I remember back in 2013, I wrote a retrospective of the Twisted Metal franchise. Looking back at it, I felt like I could do better. So then, let's not waste any time and dive right into the first game in the series, titled; appropriately enough, Twisted Metal. I've also scrapped my Mega Man retrospective sadly.
The classic that started it all
Let's travel back in time to November 5, 1995 (and if you weren't born then or were an infant like I was, try to imagine it). You got this new game for this brand new CD-ROM based console known as the Playstation. You pop this in and see these pop up on the screen:
Once this happens, you know you're in for the time of your life! High-octane action with a rock-n-roll inspired soundtrack with weaponized cars. It was epic! Now then, let's drive right into the story...
In the (no longer) distant future of December 24, 2005, the 10th annual Twisted Metal contest is about to be held in Los Angeles. The host of the contest is a mysterious man known as Calypso, whose face is burnt beyond recognition.
He gathers twelve drivers to face off in the high octane weaponized demolition derby for one prize. He grants the winner of the competition one wish, in which there are no limits on price, size, or,in special cases, even reality. Good luck, driver.
The combatants gathered are:
Sweet Tooth: An ice cream truck piloted by Needles Kane, a deranged clown on the run from a mental institution. He enters the tournament to find his best friend.
Yellow Jacket: A taxi cab piloted by Charlie Kane, a lonely taxi cab driver from New York. He enters the tournament to find out what happened to his lost son.
Darkside: A semi-truck piloted by Mr. Ash, a demon from the depths of Hell. No one is sure why he entered the contest.
Outlaw: A police car piloted by Carl Roberts, a cop in a good world gone bad. He seeks to end the tournament... like that would ever happen.
Thumper: A 1975 Chevy Lowrider piloted by Bruce Cochrane, a resident of a bad neighborhood in Los Angeles. He enters the tournament to end the crime and violence in his neighborhood (or in the Lost endings, he enters to find his girlfriend).
Crimson Fury: An ultra-fast sports car piloted by Agent Stone, a British secret agent. He enters the tournament to find a mysterious Black Box from an airplane that contains information before Commander Mason can.
Pit Viper: A dune buggy piloted by Angela Fortin, a woman leading a double life. She enters the tournament for one million dollars, supposedly.
Warthog: A US Army Humvee piloted by Commander Mason, a military commander. Under orders of the US Government, he enters the tournament to retrieve a Black Box from an airplane that contains mysterious information.
Mr Grimm: A mysterious figure on a motorcycle. He seeks an item that eluded him for years...
Spectre: A 1965 Corvette piloted by Scott Campbell, a restless spirit. He enters the tournament to come back to life after an untimely death.
Hammerhead: A monster truck piloted by Dave and Mike, two stupid teenagers. They have no idea there even is a prize, they just entered for the thrill of the contest.
Roadkill: A car made out of scrap metal and random junk piloted by Captain Spears, a man filled with regret. He enters seeking to undo his biggest mistake yet.
Minion: Last year's champion. Piloting an LAV-300 tank, he's the unplayable final boss that you must battle to claim your prize.
Now then, let's go into the gameplay.
Obviously, it's your goal to kill the enemy before they kill you, so take it behind the wheel and gun them down. To do so, each vehicle comes with machine guns and a unique special weapon. However, the machine guns overheat from overuse and the special weapons have to recharge if you run out. To help you out, you collect other weapons to help you out like fire missiles with slight homing capabilities, homing missiles with weak firepower but high accuracy, power missiles that lack homing capabilities but hit like a brick, etc.
During this, you begin you're battle in a standard arena, with nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, 1 on 1. This will help you get accustomed to the game, as after this, you take it to the streets of LA and fight from 3-5 opponents (and within cyburbia, 8). At the final match of the tournament, you will fight 3 opponents on top of the skyscrapers of LA. One wrong step, and you're dreams will come crashing down. Survive those 3, and you will fight last year's winner, Minion.
He has the unique ability of having everyone's special weapon and will spam the hell out of it. When you successfully take him down, you have become the winner of the 10th annual Twisted Metal and will be granted a wish by Calypso. With the release of the game, you were granted an ending like this:
(Broken YouTube Link Removed)
While this fact is well known now, this game was going to have live action endings, but they were scrapped before release due to them having terrible production values and were horrendously cheesy. Here they are for those curious:
I shall now talk about what made Twisted Metal into what it is today, the fantastic multiplayer. This was one of those games you would stay up late at night with friends and play the hell out of it, especially since at the time, this was relatively new multiplayer. I normally picked Mr. Grimm and we typically did battle within the Warehouse district and the rooftops. Also, the majority of the stages (read: every stage except for the arena and rooftop combat) were scaled down due to initial limitations.
Now then, what is my stance on this? I say this game has aged very well and is still fun to play. It's somewhat rough around the edges, but it's the first game in the series so that's to be expected. If you can find it for a good price, especially since the series goes for very cheap nowadays, and if you've got a way to play it, grab this and a few friends for one fun session.