At the core, this is a point-and-shoot mayhem generator, but mayhem here is overly convoluted, as if today's gamer won't grasp the joy in simplicity. Weirdly, for all of the work that has been poured into the menagerie of shooting options, everything else falls to the wayside. Twisted Metal has killed the character that originally sprung it to life, chopping the roster to place the likes of Mr. Grimm in a helicopter. That's not the Mr. Grimm we've all come to know and love... well, not “love” in the literal sense. It's rather difficult to love anyone here.
Anything the single player does, the multiplayer will do worse, firstly locked behind an unwarranted and unwanted online pass. No doubt it's a shame, as the gaming world needs a break from the litany of online first-person headshot-a-thons clogging the market. David Jaffe handled this with Calling All Cars, but no one actually played it, so we end up here.
The sole idea worth noting is Nuke, turning the series into something that requires a shred of strategy, the off-set defensive and offensive runs changing little mechanically, but altering everything in terms of pacing. While a location defense seems quaint in online arenas, fitting this concept with nothing but vehicles is a radical departure from the norm.
Twisted Metal needs to exist, if not in this form. Complexity can hold communities together; it's sort of a weird bonding agent when you have a game where everyone has to “get it.” What happens though is that small group begins to splinter, potential newcomers are turned off, and the whole project dies. That seems to be the likely future, the barrier of entry being that ludicrous single player that should serve to soften the online blow. Instead, Twisted Metal clumsily skips along on the merits of its uniqueness in the modern gaming palette, and that's not enough.
Twisted Metal is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language.