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.
Twisted Metal: Black garnered critical acclaim from various video game publications. It received a rating of 9.5 out of 10 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.
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