Twisted Metal III A Retro Review
The Twisted Metal franchise from 989 Studios is one of the best series from the PSX era. Twisted Metal III released in 1998 exclusively on the PlayStation home console (PSX) to quite mixed reviews. Which may be due to the formulaic release of the series. Think Call of Duty, once a year release with little to no changes. But if all you want to do is drive around and wreck stuff, this is the game for you. Because you control a character in a cast of weirdos, misfits and their vehicles in an apocalyptic future of earth where they fight in a yearly contest set up by a man known as Calypso. Your prize for being the Twisted Metal champion? A single wish.
"Vehicles? Well let's get racing."
Oh, no sir. This isn't a racing game at all. Nor is it your crash and bash demolition derby. This is Twisted Metal we're talking about. That means bullets and nitro. Homing missiles and mortar attacks. Napalm! Who doesn't love the smell of napalm? There are secret weapons to ruin your enemies. You even have your own special move to really truck sh*t up.
And truck sh*t up you will. To start off, the game has one simple goal. Be the last vehicle alive. It throws the odd curve ball at you with enemies that regenerate their health and boss battles when you are at your weakest. But it's nothing a high octane road warrior like yourself can't handle. Just make sure to collect as many items as you can towards the end of a level because you may just need the extra firepower.
Now, all this talk is fine and dandy, but how does the game hold up in 2019 you may be asking. Well, that's why I'm writing this.
For its time, the graphics look great. They're the usual PSX graphics, so by today's standards they look worse than SNES games, but hey, it was the beginning of 3d gaming. And back in the day we didn't have 4k games to compare it to, so it looked amazing back then. But, when there is more than 5 enemy vehicles on the playing field I did notice some slowdown and reduced framerate.
Rob Zombie, pedal to the metal and a machine gun rat-a-tat-tatting. Chances are if you remember this game you remember the music more than anything. Crank it up.
Dated but serviceable. The only real Achilles heel in the controls is I can't find a way to remap them. It's not going to ruin the game but it's not as good as it could be.
Once you get the hang of it and turn your stereo up, it all gels together nicely to give you a wonderful look back in time 21 years to 1998. It also contains multiplayer and I believe that includes the full campaign, not that there is much of a story. Calypso gives you a little spiel at the beginning of each level and boss fight. But if you do beat the game, be careful what you wish for.
Overall, Twisted Metal III is well worth a replay every now and then. Especially with a friend. I look forward to going to see my cousin so that we can play through this great game a few times. You should pick it up if you see a used copy for your PSX. If only for the late 90's teen nostalgia.