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. The second level, "Warehouse District Warfare", takes place in the warehouse district of downtown Los Angeles. The third level, "Freeway Free for All", takes place on the freeways of Los Angeles. The fourth level, "River Park Rumble", takes place in Beverly Hills. The fifth and largest of the six levels, "Cyburbia", takes place in the suburbs. The sixth and final level, "Rooftop Combat", takes place on the rooftops of Los Angeles' tallest skyscrapers. After defeating all the opponents, the player must face the final boss Minion. The game is won when Minion is defeated.
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 (November 5, 1995). Twisted Metal. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: Contest History. "Text: It is Christmas Eve, 2005... and in a few moments the legendary Twisted Metal competition will begin."
- SingleTrac (November 5, 1995). Twisted Metal. PlayStation. Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: Contest History. "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. 4.
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- IGN Staff (November 26, 1996). "Twisted Metal (PS)". IGN. Retrieved March 13, 2014. "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.