Twisted Metal: Black

Moby ID: 4456
PlayStation 2 Specs
Buy on PlayStation 2
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Description official descriptions

Twisted Metal: Black is the fifth game in the car-combat series. Only on the PlayStation 2, the game includes old favorites and a lot of new characters. The game has a very dark and gothic theme to it, with the music to back it up. Detailed graphics, day/night cycle, particle effects, and a constant 60 frames per second. The game also boasts a multiplayer mode, with 1-4 multiplayers, over ten arenas (some specific to multiplayer), and a cooperative mode, so instead of fighting each other, you can work together. The game's soundtrack consists of techno/gothic music, with some industrial, and acoustic guitar bits, especially the ending credits, Paint It Black.

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

223 People (146 developers, 77 thanks) · View all

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[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 28 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 41 ratings with 5 reviews)

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!

PlayStation 2 · by woods01 (129) · 2002

The Darkest Twisted Metal Yet

The Good
First, there was Twisted Metal. And it was good. Then, there was Twisted Metal 2. And it was better. And then the series was given to 989 Studios, who almost ran it into the ground with the inferior Twisted Metal 3 and 4. But then the original developers, once SingleTrac, now Incognito Inc, got the franchise back for its PS2 debut. And it's the savior of the series. Graphically it's the best of them all, but that's to be expected when it's PS2 vs PS1. Gameplay-wise, it rivals 2, although I'll let you decide your favorite. There are three types of play in single player, challenge mode, where you just pick a car, a level, your opponents and go, endurance mode, where you pick a car and an arena and fight a never-ending series of opponents trying to get a high score, and the main single player mode, story. In this mode you pick your car and driver and go through a series of levels until you reach the end and your character gets his/her wish. The difference between this game's story mode and the one in the Playstation titles is that in the earlier games, you didn't give a damn about the person you pick, or what fate awaited them at their ending, Characters just weren't very important. It's entirely different in Black, however, as each contestant's story plays out in three cutscenes along the course of the game, a Prologue, Middle, and Epilouge. There is a lot of detail in their lives, backstories, how they ended up in the asylum Calypso recruits from, and such. And, except for a few totally evil characters like Sweet Tooth and Cage, as you get to know them you actually care about the people and their fates. An example is when playing through John Doe's story, I experienced happiness along with him when he got his memory back, and sorrow when I found out what happened to him. The characters are a well made, demented lot, and I consider the storytelling of the game to be one of its best points. One of the best points about this game (in my mind) is that they finally made an M-rated Twisted Metal. Incog Inc did a good job making this game as dark and disturbing as they did. The cutscenes that tell the contestants' stories are full of violence, as that is the nature of the game. Seeing shots of the psychotic clown serial killer Sweet Tooth in action might turn some younger or more sensitive players' stomachs, but I'm fine with it. Violence is good... Anyway, moving on to the gameplay, it's quite good, and balanced. All the cars accelerate and handle differently, and have different special attacks, but there is no best car and, with practice, you can win with any of them. They look really good, with many nice touches like the makeshift bumper for the semi truck Darkside made out of a wrecked police cruiser, or the way, unlike the other titles, you actually get to see the missles pop out of the bays on the side or top of the vehicle before firing off. The weapons are very mixed, with various missles with different ratios of damage vs homing ability, ricochet weapons which rebound off walls, and the versitile gas cans, which can be catapulted or dropped as a mine. Add the many energy attacks and you get a lot of different weapon startegies. The levels are all graphically very good, with plenty of stuff to destroy, lots of secrets, and with such a large selection for multiplayer (most need to be unlocked in single player), you'll be able to find ones you like. Which brings me to multiplayer. It's really configureable, with straight free for alls, team battles, and the 2 player co-op game through the single player story. it's improved with the multi tap for three or four players, and as for playing it online, that's a different review.

The Bad
Well, some people might be too squeamish for the blood of the story cutscenes, but hopefully not. The other thing that might turn people off to this game is the difficulty. The computer players kick your ass, even on normal, and it doesn't get much better on easy. I really don't mind it though, because although it was frustrating in the beginning, I got better, I learned the tricks of the game, and can now storm through easy with not too many deaths, normal's still a challenge though... Also, the middle and final bosses seem impossible when you first meet them, but you get better and learn their strategies, and it's a rush when you finally beat them, a real sense of accomplishment, like when you beat the next difficulty level. If you can suffer through learning the game, it'll pay off.

The Bottom Line
Twisted Metal: Black is a quality car combat game with good graphics and a better story. It's also really evil and dark which is a big plus in my book. And with a greatest hits price of twenty bucks, why not buy it?

PlayStation 2 · by John Armstrong (2) · 2003

This game is addictive

The Good
The fact that you can drive around blowing stuff and cars all around you is what makes this game fun to play. Plus it's the type of game that you could get very addicted to if you keep playing it

The Bad
The one player story mode is not that great to play. Just play through eight levels of increasing difficulty and that's it. However this might be because the version I have (the European version) has had all the story mode FMV sequences cut out, and without them, the game seems a bit incomplete

The Bottom Line
Despite the lack of story in story mode (at least in the European version), this game as I have said is very addictive if you keep playing it

PlayStation 2 · by Grant McLellan (584) · 2002

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

The European version of the game had all the story mode FMV sequences cut out.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by JPaterson.

PlayStation 4 added by Flapco. PlayStation 3 added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Grant McLellan, Victor Vance.

Game added July 9, 2001. Last modified June 9, 2023.