Twisted Metal (video game)
|Developer(s)||Sony Interactive Studios America (production)
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Distributor(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Director(s)||Mike D. Jackson|
|Artist(s)||Lee Wilson (vehicle sketches)|
|Composer(s)||Chuck E. Meyers
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Twisted Metal is a vehicular combat video game developed by SingleTrac, produced by Sony Interactive Studios America (now 989 Studios) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. The game was released in North America on November 5, 1995, in Europe on January 13, 1996 and in Japan on November 15, 1996. The North American version was rereleased for the Sony Greatest Hits line-up on March 3, 1997. It is the first installment in the Twisted Metal series. The game's plot is centered on the titular competition in which various drivers in modified vehicles must destroy the other vehicles in an attempt to be the last one alive. The winner meets the organizer of the competition, a mysterious man named Calypso, who will grant the winner a single wish, regardless of price, size or even reality.
Twisted Metal is a vehicular combat game in which the player takes control of one of twelve unique vehicles. While in control of a vehicle, the player can accelerate, steer, brake, reverse, activate the turbo, turn tightly, toggle between and activate weapons using the game controller's d-pad and buttons. The game can be played in either the one-player mode (in which the game's story takes place) or the co-op mode (in which two human players can select a battleground on which to compete in). In the one-player mode, the player must progress through six combat arenas of progressively increasing size and featuring progressively more opponents. To clear a level, the player must destroy all of the enemy vehicles in that level. The game lasts until all of the player's lives have expired or until all six levels have been cleared.
The player begins the game with three lives, indicated by the stacked green boxes on the bottom right corner of the screen. The length of each of the player's lives is tied to their health bar (located to the left of the life boxes), which decreases whenever the player's vehicle is damaged by enemy attacks. The player can replenish a portion of their vehicle's health bar by driving through blue ramps called "Health Stations" scattered throughout the environments. The difficulty level the game is set on determines how much of the vehicle's health is replenished and how fast the stations recharge once the player has used them. Each time the health bar is fully depleted, the player loses a life. If the last life is lost, the game ends prematurely.
Weapons play a key role in winning the game. All vehicles come with a pair of mounted machine guns. They are weak in power, but have unlimited ammunition. However, the guns can overheat if used for too long at a time, preluded by the overheat light on the bottom-right corner of the screen blinking red. When the light becomes fully red, the machine guns will cease to function and the player will have to allow the guns to cool off before they can be used again. Additional weapons scattered throughout the environments can be picked up and utilized if the player drives through them. These weapons include a variety of missiles, land mines, tire spikes and oil slicks. All vehicles can carry up to 30 weapons. The words "MAX CARRYING CAPACITY" will appear on screen whenever a vehicle attempts to carry more than 30 weapons.
The game takes place in the streets of Los Angeles on Christmas Eve, 2005. The contest featured in the game is the tenth annual running of the competition thus far. The first level, the "Arena", is an underground arena in which the player and a single opponent face off for the right to compete in Twisted Metal. The second level, "Warehouse District Warfare", takes place in the warehouse district of downtown Los Angeles and features three opponents that the player must defeat. The third level, "Freeway Free for All", takes place on the freeways of Los Angeles and features five opponents that the player must defeat. The fourth level, "River Park Rumble", takes place in Beverly Hills and features six opponents that the player must defeat. The fifth and largest of the six levels, "Cyburbia", takes place in the suburbs and features eight opponents that the player must defeat. The sixth and final level, "Rooftop Combat", takes place on the rooftops of Los Angeles' tallest skyscrapers. After defeating three opponents, the player must face Minion, the winner of the previous year's Twisted Metal contest. The game is won when Minion is defeated.
Twelve vehicles can be selected for play in Twisted Metal. Each vehicle comes equipped with a unique special weapon. The special weapon is unlimited in stock but decrease the player's "Special Weapon Attack Number". When this number reaches zero, the player will be unable to use the special weapon and must wait for the special weapon to recharge before the number increases again.
- Needles Kane, the pilot of the ice cream truck "Sweet Tooth", is a psychotic clown on the run from a Los Angeles mental hospital, having stolen Sweet Tooth, grabbed a bag of hot dogs and set out in search of his best friend. Sweet Tooth's special weapon is the "Napalm Cone", a scorching scoop of flaming ice cream.
- Commander Mason, the pilot of the armored vehicle "Warthog", is an angry army commander hired by the United States government to retrieve a top-secret item from an Arizona plane crash. Warthog's special weapon is the "XQJ-37", a trio of top-secret military missiles.
- Sergeant Roberts, the pilot of the police car "Outlaw", is a police officer who is competing in Twisted Metal in hopes of cleaning up the streets and making the world a safer place. Outlaw's special weapon is the "Tazer", a series of omnidirectional high-energy volts.
- Mister Ash, the pilot of the semi-trailer truck "Darkside", is a strange creature with unknown motives born from the depths of Hell. Darkside's special weapon is the "Death Blast", a white-hot laser beam forged in the fires of Hell.
- Dave and Mike, the pilots of the stolen monster truck "Hammerhead", are two high school drop-outs competing for the thrill of the contest and to see what their newest heavy metal CDs sound like in the middle of a gun fight. Hammerhead's special weapon is the "Crusher", which is activated automatically by running an opponent over with Hammerhead's massive tires.
- Charlie Kane, the pilot of the taxicab "Yellow Jacket", is a retired racecar driver fighting for the knowledge of his son's whereabouts. Yellow Jacket's special weapon is a molotov cocktail, which can be launched at opponents to set them ablaze.
- Captain Spears, the pilot of a car made from scraps named "Roadkill", is an old army commando who lost his men in a savage jungle war and is competing in hopes of changing the past. Roadkill's special weapon is the "Steel Dagger", a giant, sharp steel rod.
- Scott Campbell, the pilot of the sports car "Spectre", is a restless spirit who wishes to become whole once again. Specter's special weapon is the "Ghost Missle", a ghostly weapon that can phase through walls and floors in order to reach an opponent.
- The pilot of the motorcycle "Mr. Grimm" is an unknown figure with unknown motives. Mr. Grimm's special weapon is the "Death Spawn", which fires the screaming souls of the restless dead and is the most powerful weapon in the game.
- Agent Stone, the pilot of the Lamborghini Diablo "Crimson Fury", is a special agent searching for an item that could liberate the world. Crimson Fury's special weapon is the "Crimson Blade", a metal-slicing laser beam.
- Angela Fortin, the pilot of the dune buggy "Pit Viper", is a mysterious female supposedly competing for money. Pit Viper's special weapon is the "Sizzle", a sizzling glob of metal-eating slime.
- Bruce Cochrane, the pilot of the lowrider "Thumper", is a man in search of peace for his neighborhood, his family and himself. Thumper's special weapon is the "Scorcher", a powerful flamethrower.
Once a year the legendary Calypso, a man who dwells beneath the streets of Los Angeles, holds the "Twisted Metal" competition. The contest takes place all around the Los Angeles area and calls upon drivers in various different vehicles to battle to the death. The contestants are selected and contacted by Calypso via an e-mail message that simply reads "WILL YOU DRIVE?" in red letters. The one driver still alive at the end of the night is granted a single wish, with no limits on price, size or, according to some, even reality.
Twisted Metal received mixed reviews from critics, but the game was commercially successful, selling over 1.08 million copies in the United States alone. It received an aggregate score of 66.88% on GameRankings. Game Revolution praised the game's action and variety of the vehicles, but noted that the graphics were "a little sloppy". IGN criticized the single-player mode's short length of "just a couple of hours", but remarked that the two-player mode "more than makes up for the one-player mode's lack of length." Twisted Metal was commercially successful and was re-released for the Sony Greatest Hits line-up on March 3, 1997.
- "Twisted Metal for PlayStation". GameSpot. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
- Twisted Metal instruction booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1995. p. 3.
- Twisted Metal instruction booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1995. p. 5.
- Twisted Metal instruction booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1995. p. 7.
- Twisted Metal instruction booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1995. pp. 11–13.
- SingleTrac. Twisted Metal. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Contest History. (November 5, 1995) Text: It is Christmas Eve, 2005... and in a few moments the legendary Twisted Metal competition will begin.
- SingleTrac. Twisted Metal. (Sony Computer Entertainment). PlayStation. Level/area: Contest History. (November 5, 1995) Text: A dozen competitors have been personally selected by Calypso to do combat in the tenth running of the Twisted Metal competition. They come from every background... assassins, mercenaries, vigilantes, professional drivers, social misfits and joyriders...
- Twisted Metal instruction booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1995. pp. 14–15.
- Twisted Metal instruction booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1995. p. 16.
- Twisted Metal instruction booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1995. p. 17.
- Twisted Metal instruction booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1995. p. 18.
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- Twisted Metal instruction booklet. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1995. p. 4.
- "Twisted Metal for PlayStation - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
- "Twisted Metal review for the PS". Game Revolution. June 4, 2004. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
- IGN Staff (November 26, 1996). "IGN: Twisted Metal Review". IGN. Retrieved December 19, 2009. "The game's only downfall is that it's just too short. The game can be completed in just a couple of hours. However, the two-player split-screen combat mode more than makes up for the one-player mode's lack of length."
- "US Platinum Videogame Chart". The Magic Box. December 27, 2007. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
- Twisted Metal at MobyGames
- Twisted Metal at Game Rankings
- Twisted Metal at GameSpot
- Twisted Metal World Records at Twin Galaxies