Clowns, cars, and crazy multiplayer: A Twisted Metal editorial

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The Twisted Metal series has been around a long time. Since 1995, it has been the king of car combat, and its mascot, Sweet Tooth, is a highly recognizable face in video games. While there were two missteps with Twisted Metal III and Twisted Metal: Small Brawl, the PlayStation-exclusive series has been met mostly with positive response from gamers. And rightfully so, because Twisted Metal is a stellar franchise with incredibly addictive gameplay, smooth mechanics, and interesting plot elements.

February 14 is finally upon us, but a lot of individuals aren't stoked about that date because it's Valentine's Day. No, a lot of people are excited because that's the day Twisted Metal makes its PlayStation 3 debut. This Twisted Metal will mark the first time a game in the series was developed exclusively for a home console since 2001's Twisted Metal: Black. That's over 10 years in the making, so you're damn right fans of the series are excited.

If you've played the demo, then you're familiar with how Twisted Metal plays and feels. I absolutely love Twisted Metal: Black. It's one of my favorite PlayStation 2 games, and it is easily one of my favorite games of all time. I also have a copy of Twisted Metal Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition that gave me plenty of hours of pure entertainment. Those games both had similarly simple control schemes. Twisted Metal for the PlayStation 3 simplifies things a bit more, but it stays true to the control style that has worked all along. Rather than having to memorize combinations to do things such as firing freeze blasts or shooting projectiles backward, the D-pad takes care of these actions by mapping a specific command to each of the four directional buttons. It's intuitive and it works. It's also more inviting for newcomers.

I'll admit it took me a while to get used to this new control setup. For starters, I was always accustomed to controlling my vehicles using the D-pad. With specific actions mapped to the D-pad, I had to get used to steering with the left analog stick and accelerating with the Square button. All it really took was one quick session with the Twisted Metal demo's Training mode, and I was on my way. That's how easy it is to grasp the game's controls.

But where Twisted Metal has simplified things in one respect, it has added a nice layer of depth in another. Players will be able to earn experience points as they play the game's online modes, and according to creator David Jaffe, this XP can be used to obtain unlockables. While details as to the nature of these unlockables are scarce, Jaffe made it clear to point out that Twisted Metal is a game about skill, and as such gaining XP won't necessarily grant certain players with advantages over others.

And that's another reason why anyone who misses the way great games used to be should be stoked to play Twisted Metal. Skill. That's right, skill. Twisted Metal players will all be on an even playing field. If you win an online Deathmatch, it'll be because you took advantage of the resources provided to you by the game, and because you legit kicked everyone else's ass. As of this writing, I'm undefeated in online competition in the Twisted Metal demo. I'd like to think I can continue to kick butt in the full game without having to worry about other players having some crazy advantage over me just because I was unable to play for a few days.

There's really a lot to look forward to in Twisted Metal, regardless of whether you're a longtime fan or a newcomer. The game has a distinct style that's gritty, crazy, and underground. When I play Twisted Metal and take out an opponent, I get this awesome thrill. The violent explosions, the dark ambiance with bright colors sprinkled throughout, the lunatic characters--these are just a few of the elements that make the Twisted Metal series so badass, and they're just a few of elements to look forward to when picking up my full copy of Twisted Metal.

I know I'm not alone when I say I can't wait to get online and blow stuff (and other players) up with my fire missiles, homing rockets, gas cans, and that dude strapped to the gurney. If you're in need of some carnage, you should definitely give Twisted Metal a try. And if, like me, you're already a fan of the series, then you honestly shouldn't hesitate any longer. We've been waiting for a new Twisted Metal since the PlayStation 3's launch, and now we're finally going to get it. Sh*t's going to get twisted!

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David Sanchez David Sanchez is the most honest man on the internet. You can trust him because he speaks in the third person.
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