Calypso returns to host another ‘Twisted Metal’ contest where devastation and destruction reign as one contestant is pronounced as the winner and gets to have his or her wish granted. Twisted Metal: Black features over fourteen insane characters/vehicles to choose from, tons of weapons, more than twenty death-match battlegrounds, and an overall dark angle on the popular Twisted Metal video game series.
The graphics in Twisted Metal: Black are perhaps the best in the entire series thus far. The CG animation is magnificently dark and beautiful, so are the many cinematic FMV clips. There’s a constant state of darkness, ‘black’ level if you will, that is present throughout all the levels, this helps to emphasize the apocalyptic feel of the game. The cars themselves each feature attractive designs, special effects like fire and missiles are stunning to watch, and the battlegrounds themselves are immensely detailed (and quite expansive, I might add).
Twisted Metal: Black features a unique and realistic game engine that strays far from the much-disliked engine of Twisted Metal III. Most of the levels in this game are huge ranging from wrecked city rooftops, snowy mountains, a giant suburban town, and a prison ship to name a few. There are some smaller levels as well ranging from a highway loop to a secluded rooftop to name a couple. However, the cool thing about Twisted Metal: Black is that the game will sometimes let you choose where you want the next level to be from two options (a big level and smaller level) and you can obtain unlockables depending on which one you choose. Boss fights are quite challenging this time around as well.
My only complaint is that the beloved Remote Bomb weapon is missing, that was one of the most signature weapons of the entire series. Aside from that, many of the larger levels don’t have a lot of hiding places. You see, in the previous Twisted Metal games, the larger levels would always have a little spot for you to hide and rest in between every run-and-gun session (i.e. the YMCA in the New York level from Twisted Metal 2) while the smaller levels left you way open for attacks. The only level here that has a hiding spot is in the rooftops level and that’s about it.
From a critical standpoint, I’d have to say that Twisted Metal 2 had the best vehicle handling, period. I would rate Twisted Metal: Black right behind it. And for obvious reasons, Twisted Metal III would follow last after Twisted Metal 4 and the original Twisted Metal. If you want the best controls in this game, stick with the classic control figuration and avoid everything else. The mechanics in this game are pretty realistic for the most part, although for some agile vehicles (i.e. Spectre), it may be a little too fluid.
Twisted Metal: Black presents a unique dark angle on the series that shows it in a different light, however, I personally prefer the crazy and cool comic book style of the early Twisted Metal games, the second one in particular. Twisted Metal 2 may not be up to par with the graphics and advancements of this one but it certainly made up for all that in its comic book atmosphere and addictive gameplay. Nevertheless, Twisted Metal: Black is a milestone in this classic series.