you'd expect from them. Actually, there isn't that much to be said about controls in any Twisted Metal game. It's basically one button to go forward and one to shoot bullets and one to shoot missiles and one to brake and ....zzzz....ZZZ...oh excuse me....where was I? Oh yes...


Generally, the campaign of the game is quite short and, besides being allowed to see an ending to the character’s story, there's nothing you can gain from it that you can’t gain from choosing the map in skirmish mode.


The game feels very arcade. The physics aren’t complicated and cars get up to speed almost instantly as well as drive on surfaces of all angles. It’s all about the fast paced bang bang bang and rrmmm rrrrmmm and not about professional racing.


Graphics:


For its time, TM4 provides up to standards graphics. They are however very far from being a work of art. Buildings are, simply, just blocks with windows and doors drawn on them. Some cars have a nice reflection to them but that’s about it. Fire and explosions look fun though.


Sound:


While the rockets and bullets practically sound the same, and there’s nothing too fancy that I can remember, the music, I must say, is first-class. The developers didn't bother creating their own soundtracks but instead borrowed soundtracks from metal bands. The developer's choice of bands was remarkable and compliments the sort of action you see in the game well. Some of the soundtracks used, I still play today on my Musicmatch player, so many years later.


Conclusion:


Twisted Metal 4 can hold its own but its old formula starts to annoy the fans a little, just like a certain food that you've eaten for several months and can't stand it any longer. As a stand-alone however it's still a lot of fun so if you like driving around in weird places and blowing up other cars, this is the game to get.