Twisted Metal 2

aka: Twisted Metal EX, Twisted Metal World Tour
Moby ID: 4358
PlayStation Specs
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Description official descriptions

Twisted Metal 2 features destructive car combat, playable either as a complete tournament or a single match The action takes place in eight different locations around the world, on differing surfaces, many featuring destructible buildings and landmarks.

Combat takes place between a wide array of vehicles ranging from a man strapped between two wheels to an ice cream truck. They have their own strengths and weaknesses, using an eclectic arrangement of weaponry include bombs and missiles, and resulting in its own end sequence, complete with an ironic line in humour.

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Credits (PlayStation version)

59 People (34 developers, 25 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Producer
Designer
Assistant Producer
QA Manager
Technical Coordinator
Lead Analyst
Assistant Lead Analyst
End Movies
End Movie Animation
  • Unlikely Films Inc.
Producer
Director Software Development
Art Director
Game Software Development
3D Graphic Tools
3D Graphic Designers
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 72% (based on 26 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 45 ratings with 2 reviews)

Heavy metal mayhem classic.

The Good
Twisted Metal 2 is the arcade car-combat classic that would define the genre for most players, being the template from which all of the few subsequent games that compose this small genre spawn from. Basically the game could be considered the same as Twisted Metal 1, but the many revisions and balanced set of features, characters and arenas make it the classic that it is today.

Once again the premise is completely ridiculous but fits the game like a glove. A Twilight Zone-like character named Calypso hosts a car combat tournament with the reward being the granting of whatever wish the winner asks for. The clincher of course, is that just like in a Twilight Zone chapter, the characters get what they want but not in the way they tought of, and most endings deal with the ironic backfiring of each character's dreams. This endings are told via kickass cutscenes composed of voiced over, comic book-like still illustrations in a similar way as MDK2 but without the page-peeling effects. A previous reviewer stated that they pretty much sucked, but quite frankly I find the edgy art and distinct style to make them incredibly cool and interesting, not to mention that the ironic writing in them makes them worth finishing the game with each character.

And speaking of the game, (which is what we all really care about) this time the tournament takes place in a worldwide scale, taking you from L.A. to Moscow, the Amazon, Holland, etc.. The new arenas are more varied in their design alternating maze like areas with open ranges ripe for heavy firefights and including elements such as lava fields, teleporters, pitfalls and other traps and secrets to spice things up even more. They also include interaction points which allow you to burn specific parts of arenas or destroy them with well placed bombs. This mostly serves as a way of revealing cheats and secrets, but also modifies the geography of the arenas or trigger funny eastern eggs (such as removing the clothes from the statue of liberty).

As before the game deals with progressive rounds in each of those arenas where you have to be the last man standing and beat all the other cars as any of the many varied but excellently balanced characters which have their own brand of wacky vehicles fitted with machineguns (able to fire continuously unlike in the original), an exclusive weapon and the ability to load a collection of weapons scattered all over the arenas as power-ups. As in the original the arsenal is varied enough to adapt itself to many strategies, giving you homing missiles, area-effect weapons, dumbfire superpowered missiles, etc. not to mention the outlandish exclusive weapons to each character that allow them to turn into tornados, grab a character with a claw, or slam into the ground and create damaging shockwaves. There's also a powerbar that allows you to unleash a series of special moves like backfiring attacks, jumps, forcefields and other niceties to add to already inmense variety and due to the this gigantic arsenal, the amount of characters in the arena (5-6) and the usual sturdiness of the cars, the game develops into furious, heated multi-pronged confrontations were the metal clashes continuously and the explosions go off left and right. Music to the action gamer's ears.

The controls handle fantastically and allow precise gameplay and even interface customization (by switching the many displays on/off or alternate versions of themselves via the select button). The physics for the game are already legendary for their level of ridicule, but they fit the game perfectly (since sim-like physics would have killed the level of all-out fun) and manage to still live by some rules that make the cars with bigger mass more prone to flip-overs and slow acceleration, and other assorted effects to remind you of the "car" aspect in car combat.

Besides the story, you also have a single challenge mode, and the multiplayer component of the game is excellently developed, providing both competitive and cooperative 2-player split-screen gameplay that runs virtually lagless and offers even more action and mayhem for your money.

All in all the game manages to jam the right amount of variety in features and gameplay while using a gameplay model that keeps the action up at every moment with lots of vehicular mayhem, explosions, and a bitching rock soundtrack that sets the right mood for the fiery combats.

The Bad
Really bad graphics, with simple low-res textured polygons and virtually no special fx save for some particle ones. The pixellation of the graphics is extremely evident when you take a look at nearby explosions or if you crash into walls with everything becoming an ugly distorted mess that really REALLY looks like ass.

The level design is also very inconsistent, with an uneven mix of wonderful, varied examples and flat, boring arenas that are solely for filling purposes, thankfully SingleTrac included some of the best arenas from the original as secret locations to make up for the misses, but still...

The Bottom Line
The classic car combat masterpiece in full glory. An exceptionally fun game filled with varied and perfectly balanced features merged into a heavy metal concoction of pure, raw action.

I bought TM2 eons ago and it's still to this day a fantastic game to whip out in multiplayer sessions. Fully recommended for the hardcore action gamer.

PlayStation · by Zovni (10503) · 2004

A very fun, but ultimately hollow game.

The Good
One of the key truths in any entertainment industry is that violence sells. Look at the WWF, the prime-time cop shows, the big-budget action flicks. While movies like Citizen Kane and games like Grim Fandango may help sell us on the artistry of their nature, the hard truth is people want to see things killed and stuff blown up. Enter Twisted Metal 2.

The game itself is rather simple. You are competing in a worldwide car combat game staged by the great Calypso, who is apparently ruler of the world or something. Pick one of several quirky vehicles, ranging from a flamethrowing Chevette to a spinning F1 to some poor sap strapped between two monster wheels. You then play through a series of environments that represent worldwide locations and run'n'gun, picking up weapons and dishing out punishment, trying to be the last motor running.

Despite its flaws, the game comes through on the single most important issue with any game: it's FUN. The gameplay is very well designed, with each car having it's own "special" move, and a tight, yet totally unrealistic physics model that allows you to turn on a dime and go flying 100 feet in the air, and then coming down with nary a scratch. The weapons are your standard fare: dumbfire and homing missiles, ricochet bombs, mines, and napalm, to name a few. Every car has a life gauge that can be replenished by (rare) health pickups. The whole game plays like a wonderfully deranged blend of Mario Kart and Quake.

The environments are also very nice. The pick of the litter is obviously the Paris level, which features a destructible Eiffel Tower in addition to several priceless works of art in the Louvre, but also of note is the Antarctica level, which collapses piece by piece until one small glacier island is left, and the absolutely HUGE Hong Kong level, which contains a subway (complete with oncoming train), and one of the biggest, most bad-ass bosses in any combat game.

The multiplayer modes are good too. While the PSXs low-resolution limits the field of view, the game doesn't take a noticeable performance hit, and there is a very nifty co-operative mode where two people can play through the game against a bunch of other computer players as a team.

Also of note is the quality sound work in this game. The explosions are loud, the missiles are crisp, and the music is kick-ass. The L.A. level features a terrific hard-rock anthem, the Antarctica level has a sweeping orchestral score, and the Paris level has (what else?) an electric guitar rendition of Frere Jacques.

The Bad
I did say this game had flaws, however, and they are notable. First and foremost, this game is just plain ugly. The graphics are skanky even for a second-generation title, with h-e-a-v-y pixelation and blocky environments, though the cars themselves are very well done. The "story" mode features some horrible cut-scenes with still 2-D cartoons and bad voice acting, like a barely animated comic book. Overall, this game looks like a dog.

And although the game garnered heavy praise for it's interactive environments, that can be a bit misleading, as it's usually only one or two big objects in the level that can be destroyed. They aren't as interactive as you might think. There are also several levels where the designers obviously ran out of gas, such as Moscow, which is merely a giant bowl with signs around the edge in Russian, and Holland, just a giant square field with two destructible windmills.

And although the game is undeniably fun, it is shallow. The FMV endings aren't worth beating the same eight levels over again with every car, and only two or three levels are so good you'll be coming back to them often. Depending on how much you like shallow, twitchy games, this one might not hold your interest for too long.

The Bottom Line
When it comes right down to it, you're not playing this game for pretty graphics or terrific cutscenes, you're playing it for fun, and TM2 delivers in a big way. But the no-frills approach of the graphics, presentation, and some of the levels might make you think twice about giving this more than a weekend's rental.

PlayStation · by Anatole (58) · 2001

Trivia

Hidden maps

Hidden in the game are two of the original's maps: Rooftops and Cyburbia, plus Suicide Swamp, a map originally from.... Jet Moto???

Secret characters

You can select as secret characters Sweet Tooth and Minion, and they both have their own ending sequences and all!

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
  • March 1997 (Issue 92) - Action Game of the Year runner-up (PlayStation version) + PlayStation Game of the Year runner up (Readers' Choice) + Action Game of the Year runner-up (Readers' Choice)
  • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #64 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (PSX version)
  • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #8 (Readers' Top 10 Games of All Time) (PSX version)
  • Game Informer Magazine
  • August 2001 (Issue 100) - voted #73 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Anatole.

PlayStation 3, PSP added by Lance Boyle. PS Vita added by GTramp. Windows added by fararara.

Additional contributors: Zovni, //dbz:, Alaka, DreinIX, Victor Vance.

Game added June 20, 2001. Last modified October 31, 2023.