Twisted Metal: Black
Years ago, Sci’s Carmageddon broke open the car combat genre that up until then hadn’t really had much attention. After the initial release of Sci’s hit, several publishers tried to do better (including Sci with sequels to their original) but none of them ever really did create the same feeling and gave as much fun as Carmageddon itself. Up until now that is.
Twisted Metal:Black is the latest attempt to conquer the car-combat genre and at last we’ve found a game that beats Carmageddon in everything one can comment on.
You’ve got several game options including single and multiplayer to keep you busy and although there is indeed something one could call a story (a car championship organised by some Underworld Dark Lord called Calypso) the main focus is on action. And action we get !
The idea is that every level consists of an arena where you have to make junkyard scrap out of all other vehicles driving around in a kind of Deathmatch type gamestyle. To do this you get an arsenal of weapons including homing missiles, rockets, machine guns, etc … all depending on which character you choose (in total there are 15 characters, 5 of which get unlocked while playing along the game).
Also, when you get the hand of the game you can trick special moves with your car which have immense destructive results on your opponents.
The fun part of the game is however not only that you get to destroy the other cars, but that you can practically destroy everything that’s in the arena, even the choppers that fly in your powerups
Talking about powerups : there are loads of powerups and add-on’s you can get in the arena like extra rockets, powerups that increase certain parts of your car, gasoline or projectiles that you can shoot at your enemies.
The levels are so enormous that you can sometimes just drive around enjoying the surroundings for almost an hour just to try and find all available powerups, gadgets and secret rooms. One of the most impressive levels is the one where you start off on a ship that’s about to dock and once the ship has arrived the doors go open and you can leave it just to start fighting on land. And I shouldn’t forget to mention that this ship alone is already big enough for a full level !
The sound is also worth mentioning, with tunes that vary depending on wether you’re in the middle of a fight, about to get close to an enemy or are just driving around and doing a bit of sightseeing. The tunes are really well-picked and add very much to the atmosphere.
Of course it isn’t just the music that’s important but there’s just nothing that can be said bad about the sound effects. Everything you want is there, from crashes over cracks to brakes !
To be honest I can’t explain just how magnificent this game is made. The details are just too much to mention all but I’ll give you a short lineup of some of them : rockettrails, car lights, flame throwers, detailed explosions and car damage, secret area’s, car jumps, electric lightning, etc.
In multiplayer you can play with up to 4 people in total and bash each other to death. IF you’ve got a TV that’s big enough so that everyone would still have a good view on where he’s driving and what he’s doing, but that’s a problem rather caused by the PS2 than by the game.
Normal deathmatch isn’t the only multiplayer option though, there’s also Last Man Standing and Co-op whis is actually a split-screen story mode where you can help each other out but you only have one life.
Overall, Twisted Metal:Black is the best car combat game to have ever seen the daylight and I’m not joking about this