Even though Itís not a full-length title, SCEA and
Incogís Twisted Metal: Black Online is available to owners of the PS2 Network
Adaptor for free with an enclosed coupon. TM:BO extends the popular series
online, with several death-match modes that allow for plenty of carnage and
destruction. Like the other games in the series, the action is typically fast
and manic with loads of cool power-ups and weapons, making this online title
perfect for console gamers. The question of whether thereís enough depth to
make the game worthwhile is a good one, so weíve given TM:BO a comprehensive
crash-test. Look inside to find out the results.
complimentary online version of Twisted Metal Black isnít full-length, but the
online death-matching is exciting and addictive, making it a nice freebie for
Network Adaptor owners. TMBO features 16 vehicles at the start of the game, but
thatís all the vehicles, but you donít have to unlock anything. Twisted
Metal Black: Online features four different game modes: a classic Deathmatch
mode where you have to kill as many opponents as possible while minimizing the
number of times youíre destroyed.
This is probably the most enjoyable of the modes and the one youíll spend the
most time with. However, there are some extras, which are basically variations
on the DM theme. Thereís also Last Man Standing where you have to survive the
assault and be the sole survivor, though this mode differs in that all players
are given a limited number of lives and have to join the game at the same time.
In the Man Hunt mode, one player is selected as the prey and the others have to
target and destroy their vehicle. The hunted earns points for evading action,
and the player who eliminates the Hunted player becomes the prey in the next
round. Finally, thereís a Collector mode where you have to collect all of the
artifact icons. In addition to running over these, you can gain more from other
players by either destroying or damaging them. You can also set up parameters,
such as time and point limits, number of kills that will automatically declare a
victory. These 4 modes are all nicely done and help to increase the gameís
During the game, youíll find many power-ups or mods
scattered about. There are two main types of mods. These include single and
multi-shot weapons, health packs and power-relics that unleash a super weapon.
Some of the famous Twisted Metal weapons such as the gas can, homing missiles,
machine guns and Satellite make return appearances, as do vehicle-specific
weapons which adds to the fun. There are also some really cool single vehicle
mods which allow you to have unlimited shots, double firepower, extra health,
limited vulnerability, limit other players to normal shots. As always, each
vehicle has a unique cache of weapons, which adds to the variety. However, your
car only has space for a limited supply, so you should choose the best ones.
Twisted Metal Black Onlineís controls and basics are similar to the off-line
edition, there are some key differences. Opponents
are clearly labeled this time, so you know which opponent youíre going after.
Obviously, the scoring system is a bit different, and there are online rankings,
but the majority of the game should be familiar. and an onscreen maps gives you
a good idea of where they are. There are 20 different maps available to play,
consisting of modified versions of the environments already seen in Twisted
Metal Black, though the online levels seem to be simpler. This allows for easier
death-matching, so itís quite understandable. These are all huge, expansive
which allow for plenty of running around space. Thereís a variety of cool
features such as teleports and hidden areas in each of these levels, which all
retain the feel of the original title. Visually, TMBO uses virtually the same
engine as Twisted Metal Black, with a similarly bleak and washed out color
palette, though environments are richly detailed with plenty of buildings and
many breakable objects. This is complemented by cool weapons animations that
cause bright explosions. As usual, the mods glow in bright colors, making them
easy to find.
Playing online is a breeze and we were able to set
up an account and get going right away. It plays beautifully with little lag,
and the game didnít crash once during play. Thereís little apparent
sacrifice in game-speed, though we had trouble getting into a really huge game.
Another annoying thing about online play is the long pauses when you die while
the game reconnects to the server in Death-match mode.. The implementation isnít
as smooth as it could have been, but the overall experience is still quite
exciting. Luckily, the cars can take multiple hits before getting destroyed and
since you donít die every three seconds, itís not really a big problem. This
is overall, an excellent package that has excellent gameplay, great graphics and
is surprisingly fun. Twisted Metal Black is a fantastic title considering itís
free, and is a great introduction to online gaming. Even though its this type of
game lends itself much better to short bursts than extended play, itís still
has that classic Twisted Metal. This is an excellent gift to gamers from Sony,
so donít pass it up.