"Welcome to Beverly Hills!
Try to take down 6 enemy vehicles while the 'beautiful people' run for cover! Ya know, come to think of it, take down some of the beautiful people while you're at it!"
Somewhere in-between The Road Warrior and Death Race 2000 lies one of Sony's most popular games: Twisted Metal. As the driver of one of 12 different weapons laden vehicles, your goal is to destroy everyone else and be the last survivor. Sound like fun? It is.
The cars and drivers are widely varied, and all of them have different special weapons. There is Needles Kane, a psychotic clown driving the world's most dangerous ice-cream truck. Dave and Mike are a couple of head-bangers in a monster truck. Mr. Grimm is a supernatural guy on a motorcycle. There is a Ferrari driven by a secret agent and a cop car driven by a cop. There's also the moderately offensive stereotype car: 'Thumper' a low-rider, gang-banger vehicle with the license plate 'DRYVBY'. (mmmm tasteful)
Aside from the special weapons specific to each car, there are lots of standard weapons as well. Every car has machine guns, and can pick up weapons in the various arenas. There are six different kinds of missiles, mines, tire spikes (lame), a rear flame thrower, a catapult that launches cars into the air, and oil slicks. Hint: oil slicks are fairly useless except on the rooftop level. Watch your opponents slide to their doom.
There are six arena's to fight in. You start off in a gladiator style arena, but can graduate to the LA freeways, Beverly Hills, a once-peaceful suburb, and finally the rooftops of LA skyscrapers. On the roof, you must defeat Minion, last years winner of this brutal contest. Be careful not to fall off the edge.
The sound effects are quite good: plenty of roaring engines, whooshing missiles, and some odd sounding lasers. The graphics are kind of average. The cars are all rendered polygons with nice texture maps. The scenery is very busy, with lots of colors and small items which make it hard to make out details. With a refresh rate that's just a little too slow, it gets difficult to tell parked cars from moving ones. The graphics are just a little sloppy and difficult to see until you get the hang of what to look for.
Once you get the hang of it, Twisted Metal has terrific playability. Even after you've solved it with one vehicle, there are still 11 more to go, so the game doesn't lose all interest after one sitting. There is also the 2 player option where you can duel with your friends.