Preview: Twisted Metal returns, brings robots along

August 2, 2011

After an absence longer than most fans could handle, we’re seeing a return of Twisted Metal this fall. The concept really seems rooted in the time, though, so can a game of that scope work now? David Jaffe and his Eat Sleep Play team aren’t taking any chances, throwing in boss battles, air vehicles and other shenanigans to keep things interesting.

We saw the basic team-based combat last year, and from what we’ve seen that’s largely intact. The game throws you into a large team-based mode, and the sprawling environments make working together a bit more important than it’d be in close quarters. We’re sure there’ll be a free-for-all mode in the final version, but much of the focus is put on this Clowns-vs.-Dolls dynamic, and that’s what the story mode is built around.

Speaking of that story mode, we got to try out one of the campaign’s boss battles. They seem to be based on managing different tasks. Ours had us tracking down and destroying vehicles for a bit, then steering missiles into a large robot thing, then repeating the process. It was weird, but I’d imagine a mode in which you play against bots for ten to twelve hours wouldn’t be the best idea.

One interesting design choice was the insistence on using the original games’ controls. This means driving is mapped to face buttons and weapons are controlled with the shoulder ones. It works, we guess, but we’re hoping there are options, since most are used to the opposite in driving games these days.

Can you really get a sense of Twisted Metal until you play it online with strangers and on a couch with friends? Not really. We’re hoping to bring you more coverage when the PS3 exclusive releases later this year.