Twisted Metal: Black
Game Info
Playstation 2
Incog Inc.
Car Combat
ESRB Rating
Violence, Blood and Gore
The Good

• Immense areas to battle it out
• Numerous gameplay modes
• A variety of unlockable characters and arenas
• Excellent enemy A.I.

The Bad

• Harsh learning curve
• Not meant for kids


Think of Twisted Metal like Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars. In the original game, Twisted Metal had a lot of potential and good things going for it. By TM2, the series was strong and was doing things right. But, by TM3, Twisted Metal had turned bad. In TM4, Twisted Metal was as weak and bad as possible. With Twisted Metal Black, though, the series has made a triumphant return. The premise is the same as before. The evil Calypso has gathered a handful of insane and perverse people to drive vehicles of death in a tournament. Whoever wins will get their wish fulfilled.

To see downloaded video clips of TMB is to not even get a glimpse of what is involved with this game. Possibly the most depraved and intense car combat game ever to be created, this game will easily run you through the ringer before letting you go. This game is dark and every battlefield feels like your driving through the gates of Hell.

This game runs at 60fps with no problem. The only time it might dip is on 4 player when an element of the environment gets blown up. What is really impressive is that so many little things are done right and well that the whole package comes together. Car lights illuminate the surroundings. Weather effects are impressive. Driving through the Junkyard, you might find yourself in a deluge that will reduce visibility and the snow in the Snowy Roads level is also extremely effective. The numerous levels (with many to unlock) vary in size, but most are huge and packed full with secrets and places to hide, or duke it out. On the first level alone you can jump on top of a crusher, shoot down a plane to access a hidden underground tunnel and break into the building by jumping through the windows. In later levels, you can run into or destroy buildings, cars and even pedestrians.

And it's not just the gameplay that's polished. The interface of the menu, with the Matrix-like 3D effects, is beautiful. The original music is well done and paced out excellently. When you manage to find a place the hide, the music falls into a passive, dark lull, but when the heat is on, all hell breaks loose sonically. All around, the music is as strong as the visuals. This is definently a game you'll want your sound turned up on, if not for the music, then to be able to hear your enemies blasting their way to you.

With a Story, Endurance, Challenge and various multiplayer modes, TMB offers a lot to do and a lot to redo. With numerous characters, stages and even movies to unlock, you'll be spending a grand amount of time playing. And unlocking items is not as easy as finishing the game with one character. You have to find hidden areas just to locate black boxes to unlock these additions, rewarding you for digging around and looking.

Probably the best part of this game is the challenge. While the learning curve is steep and you'll find yourself getting killed often early, once you pick up the scheme of the weapons and the arcade-style car physics, it can be a real blast. Even with a good handle of the battle scheme, you'll find yourself spending around 30 to 45 minutes to complete a stage. The enemy intelligence is outstanding. They execute sneak attacks and run away when severly damaged. At times, you might think they were being controlled by real people.

TMB is the best car combat game to come out - hands down. This is the pinnacle, and when the online capability comes out, this game will be even better. One point of note, though. This game is NOT for kids. It all but screams four-letter words at you. Even with the blood removed from the game, it's excessively violent and anti-social. It's one of those games that might be later blamed for road rage. If you're above that kind of social blame, then pick this up, enjoy it, live it, marry it... You get the point.

- - kinderfeld

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