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TWISTED METAL 2
WORLD TOUR

Developer

Single Trac

Options

Distributer

Sony

1-2 Player

Game Type

Shoot-em-up

Mem. Card

Review Date

March 1997

Setting the Scene

Twisted Metal was one of the first games made available to the PlayStation console owners some eighteen months ago. It appeared to lose out to the high profile publicity campaigns that Ridge Racer and Destruction Derby received probably due to their superior graphics. As a one player game it was very limited but it came into it's own when the two player split screen mode was utilized.

Now the contest has left the confines of LA and gone global. Beginning in the blazing remains of LA, the tour sets off on a destructive journey around the world where it will visit the streets of Hong Kong, the city of Paris and the frozen regions of Antarctica. Prepare for a Twisted Metal world tour that will leave you drained but begging for more.

Genre

Twisted Metal World Tour is a fast paced, shoot-em-up car racing game that raises the adrenaline to such a high point that it should feature a health warning. The game is basically a game of hide and seek with weapons where you will not last long if you venture into the open spaces. There are a number of ways to play the game but the initial object is to be the last vehicle surviving on each level.

Graphics

Lets get it straight right now, Twisted Metal is about pure unadulterated gameplay. It's a blast-em-up then tear-arse away game. Sure there is one hell of an improvement over the original games looks although it is still a little rough around the edges with the vehicles having a blocky appearance, while the scenery ranges from attractive to quite smart, but it doesn't really matter. If you would rather have a pretty looking game then I suggest you go buy Aquanauts Holiday or Bass Fishing. Graphically the game is as rough and ready as the cars it contains but at least the cars are well balanced and responsive.

Sounds and Effects

The action is accompanied by a thrashing heavy soundtrack that will add to the headache that the sheer pace of the game will give you, but don't worry there's always a bottle of paracetamol nearby. The sound effects are spectacular and if you are brave enough to put on a set of headphones you will hear which direction the attack is coming from, but unfortunately it is usually from all four directions. Each of the vehicles have their own distinctive sound and when their special weapon is unleashed the sound alone will bring the fear into your underpants. It is vital to recognize the sound of each weapon so that you may take the appropriate evasive action and not wander around the corner when the rolling ricochet bomb is about.

Playability

Twisted Metal 2 - World Tour offers a number of options for how the came can be played. As a single player game you may enter a tournament, where the only way that you will advance through the venues is by survival. You begin with a full health bar and two lives that you must protect for the later stages. The object of the tournament mode is to be the last vehicle standing at each venue where the enemies will grow in stature and number as you proceed through the contest.

The second single player option is a single venue Challenge match where you select the venue, your character and up to six enemies to face. Destruction of all of the opposition will put you one up, while premature death will mark a point against you. This is ideal for practice before entering the Tournament mode, as selecting a low number of enemies will allow you the time to discover the hidden areas of each level.

Two players may choose between a head to head Challenge match at any selected venue, where you frag each other until submission or boredom sets in, while a Co-op Tournament allows a mate to stand along side you as you confront the enemy in a contest similar to the one player format. Two player games made the original Twisted Metal a game worth remembering and the sequel offers the same enjoyment over larger, more detailed, fun filled levels.

OK, lets hit the streets. Once the tournament mode is selected it is time to choose your vehicle and each of the twelve characters offers an individual special weapon and vehicle structure. The special weapons range from Boomerang Blast missiles and Nuclear explosions to Ghost homing missiles and Screaming Souls. A special mention for the best two player head to head when you select Mr Slam, who must get close enough to an enemy to pick it up by the teeth and smash it repeatedly onto the ground, and Hammerhead which must drive over the top of the enemy to crush it into the ground. This provides a close contact challenge that will keep you amused for hours on end.

The weapons on offer include a selection of rockets, a ricochet bomb that bounces around gaining more power until it connects with a vehicle, a napalm bomb, lightening, freeze ray and a remote bomb that comes in useful in the Paris arena.

The battlegrounds roll up in this order. Los Angeles, Quake Zone Rumble is a superb opening venue with its vast open spaces dotted with smouldering buildings, ideal for getting to grips with the handling of your vehicle. Blast the generators to reveal hidden weapons, entering the flaming pit will set your vehicle alight but the damage to your health will be rewarded by additions to your stocks of firepower. The open landscape is encircled by a race track that features many humps, bumps and ramps that will propel your vehicle onto previously inaccessible levels, where you can remain while you stalk your enemy. Overall an excellent opening battleground that allows you the freedom to come to terms with the control of your vehicle.

Moscow is a small, tightly enclosed arena which is fast and frantic. There is nowhere to hide in this two tier level and if you even think of applying the brakes there will only be one result - annihilation

Ah, Paris in the springtime will never be the same again as round three of the Twisted Metal World Tour hits France. First impressions are that this level is a game of cat and mouse around the narrow streets and tight alleys of Paris, but if you care to knock on a few doors they will open to reveal hidden teleporters that transport you onto the rooftops above the city. Here you can turbo from building to building, pausing to peek over the rooftops and sent a missile crashing down onto your unsuspecting enemies below, but beware as one wheel over the edge will see your vehicle crashing down to the streets below and back into the thick of the action. There is also a teleporter below the Eiffel Tower that allows you to warp to a higher vantage point. Here you can plant your remote bomb which when detonated will allow you to stand back and watch as the Tower explodes into two sections, with the top half falling onto an adjacent building creating a tunnel from the upper level of the tower onto the opposite rooftops. There are many areas to discover in Paris with the interacting backdrops providing barrels of fun within the game. On the streets you will notice many detailed monuments to blast apart along with parked cars and even little french persons to grind into the ground, if that takes your fancy. Oh La La, the best level yet.

Amazonia Fire Walk could have been a classic battleground, but for the extreme difficulty in controlling your vehicle. The whole area is bathed in a deadly lava which you must avoid like the plague. This can be done by keeping your vehicle on a very narrow series of walkways, but if you venture off the path you will lose all control, resulting in your vehicle bouncing around like Skippy at a rave. There are a number of islands dotted around the lava where you may rest your churning stomach. Here you will find hidden areas and subways for a much welcomed refuge before returning to the kangaroo walkways.

New York. A tricky one this as death can often occur by careless driving. Another rooftop level where you must ALWAYS look before you leap as you turbo from building to building. You begin on the top of a New York skyscraper, smashing through glass windows to reveal the teleporter that will transport you to another area. There is a safe haven to find by blowing apart a concrete building to reveal a shaft that will drop you into a swimming pool. Blast open walls to reveal lift shafts that allow you to drop down a level or you can take your chances skydiving from one building to the next, the choice is yours. If you fall from a skyscraper, the fall to the ground takes as long as the average PSX loading time, ages.

On the ice capped regions of Antarctica caution is again vital for survival as one slip will see you plummet into the icy blue seas that surround the glaciers where the battles take place. This hazardous level is probably the most difficult to survive because the iceland is constantly moving. Beware of the health power ups that require a turbo boost to reach as there is often an endless drop behind them.

Field of Screams is back to the open arena but this time the contest takes place in the flat landscapes of Holland. The venue offers only three places of refuge of which two are via a teleporter into the upper levels of the windmills, while the third can be found by hiding in the long grass and sniping at the enemy. Another fast and furious level with a multitude of weapon power ups hidden in the confines of the haystacks. Field of screams was a welcome to the return of the open battleground after the careful driving required in the previous two levels.

Leaving the town will take you to the harbor that is scattered with small fishing boats which can be used to propel your vehicle through the air, thus avoiding oncoming attack. In the centre of the town is a large building that can be accessed from all four sides where a central teleporter will warp your vehicle to a higher vantage point. The floor area is littered with weapon power ups but beware that you do not become trapped inside as your health will be rapidly diminished.

On leaving the building you will notice two stone ramps which will take you into the underground. On first entering you think that you have found a safe haven to race around, then suddenly an oncoming train will send your vehicle smashing against the ceiling leaving you bruised and battered. Within time you will not only learn to avoid the trains but a skillful move will allow you to actually get on top of the train which is an excellent vantage point for attacking your enemy.

Value for Money

There you have it, twelve vehicles of destruction, eight stunning, individual venues, unbelievable weaponry, masses of hidden area, a selection of secret vehicles, extra tracks and firepower to uncover and gameplay by the bundle. Twisted Metal 2 World Tour is not the best looking game I have ever seen but for entertainment value it cannot be faulted.

Opinion

MARTIN

GRAPHICS:

14/20

If you like your games fast and frantic, if you enjoy street racing, if you love shoot-em-ups, if you need a challenge in your life, if you've got any sense.... don't think about it. Go out and but this game now, you won't regret it.

SOUND:

8/10

PLAYABILITY:

49/50

VALUE:

19/20

OVERALL
90%

JIM

GRAPHICS:

Average

A great sequel to an already great game. Its even better as a 2-player game.

SOUND:

Average

PLAYABILITY:

Brilliant

VALUE:

Good

OVERALL
8/10

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