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, Kevin Riepl, Kevin Manthei|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Multiplayer, Split-screen multiplayer|
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 December 2015, the game was made available for the PlayStation 4 through the PlayStation Network.
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, in which ten of them are selectable from the very beginning and the other five must be found and unlocked.
(Side Note) One theory about the setting of Twisted Metal Black is that the game takes place inside Sweet Tooth's head. This is backed by the fact that every character who has malicious intents in their wish gets their wish granted in full, without trickery, whereas the good natured contestants are rewarded with trickery and usually death. This fits the way Sweet Tooth thinks, as he is believed to be pure evil, and when he grants wishes in Twisted Metal 4, this is how he acts. Also, there's the theory that Sweet Tooth could be locked up in the Blackfield Asylum the whole time the game takes place, and it's all happeneing inside his head. If you complete certain requirements within the game, a secret message from Minion is revealed that says "I do not think this is real. I must speak in code or he will discover me. We are trapped in his head." This essentially confirms the theory of the game taking place in his head.
Twisted Metal: Black garnered critical acclaim. 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 its hover style controls for not changing much from the previous installments and its unbalanced difficulty were poorly fared. Maxim gave the game all five stars and called it "a road rager’s dream come true." Playboy gave it 90% and called it "Fun for the whole family!" The Cincinnati Enquirer gave it four stars out of five and called it "a fight to the finish, so it's important to keep moving and to quickly learn how and when to use each of the weapons."
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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