It's hard to believe that it has been ten years since the release of the last proper console entry in the Twisted Metal series, Twisted Metal Black. For that matter, it's equally tough to think that David Jaffe, who worked on Black, hasn't developed a full retail game since the original God of War. Of course, all that is all set to change this October when Twisted Metal blasts back into action on the PlayStation 3.
When the release date for Twisted Metal was announced last week, the news was accompanied by a trailer. Now, an extended version of that trailer has been released (it's nearly twice as long as the original), and if you thought the shorter version was disturbing... well, you haven't seen anything yet.
In addition to the new, longer cut of the trailer, Sony has just today announced the bonus that will be available to players who pre-order Twisted Metal. Longtime fans of the series are sure to be pumped to learn that Axel, he of the legendarily ill-advised vehicle that is little more than two giant wheels, is that bonus.
The wording of the news on the PlayStation Blog seems suspiciously specific, noting that players will "get early access to unlock this death-dealing war machine," which suggests to me that he may already be in the game, but that unlocking him could require no small investment of time. In fact, he is clearly visible at the beginning of the trailer that accompanied news of the game's release date, though I suppose that might be to hype his role as pre-order loot. In any case, it'll be great to have Axel as a playable character right out of the gate.
Now, the extended cut of the trailer. What's new? Mostly story scenes that delve into a few characters' backgrounds. These are presented as live action clips, heavy on the special effects, that appear to intentionally straddle the line between ridiculous silliness and explosive awesomeness. The trailer also packs in plenty more game play footage that shows off Twisted Metal's destructible and varied environments. Check it out, but be warned: this trailer is intended for mature audiences only.
Based on the trailer, the forthcoming Twisted Metal appears to be taking the mature, dark approach of Twisted Metal Black to an entirely new level. David Jaffe has previously spoken about Twisted Metal's trophies, and revealed some details about the game on Twitter. Recently, Jaffe touched on his inspiration for the series.
"The essence or the fantasy of it that inspires me and Scott [Campbell] -- that hasn't changed since the very first one."
Of course, things have changed since Black hit the market ten years ago, and Jaffe intends to make Twisted Metal a modern game.
"We've added stuff -- we wanted to build a deeper more relevant game in multiplayer, online, things like that."
Multiplayer has always been an important part of the series, and that focus remains intact for the new Twisted Metal. As with so many modern shooters, players will earn XP from playing Twisted Metal online, and accruing a high enough balance will grant rewards. No word yet on the nature of those rewards.
Online modes for Twisted Metal will include such genre staples as Deathmatch and Last Man Standing, in addition to a new mode dubbed Nuke, in which each gang is tasked with abducting another gang's leader. As a reminder, there are four gangs in the game (that we know of): the Clowns, the Dolls, the Holy Men, and the Skulls.
Obviously, there is no shortage on online multiplayer shooters out there, and plenty more are on the way. Will Twisted Metal's dark setting, story telling, and vehicular combat be enough to help it compete with genre heavyweights like Gears of War or Call of Duty? We'll know for sure this October.
What do you think of the new Twisted Metal? Will this be the game to put vehicular combat back on the map, or has the sun set on the genre?
Twisted Metal releases October 4, 2011, exclusively for the PlayStation 3.
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