Originally released on the Sony Playstation, SingleTrac is back with the revamped Twisted Metal 2: World Tour. The Windows port is very much like the Playstation version, only having a few differences.
Any one who has played the original Twisted Metal knows that the concept is a competition in which homicidal maniacs compete, quite literally to kill each other, and have their wishes granted by the notorious Calypso, the founder of the Twisted Metal tournament. To do this, you basically chose a driver, each with their own...uh...vehicle. You progress through each area by killing your opponents with special weapons you can pick up (e.g. missiles, napalm) or your vehicle's special weapon. The ultimate goal is to reach Calypso to have your wishes granted. SingleTrac has not changed the idea or format one iota in the sequel Twisted Metal 2: World Tour.
In Twisted Metal 2: World Tour, you get to choose from a pool of twelve drivers, each with their own mission and goal. Some of the original characters from the previous game have made a grand return and there are some new faces as well. Among the new drivers are Axel, a poor man attached to two gigantic wheels; Roadkill, a homicidal man out to prove he's not insane; Twister, a speed freak who only wants to go faster; and a few others. There are also two secret drivers waiting to be found.
The graphics for the Windows version seem to have been enhanced slightly. Everything seems to be running in a higher resolution rather than the grungy Playstation version. And the graphical improvements are especially evident if you are running a 3DFX card. If you are, the graphics are actually very good looking with realistic flame and smoke effects. Everything is much smoother as well. The control, unfortunately, isn't as defined or tight as the Playstation counterpart. It feels a little more sluggish in some areas, but isn't too overly evident. The PC version does, however, feature a nice multiplayer support, allowing 8 friends to go at it in a chaotic free-for-all to the finish. The Playstation only allowed for a two player split screen deathmatch. Ahh, the wonders of the Internet. Other than that, everything is basically the same. You've got your special weapons and items, such as homing missiles, napalm blasts and bombs, insane endings (that really, really make this game what it is) and a good variety of arena based levels.
The Windows version of Twisted Metal 2: World Tour is a very decent game and has everything an action gamer should want: cars, firepower, explosions, and carnage. There are probably better PC games currently on the market, but anyone who missed this wonderful game on the Playstation would probably enjoy this faithful port. But it is starting to show its age...
Graphics: The graphics are a tad cleaner than the Playstation version, especially with a 3DFX card. Some of the textures could have been better, but it doesn't hamper with the game. 3DFX users will be greeted with nice flame and smoke effects and a smoother look.
Sound: The sound effects are quite good and often humorous. The voice acting is especially well done. Hearing Calypso speak is alone worth the price of admission.
Enjoyment: The sheer delight in blowing up your opponents with a homing napalm blast is immeasurable, especially with 8 people playing. The control can be a bit sluggish at times and can hamper with gameplay.
Replay Value: With fourteen possible endings, and a killer 8 person battle mode, this game keeps you coming back for more and more.
The second in the Twisted Metal series of car combat games, and the last to be developed by SingleTrac, Twisted Metal 2 is considered by most of its fans to be the pinnacle of the series. Combat takes place between a wide array of vehicles ranging from a man strapped between two wheels to an ice cream truck, using an eclectic arrangement of weaponry. The action takes place in 8 different locales around the world, many featuring destructible buildings and landmarks.
The plot - the least important element in games of this kind - is simple: you are competing in a worldwide car combat game staged by the a powerful man named Calypso. You pick your vehicle from an array of heavily-modified cars, including a flamethrowing Chevette, a spinning F1, to a dangerous contraption that consists of nothing more than two monster wheels (with you strapped in the middle). You then play through a series of arena throughout the world, picking up weapons and trying to kill other vehicles before you are toast.
Like other SingleTrac games (most notably JetMoto), the gameplay in Twisted Metal 2 is very well designed. Each car has its own special move, and the game obeys a logical yet totally unrealistic physics model that allows you to turn on a dime and go flying 100 feet in the air. The weapons in comparison are quite standard: dumbfire and homing missiles, ricochet bombs, mines, napalm, and many more. The environments are also very well-designed. The Paris level, for example, features a destructible Eiffel Tower in addition to several priceless works of art in the Louvre; the Antarctica level collapses piece by piece until one small glacier island is left; the incredibly large Hong Kong level contains a subway (complete with trains coming and going on schedule), and one of the biggest and most difficult bosses you will ever see. There are also a few multiplayer modes to choose from, including a two-player co-operative mode that allows you and a friend to go against computer-controlled teams.
With excellent levels, furious action, and unrealistic but fun physics, Twisted Metal 2 is definitely worth a look for anyone who enjoys games like Quarantine, Death Drome, or Rocket Jockey.
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Wipeout XL (a.k.a. Wipeout 2097), Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, Metal Gear Solid, Diablo 2, Sega Rally Championship, Road Rash, Sega Rally 2 Championship
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