January 13, 2001
Twisted Metal: Black - Review
Release Date Publisher Developer Players Rating Price
7/12/2001SonyIncog Inc1-2MA15+$99.95
Online Gameplay Difficulty Save Size Vibration 60Hz 50Hz Border
NoHardTBAKBYesYesNone

Click To Enlarge Image
The levels are quite detailed.
Twisted Metal: Black was one of the games most affected by the September 11 attacks. The game was due out only weeks after the attacks but had to be delayed due to content. Apparently the American version has images of planes crashing into buildings which have been removed for our version. The good news is that the bulk of the game remains intact with all the cars, levels and action present in the PAL version. Initially the game wasn't going to appear to 2002, but Sony managed to squeeze the title out in time for Christmas, and what a game it is.

Twisted Metal: Black catapults players on a deranged journey through a world rife with horror and desolation. The infamous Calypso returns to host the ultimate contest of wreckage and devastation. Calypso has plucked a motley crew of contestants straight from the lunatic asylum, promising these otherwise doomed souls a chance to have one wish granted, should they emerge victorious in a deadly battle of twisted metal, a car game where the object is to destroy the opposition. As the carnage unfolds, so does the horrifying tale behind each of these tortured souls. You are set to discover why these manic motorists were locked up behind the walls of insanity. This game is fast, furious and packed full of action.

Click To Enlarge Image
The levels are quite detailed.
The features in Twisted Metal: Black are impressive. The environments have been enhanced with moving traffic, changing weather, living pedestrians and interactive objects. The developers have included an improved vehicle physics engine to deliver more dramatic jumps and landing while the power slides are more exaggerated. As for arenas the game includes twenty 2-player death-match battlegrounds (the heart and soul of Twisted Metal) while the single player game has nine different battlegrounds. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect at this stage is that the game will only include 14 different vehicles, although the 60fps graphics should be nice.

Playing Twisted Metal: Black is very enjoyable. The cars handle superbly while the action is frantic and non-stop. Forget about Twisted Metal 3 and Twisted Metal 4 this game returns the series to it's gripping roots as the developers have made the gameplay the most important aspect of the game. Driving the cars will take some getting use to as the seem to slip and slide all over the place. After an hour or so you will be pulling nifty 180° turns to surprise to opposition. Each vehicle selected has its own set of attributes which greatly affect the handling and speed during the battles, while some have armour to allow you to take more of a beating.

THE RATING...

As you should have noticed this game has received a MA15+ classification in Australia, the highest possible for a game. But why? The game is little more then driving around cars and blowing up others. There is no graphic violence, little swearing and no where near the brutality of many other games. If someone can let me know...

The single player mode is engrossing, and fairly tough when you come upon 8 opponents within one arenas. The levels are wonderfully detailed with plenty of hidden areas and hazards to stumble accross while the weapons are quite varied, although not to the extent seen in Wipeout Fusion. The boss encounters are extremely challenging. If you want an easy walk-through type of game then go elsewhere as this game will have you going for hours on end just go get through a couple of levels.

Click To Enlarge Image
The levels are quite detailed.
Thanks to the power of the Playstation 2 this game looks a treat. The levels are full of small details while the particle effects for the fires and weapons are spectacular. Just watching rockets trail off into the distance is a complete joy but when they slam into the side of an enemy and explode your jaw will hit the floor. Even more impressive is that Incog Inc have managed to get the game running at a constant 60fps, with only a small amount of slowdown for the 4-player game. The game has an intentional dull and gritty look while the weapons become visible on the vehicles once they have been picked up. Sadly the game is mostly devoid of cut scenes, including and intro, but when it comes down to it, it's the gameplay that counts, not small movies.

Click To Enlarge Image
The levels are quite detailed.
When you look at the graphical style in this game it's not hard to imagine a heavy grunge styled soundtrack, and thats pretty much what you get. The music was created with the assistance of Scorpio Sound, and it's terrific. There is plenty of variety on offer from a gothic to more industrial sound but the music is generally dark and gritty to suit the game. Sound effects are exactly what you would expect. Loud. The quality is also extremely high with some great vehicle effects.

A great game that will have action fans hooked for weeks on end. Well worth a purchase despite some repetitive gameplay.

GRAPHICSNice, gritty graphics with planty of detail. Spectacular particle effects.
86%
SOUNDSome great grunge style music, backed up with strong sound effects.
84%
GAMEPLAYBoth single and multi-player modes are completely engrossing.
89%
VALUENot too many levels or cars to select from, but plenty of replay value.
78%
OVERALLTwisted Metal Black is possibly the best car combat game ever.
83%

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