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Twisted Metal review roundup

Twisted Metal review scores are in. Time to strap on that seatbelt. 

By Matthew Shaer / February 15, 2012

Twisted Metal hits shelves this week. Here, a screenshot from Twisted Metal.

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Twisted Metal, the rip-and-roar driving franchise published by Sony, first hit shelves back in 1995, as an exclusive for the PlayStation console. Since then, a veritable traffic jam of sequels have appeared, including Twisted Metal 2, 3, 4, and Twisted Metal: Black. The latest in the series is titled simply Twisted Metal, and it arrives this week on the PlayStation 3, in high-gloss HD.  

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The game features the recurring characters Sweet Tooth and Calypso, along with the usual litany of armored trucks, explosives, and Really Big Guns. (Seat belts suggested.) So how does Twisted Metal stack up? Let's go to the scorecards.  

The plot (so to speak) 

"The story is told through the perspectives of three characters – Sweet Tooth, Grimm and Doll Face – entered in the Twisted Metal tournament run by mastermind Calypso," writes Brett Molina of USA Today. "If they win, they're granted any prize they choose. In the case of clown-faced serial killer Sweet Tooth, for example, it's to find the one victim that escaped his grasp. Although the story elements are very loosely tied to the game overall, they do offer this sinister backdrop with short tales that play out like an episode of The Twilight Zone." 

The vehicles

"The game is all about the cars, which are no longer locked to a specific driver," writes Jason D'Aprile of G4 TV. "Players can choose three different vehicles in most matches, which can be swapped out in the garage found on each map. Since cars don’t automatically regenerate health, the game can become a race to either find health power-ups or get to the garage before exploding. Each vehicle has its own signature move, which recharges after use, and a pre-selected main gun. Beyond that, it’s a free-for-all to pick up weapon power-ups." 

The controls

"While there are some unique additions [to previous Twisted Metal games], the core controls are still as slippery and loose as ever," writes Sebastian Haley of VentureBeat. "You can even turn 360 degrees without hitting the gas, so don’t expect any level of realism here. At the same time, the gameplay was in need of tune-up and could really have used some tightening up, especially in terms of weight distribution. Even the heaviest vehicles can be flung into the air with little effort…and sometimes with no effort at all; Twisted Metal sports some of the worst game physics to date, and at times it’s downright game-breaking."

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