Twisted Metal: Black
|Twisted Metal: Black|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Designer(s)||David Jaffe (lead), Scott Campbell, Steve Ceragioli, Kellan Hatch|
|Programmer(s)||Steve Poulson (lead), Michael Badger, Pierre Dufresne|
|Writer(s)||Mike Giam (story), David Jaffe, Scott Campbell|
|Composer(s)||Michael Reagan, Gregory J. Hainer|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
Twisted Metal: Black is a vehicle combat video game developed by Incognito Entertainment (formerly Incog Inc.) and designed by Sony Computer Entertainment America for the PlayStation 2 video game console. It is the fifth installment to the Twisted Metal series and was released June 18, 2001. An online enabled multiplayer-only variant, Twisted Metal: Black Online, was released later as a free send away.
Both Twisted Metal: Black and Twisted Metal: Black Online were reissued as part of Sony Greatest Hits program. A standard downloadable version of Twisted Metal: Black is included in the first batch of copies of Twisted Metal for PlayStation 3, discernible by the "Limited Edition" tab near the top of the cover art.
In concept, Twisted Metal: Black is a demolition derby that permits the usage of ballistic projectiles. Players choose a vehicle and an arena—or a series of arenas in the story mode—to engage in battle with opposing drivers. A variety of weapons and upgrades are obtainable by pick-ups scattered throughout the stage. The objective of the game is to be the last one standing.
The basis of the plot follows the same structure as in all the previous games: Calypso runs a car-based contest called Twisted Metal (though in the game the contest is never called that), in which the various characters compete risking their lives to claim the tournament's prize - any single wish they desire, no matter the difficulty, rarity or even reality of such wish. It should be pointed out that while Calypso is indeed malevolent, characters who have malevolent wishes (which make most of the cast) have their wishes granted without him tricking them on the wishes, while those seeking more noble ends (such as Outlaw's driver Agent Stone) find that Calypso usually has the last laugh.
In a somewhat different take from previous games, each character has their own story, which they narrate from their own point of view. Each of them starts with them being visited by Calypso, who knows what they desire and offers them in his contest. More of the characters' background is revealed in their midpoint cutscene, presented as a dream experienced when they briefly pass out after the sub-boss Minion is defeated. The characters' ending movie showing their wish being granted is presented after defeating the final boss Warhawk.
The game instead takes place within a single city known as "Midtown", with most competitors coming from the city's mental asylum, "Blackfield".
Twisted Metal: Black has a diverse cast made up from both new and returning characters, some of which have changed drastically from their previous appearances. There are a total of fifteen selectable characters.
Twisted Metal: Black has a hidden story, in that the entire game takes place in Needles Kane's (driver of Sweet Tooth, and split personality of Marcus Kane, original driver of Roadkill) head. Needles Kane is a demented clown based serial killer, which is why Twisted Metal: Black is much more gruesome than its prequels, based on perceptions of the world held by Needles.
Junkyard Dog (Billy Ray Stillwell) - A farmer who desires revenge against a crop duster pilot who tried to kill him during an unscheduled sweep so he could run off with the farmer's wife and life insurance.
Brimstone (Preacher) - A fanatical evangelist who believes that he is possessed by a demon who tries to tarnish his good name after what he thought was an exorcism. He now strives to clear his name.
Outlaw (Agent Stone) – A broken SWAT officer who allowed his emotions to obstruct his judgment resulting in the death of a group of terrorists along with a mother and daughter next door. His wish is to go back in time and redeem himself.
Mr. Grimm (Mr. Grimm) – A Vietnam veteran who was forced to consume the flesh of his fellow soldier in order to survive. He enters the contest on his eponymous motorcycle, wearing his friend’s skull as a helmet, hoping to get his revenge on the military advisor who forced him into cannibalism.
Roadkill (John Doe) – An amnesiac who seeks only to discover who he truly is. The only hints he is given are the tattoos around his body and a picture of himself wearing a suit.
Crazy-8 (No-Face) – A former boxer who had his face mangled and mutilated beyond repair by a vengeful doctor who bet in his favor in a match he had lost.
Spectre (Bloody Mary) – An emotionally unstable woman who enters the competition trying to win true love, for the only familiar aspects of her life was ridicule and loneliness.
Darkside (Dollface) – An enigmatic young woman who had a strange doll themed mask forcibly attached on her head. The crushing force at which the mask was put on her head caused her such great mental damage that she now harbors the demeanor of a little girl. Her single greatest desire is to remove the mask.
Shadow (Raven) – A gothic teenager whose regard for the disdain of the in-crowd and distaste from her parents was little if existent. Her closest friend (and soul mate) was killed when a couple of teenage boys spoiled their day with a prank gone wrong. She entered the contest to avenge her friend by whatever means possible.
Yellow Jacket (Mr. Kane and Son) – A disturbed yet highly intellectual little boy and his father (cab driver Charlie Kane), whom he artificially reanimated after the latter was killed; both enter the contest so that Calypso can “make it all better.” Charlie Kane and his son are the father and brother of Needles Kane respectively.
Axel (Axel) – A grief-stricken man who was so devastated and traumatized by the death of his wife that he invented a massive two-wheeled contraption which drags his feet across the surface where he’s diving, claiming that he must indefinitely pay the penance of not saving his wife. He enters the contest solely for revenge.
Warthog (Cage) – A deranged man who desires to be the greatest serial killer in history, Cage enters the contest to have the part of his mind that makes him sad whenever he takes a life removed.
Manslaughter (Black) – A strange and possibly demonic figure who adorns only leather wraps and what appears to be a gimp mask, enters the competition simply to kill Calypso.
Sweet Tooth (Needles Kane) – A demented, clown-themed serial killer who has become the notorious icon of fear and death for Midtown. When he was finally caught after his abundant murders, he was to be executed via electric chair. The Preacher (Brimstone) cursed Needles Kane, burdening him forever with the flames of Hell (in the form of his scalp eternally on fire). He enters the contest with the sole intention of removing the curse.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2010)|
Following the release of Twisted Metal titles produced by Sony's 989 Studios division, Sony handed off the franchise to newly formed developer Incog Inc. Incog Inc. was founded by several previous employees of SingleTrac, the developer responsible for creating the Twisted Metal franchise, including several of the key developers behind the first two Twisted Metal games.
Over the course of development, several features were cut from the final product. It was originally intended for Thumper to be included, but he was cut as the developers felt the character did not fit in with the storyline. Warhawk was also supposed to be playable, but was removed due to time constraints and the fact that Warhawk's control was similar to that of a flying car, making it too powerful.
Due to the explicitly violent storylines of the characters, Twisted Metal: Black is the first game in the series to receive a Mature (M) rating by the ESRB. It was also due to this that some countries that received the PAL version of the game had the character's cut-scene movies removed in order for it to receive a lower rating.
Before the game was due to be released in the UK after the September 11 attacks, it was revealed that it was possible to shoot down a 747 during play in one of the levels; this was also removed from the PAL release, and the plane was seen crashed at the start of the level.
Twisted Metal: Black garnered critical acclaim from various video game publications. It received a rating of 9.5 out of 10.0 from GameSpot and a rating of 9.6 out of 10 from IGN. In GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2001, the game was nominated for Best Shooting Game, and came in ninth in their Game of the Year category. Many critics praised its dark and outstanding storylines for each character and its variety of weapons and unlockables. But criticized some of its hover style controls for not changing much from the previous installments and its unbalanced difficulty.
Twisted Metal Black: Harbor City
Twisted Metal Black was to have a sequel titled Twisted Metal Black: Harbor City, though it was never officially announced and the project was later scrapped.
Details on the game were revealed in the PlayStation 2 port of Twisted Metal: Head-On, Twisted Metal Head-on: Extra Twisted Edition. It was originally planned the levels of Harbor City to be greatly expanded and inter-connected with one another, giving a greater feeling of a single, complete world rather than stand-alone levels. According to bonus material on Extra Twisted Edition, the project was scrapped because of the deaths of six key developers in a plane crash. However, Jaffe revealed on www.shootmytruck.com to a tweet regarding this that it was just a story to explain the cancellation of the title.
The four completed levels were included in the game as a bonus feature entitled Twisted Metal: Lost.
- "Twisted Metal:Black Ships for the PS2". GameZone. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Anon. Edge staff (September 2001). "Twisted Metal Black". Edge (Bath: Future plc) (101): p. 82.
- Gaming Age's review of Twisted Metal: Black.
- Game Revolution's review of Twisted Metal: Black.
- GameSpot's review of Twisted Metal: Black. Retrieved April 8, 2006.
- IGN's review of the game. Retrieved April 7, 2006.
- Game Rankings page for Twisted Metal: Black.
- Metacritic on Twisted Metal: Black. Retrieved April 9, 2006.
- Gamespot's review Twisted Metal: Black for PlayStation 2
- IGN: Twisted Metal: Black
- Gamespot: The Best and Worst of 2001
- Gamespot: Top Ten Video Games of 2001
- "Twisted Metal Black Part II". IGN. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
- Twisted Metal: Lost intro, Twisted Metal Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition