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Twisted Metal: Black (PlayStation 2)

84
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  woods01 (154)
Written on  :  May 24, 2002
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars

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Summary

Paint It Black!

The Good

For car combat games the Twisted Metal series was always the high mark. Even though the series had slipped on a few releases it was always good play and this game really sets a new notch for these types of games.

For action games I look for two things: level design and weapon variation. The levels have to be the best part of this game. There is nice mix of levels here. Some are small and others are sprawling. I especially loved the tight confines of the drive in theater and the danger of the one on the top of the skyscrapers. The progression of the levels provided a good variety to fight through and keep you interested in the game. Each level had a cool trick or hidden area to learn in order to make your progress easier.

As for weapon variations, in this game you could pick different characters to play who drove vehicles with different ratings. Each car varied in speed, strength and agility and each vehicle had its own special weapon. This was in addition to the weapons and power ups sprinkled around the levels. There was enough variation among the cars to make most worth a try. Some were similar but it was fun to go from playing a slow lumbering semi-truck to the speedy motorbike.

I also loved how the physics of this game worked. You could enjoy the fun of flying off a cliff or plowing through houses without worrying about damaging your car. Some players might not like the fact their car is immune to the laws of physics. But I found that this design decision let me concentrate on the challenge of the combat rather than the reality of driving.

With a fun multi-player mode and some stuff to unlock this game has a lot of play in it.

The Bad

Well the combat is quite hard even on the easy level. It takes a while to learn how to survive and even then its tough! While I enjoy a hard game, I found this game to be frustrating at times, especially against the final boss.

I would have liked it if there were a few more health packs around the levels but this might have disrupted the designer's game balances.

While the dark stories suit the tone of this game, they are pretty cornball. I'd have rather done without them. Also the cinematic scenes are really cookie cutter. The introductions for each character are essentially the same with a bit of cut and paste with the faces.

The Bottom Line

With great car and level designs and a multi-player option there is a lot to do in this game making it a good addition to your collection. Plus this game is now quite cheap in the Greatest Hits edition, so pick it up!