Twisted Metal: Black
System: Playstation 2
Publisher: Sony CEA
Developer: Incog
Released: 2001
Genre: Shooter/Racing
Capabilities: Multi-Tap Compatible, Dual Shock 2 Analog & Feedback Compatible, Memory Card Compatible

Review Written: July 15, 2001

The Game

The Twisted Metal series is a car combat game where you shoot up other cars using machine guns and other various weapons to blow up your opponent. Twisted Metal makes its debut on the PS2 after four outings the first Playstation. The first two Twisted Metal games by SCEA were proclaimed one of the best of it’s kind. However, things changed right away when 989 Studios were handed over the game to make the 3rd and 4th editions, which were quickly pronounced the worst of the whole car shoot-em-up genre, and with TM3 and four stinking up the court the past three years, other series like Vigilante 8 have got the spotlight. This game is now back with SCEA, and will it be better than the last two games? Let’s get onto the review and find out.

The Story

You actually have some really good FMV’s showcasing the game storyline. Each character has their different type of voice over, but their story is all the same. They were all living in the insane asylum, and a guy by the name of Calypso offer them the chance to live a new life and start off with a clean record if they win a contest he wants them to enter. These FMV’s do show various shots of blood, and plenty of swearing, hence the M rating for the game.


Oh my, these are a billion times better than what they were on the old PSX. The cars and the arenas and environments you duel on just look plain out spectacular. Everything is well polished off, and detailed down to the last notch. The riverbanks, bridges, skyscrapers, and everything else look very similar to what they look like in real life, albeit a little more run down. Twisted Metal has sported some of the most unique car designs, and they’re very easy to distinguish. Like the Darkside vehicle is a big truck, and our favorite maniac clown, Sweet Tooth, is back driving the Ice Cream Truck. The action does get really wild on screen, and even when lots of cars are on screen at once, all firing weapons at each other, there is only just a tad of slowdown, and it isn’t even all that noticeable.


The game starts off with the opening rift from the theme song from the Stir of Echoes movie, and I thought they were going to play that whole song, but they didn’t, and it was really a good song. As a matter of fact, unlike Twisted Metal 3 and 4, this one doesn’t feature actual licensed music in the game. And you think they would have no problems fitting it on the game because this is a DVD Rom game. Instead, the developers at Incog made there own tunes for the game, and while they aren’t all that bad, you’ll be wishing forever that you could hear the licensed music again. Other than the music, all the sound effects are pretty much your standard stuff. Machine gun firing, explosions and all other effects sound like they should and I have no problems with them.

Game play

The default control set up seemed a bit awkward at first to me, but I got use to it after a few rounds. The L1 and R1 buttons cycle through your power weapon, L2 fires your power weapon, and R2 fires your machine gun. Now to accelerate you need to press square, and in all honesty I do not know why they made it for square to accelerate, and not X, like in most other Playstation racing games. It just completely through me off, and made me think I was never going to get use to it, but I managed to. To play the game itself is really easy, it’s pure car combat, but in all honesty the game is harder than heck, even on the normal difficulty level. It took me several tries just to beat the first couple of levels. I love all the weapons you can use on your opponents, which you pick up on the arenas by driving over colored icons. You got regular missiles, homing missiles, ricochets, environment specials (lightning, air raids, etc.), gas cans, among others. Each of the drivers also has there own specials they can use.

The game has a few modes of play. First, there is the story mode, which are only eight levels. The more times you beat story mode, the more vehicles, arenas, and movies you unlock to be used. The next mode is an endurance mode where you keep on facing an endless amount of cars, and try to destroy as many as you can before you perish. There’s also the standard practice match up where you can just pick an arena and vehicle and pick up to how many opponents you want to go against. In multi player there is a 2-player co-op mode where the two of you go through the eight levels. Then there’s the Last Man Standing mode where it’s just the two of you, and you can make it best of 3, 5, and so on. And finally you can just have up to four players, and all of you can go at it in the Death match mode.

Replay Value

Well, there is a couple of extra modes for your pleasure here like, you can view as many of the movies you accessed in the story mode so far. And, get this, you can even view the credits and see the names of all the people who made this game. The story mode will take a little while for you to beat, and you’d want to beat it with everyone so you can unlock all the movies, arenas, and vehicles. And once you get all that stuff done, you can always play against your friends in multi player for hours on end.

In Brief

+: Everything looks awesome, I love the new “Mature” make over for the game, up to four players can play

-: No licensed music like the previous games, the computer is really hard, occasional slowdown here or there

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 9.2
Sound: 4.5
Game play: 8.8
Replay Value: 9.0

Overall: 7.8

Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8


I am very happy that this game is fun to play again. Never before, have the car combat games been this fun to play. If any of you have loved the first two Twisted Metal games to death, and have been dying to play something just like it, make sure to go buy this game right now. But I can smell a sequel popping up in the not so distant future, so I’m going to be waiting for that one.

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