So I knew a lot of people growing up that enjoyed the hell out of the game Twisted Metal. As far as Playstation games go, it has been a seminal classic. Naturally, my interest was piqued when David Jaffe and his new Eat Sleep Play development team announced a reboot of the Twisted Metal franchise in dramatic fashion at last year’s E3. With a demo dropping today, I figured it was as good a time as any to finally give the game a go and needless to say, I can see why I avoided the game for so long.
First things first, driving games… not always my thing. I went in knowing I was going to be bad at the game. I don’t judge games by how badly I suck at them. This one has all the right ideas; I am just not a fan of the execution. Most specifically, I absolutely hate the clumsy control scheme. So the square button accelerates, the circle button stops and… the right thumb stick makes you go in reverse? How idiotic is that? It just feels awkward. Making matters worse, pushing the right thumb stick forward makes you look up. So if in your head you’re thinking “oh, need to push forward so I can go forward since I am pushing back to go back, you get reminded really fast that it doesn’t work that way. Any other driving game I’ve ever played generally uses the triggers to accelerate, but it’s a dual shock, so we know that ain’t happening. I’d be OK with maybe X being reverse since it is naturally right under the square, but maybe that would make too much sense. So I know what you may be saying right now, something like “well wait, isn’t the right analog right under the square button too?” And yes, it most certainly is, and maybe completely retraining my brain from playing every other game I’ve ever played will allow me to get used to going to it, but the better question is… why that? I just found the whole thing to be clunky.
What also feels a bit clunky is aiming while driving. There seems to be somewhat of an auto aim, but it doesn’t quite always lock on? I got really frustrated with the fact that the computer AI seemed to be able to change direction and come right at me at the drop of a dime while I was fumbling around trying to change directions. There was also no way to look to the side or even behind me. That seems like a great opportunity to use the right analog stick to look around and see where things are coming from, but instead it seems to be a straight ahead view. Sure, I could zoom out my camera mode, but that would still only do so much.
The game itself is exactly what fans of the series will be looking for, there is no doubt about that. Even if I loved the control scheme, I don’t know if this is the type of game I would end up getting. That’s nothing against the game; I am actually making sure that I am completely open in the fact that I am generally not into this type of game for the obvious reason. I just think there are things that could have been done better. I could most certainly be the asshole on this one, but I can’t imagine I will be alone in my dislike of the control scheme. In any event, I can definitely see the possibility that a solid contingent of Twisted Metal fans will think this will go down as God’s gift to the Earth, and I guess those are the people this game is all about. Look for it in stores February 14th. Watch me be terrible at the game below: