E3 2010: Hands-on with Twisted Metal

The unveiling of a new Twisted Metal at yesterday’s Sony press conference was something of a (heavily rumored) surprise, but what’s more surprising is that the game is available to play, right now, on the show floor in full, networked, team-battle form. And we had a chance, however brief, to join in with other attendees and start blowing some shit up.

The new Twisted Metal is a lot brighter and more colorful than Twisted Metal: Black, but it’s no less violent. Bodies burst into flames, explosions are constant and pedestrians are there just to be run over at high speeds. Rather than letting players pick from the usual cast of psychos, however, the game’s story now revolves around team-based battles between four factions: the Clowns (led by Sweet Tooth), the Dolls (led by Dollface) and two others that haven’t been revealed yet.

We’re not sure exactly how character selection will work this time around, but we do know there’ll be a suitable variety of vehicles at your disposal, including motorcycles, a helicopter (complete with a side-mounted minigun that can be fired at the ground from a first-person alternate view), Sweet Tooth’s ice-cream van and – in our case – a 1960s ambulance. (The kind the Ghostbusters drive.)

Other than how pretty the game looked, the first thing we noticed was a big, red targeting reticle that kept popping up on the horizon, locking on to whatever enemy was nearest and making it a lot easier to direct attacks while tearing around at high speeds. Apart from the usual assortment of multi-purpose missiles that littered the suburban arena on display, we had a couple of special attacks at our disposal that were unique to the ambulance. The first was a sniper shot, which involved a Clown henchman leaning out of the passenger window with a rifle and leveling a devastating bullet at whatever enemy car was targeted.

The second was a lot cooler, and involved launching a screaming idiot on a gurney/rocket sled out the back of the ambulance, who then exploed on impact with whatever we aimed him at. We could simply shoot him like a heat-seeking missile, or – by switching over to the alternate view – control him like a separate, high-speed vehicle and manually trigger his explosives in the case of a near-miss. The only problem with that approach was that it left us totally unguarded, and once we made him explode only to be returned to the site of the ambulance itself exploding.

What we played was fast, violent and a lot of fun, but what was almost more interesting is what we didn’t see – at least not firsthand. We’re told the semi-secret, fighting-game-style special moves of earlier Twisted Metals will make a comeback, for example, although we couldn’t figure any out on our own. And the only game mode on display was a straight-up team skirmish, so we haven’t yet seen any of the new game modes firsthand, like Nuke the Base or the capture-the-flag-style matches shown at the press conference.

Above: Here it is in action, although Sony provided the video with no audio

If you didn’t catch the capture match type, it involves team leaders – who can be captured or defended, like a flag – being kidnapped, dragged behind an enemy vehicle and then “sacrificed” to a flaming beast of a missile launcher. The launcher then fires a missile, which is player-guided through various aerial hazards until it can strike a massive, airborne statue of the opposing team’s leader. Once a statue is hit three times, the match is over. It’s ridiculously (and probably even unnecessarily) elaborate, but it looks like fun and we want to try it. And as the game edges toward its nebulous release date sometime next year, we will. Expect to see a lot more on this one in the coming months.

Jun 16, 2010


  • SkyNet - June 20, 2010 11:24 a.m.

    Looks like Twisted Metal is going back to it's roots while partially keeping the creepiness of Black. Any word on whether or not the music will be licensed like in 3?
  • FreekinIdiot - June 18, 2010 10:23 a.m.

    @ denyeverything Maybe you should go watch the film again.
  • denyeverything - June 17, 2010 6:58 p.m.

    ghostbusters didn't drive an ambulance moron. irl, it was a hearse.
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  • FreekinIdiot - June 17, 2010 10:41 a.m.

    Goddammit! Yet ANOTHER PS3 exclusive I really want to play. Damn my stinginess, anyone want to donate me a ps3???? :) pretty please with a cherry on top.
  • reaperman22 - June 17, 2010 7:36 a.m.

    i never got to play any of the other twisted metal games but i am really exited about this, i had to laugh when they brought sweet tooth on stage
  • ryno - June 17, 2010 6:24 a.m.

    i cant wait 2 play this i hope there are more factions to choose from
  • Spybreak8 - June 17, 2010 5:53 a.m.

    I only played the game at a friends house but even I was excited to see gameplay footage in action.
  • reeperskull - June 17, 2010 5:25 a.m.

    it looks fun but all this stuff seems like online what i care most about in this game is the story mode with a diffrent dark story for all the characters if they dont annonce anything like the originals story mode then im not buying it
  • batouyukinawa - June 17, 2010 5:24 a.m.

    I say fuck'em. The little tykes aren't even old enough to buy the game anyway. Most likely this will get a mature rating, and Jaffe knows that. Jaffe seems to be a very rare dev. He actually is a hardcore gamer, and cares deeply about what we really want. He knows Twisted Metal would appeal mainly to PSone era gamers. But he also doesn't care!
  • spunky718 - June 17, 2010 5:01 a.m.

    also, do you guys think twisted metal may depend on nostalgia a lot? how do you think younger gamers that werent around during ps1 days, look at twisted metal now? imo, car combat was kind of a fad during that time. i think younger gamers now may think combat with cars is kind of dumb because you cant dodge, and do crazy maneuvers outside of a cars ability.
  • spunky718 - June 17, 2010 4:57 a.m.

    well it is kind of dudes throwing exploding chainsaws and hanging out windows with laser fitted sniper rifles, but i like that about it. it defines the whole series for me and i love it. its a good cheese!
  • CH3BURASHKA - June 17, 2010 4:54 a.m.

    Never played any, but I'm not too psyched. After Burnout and Split/Second, this type of car combat just ain't that fun, conceptually.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - June 17, 2010 4:21 a.m.

    i envy everyone who has already gotten to play this game. This is my most anticipated game. I don't know if i'm more excited for the online modes or the story mode, i just hope they don't change up the game too much. i'd also like to see alot of the original characters return from TM 1 and 2, so far i've only seen sweet tooth but of course he's in every TM game. i'm guessing yellow jacket will return because of the cab drivers in the trailer. @ spunky718 i had the same wish but what do you mean cheesy this game looks badass.
  • spunky718 - June 17, 2010 3:57 a.m.

    my e3 wish this year was to have a new twisted metal, and my dream came true!!! i love the fact that the game looks cheesy and over the top it just looks fun, and that's what games are all about, fun.

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