The Twisted Metal demo screeched on to the Playstation Network on Tuesday and I was able to get in a handful of online matches while also checking out the included single-player options. So is this a great return to the PS3 of one of the most celebrated vehicular combat games or did it take a rocket up the rear?
As I mentioned, I was able to get in a handful of online matches for Twisted Metal in both the Deathmatch and Nuke modes. However, that came to an end as the matchmaking for the game essentially crashed Tuesday night and I was unable to connect Wednesday either. This was extremely disappointing as the core gameplay is actually fantastic and blowing up cars with a bevy of weapons is something is something I’ve been missing.
Deathmatch is exactly what you’ expect with 16 cars racing around a map that looks like a California suburb while blowing the crap out of each other. It’s a pretty straight-forward 10 minute match where the player with the most kills and most damage earns the win.
Nuke is Twisted Metal’s twisted version of Capture the Flag except the goal is to destroy the other team’s statue. It requires some teamwork but is a fun mode.
There’s also a single-player Challenge mode where you take on seven AI-controller cars and try to destroy them all without dying. Yes, this is a challenge primarily because all seven cars are highly focused on you and not each other. Jaffe has stated that they will try to lower the difficulty on this some when the game is released.
With the basic modes out the way, how does driving and combat handle? It all handles very nicely actually. The eight cars in the game are spread across the small and speedy to large and able to take punishment. My current favorite is the Crimson Fury, a speedy sports car equipped with a flamethrower, but there’s something to be said about riding around on the Reaper, the game’s motorcycle. Handling is very sharp and the graphics engine handled all the on screen action with a hitch. It’s not “Uncharted” pretty but a silky smooth frame rate and a distinctive style goes along way in the enjoyment department.
The default controls are a little different with square button as the gas, the X button as the E-brake, and the right and left triggers for your weapons. However, there are alternate control schemes to choose from if that doesn’t fit your billing.
It’s really a shame that the matchmaking for the Twisted Metal demo is completely borked right now as the online play was a blast while I was able to get on. That’s definitely a concern for the retail release of the game due out on February 14 in North America. Hopefully, that’s something Sony and Eat Sleep Play can get straightened out quick.
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