Specific Ratings

Replay ValueD-
Learning CurveD-

Pros and Cons

  • Graphics are ok.
  • Nice Artwork.
  • Horrible Controls
  • Half of the characters are ruined.
  • Weapons could have used more work.
  • Uninspiring levels
  • Lazy Soundtrack

Twisted Metal III (PlayStation)

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Twisted Metal III is literally, a piece of twisted metal.



The bar was raised when Twisted Metal 2 was released. It took everything that the first Twisted Metal did, and kicked it up to a new volume or two. It was a very memorable sequel with unforgettable characters, maps, gameplay mechanics, music, and so much more it had to offer. However, the franchise would slip itself into an awkward period when Singletrac, the original developers of the TM1 and 2, would later dissolve. So in order to keep the series going, Sony had its' in-house development team, 989 Studios, fill in. How did they do? Well, let's take a look.


The game takes place, supposedly 2 years after the events of Twisted Metal 2. The year is 2008 and Calypso is still the man in charge of the tournament. Like times before, a batch of 14 characters have entered the tournament seeking the ultimate prize - one wish to be granted through their heart's desire. Battling across various parts of the world and leaving trails of destruction in this tournament's wake to win. From there, you know the routine by now.


Ten familiar vehicles from the previous Twisted Metal have made their return. The returning characters include: Warthog, Hammerhead, Mr.Grimm, Outlaw, Roadkill, Axel, Thumper, Sweet Tooth, Minion, and Spectre. Four newbies have entered the tournament as well: Firestarter, Club Kid, Auger and Flower Power. Some of them have different drivers than before like instead of Mike & Stu who once drove Hammerhead, but now we're stuck with a disgruntled angry old granny. How about drivers like Damien Coles, who drives Firestarter and also resembles a coked-up Keith Flint from Prodigy. I'm sure there's some reference in there between the two somewhere. You also get to battle two more familiar characters, Minion and Darkside, from previous games... with the addition of a new boss named Primeval.


What Twisted Metal 2 forgot. Twisted Metal III puts you in another series of battlegrounds. Whether you want to fight in Hollywood, Washington D.C, Area 51, London, Egypt, Calypso's Blimp, and even in Santa's Workshop at the North Pole. Twisted Metal III also carried the tradition of blowing up monuments and some buildings. However, they didn't bring as much satisfaction as when in TM2, you blew up the Eiffel Tower in Paris and could actually teleport to explore roof to roof. How about the Subways and the Temple in Hong Kong where you could destroy the trains and get nice weapons from inside.


The sound effects sound like typical stock sounds for missiles, machine gun fire, and specials. What they really lacked, however, was the soundtrack. TM1 and TM2 went and orchestrated their own tracks that fitted the levels it needed to represent. What did 989 Studios do for Twisted Metal III? Slap on a few songs from popular bands at the time. If you haven't heard Rob Zombie's 'Superbeast' enough, you'll find it in this game. Do the songs fit the mood of the levels in the game? I wouldn't say so but doesn't matter because it's Rob Zombie. The only music composed that are original to the game is what you'll hear at the menu screen and hell, the North Pole level, which is an instrumental by Rob Zombie.


This is one of the most pegged at aspects about Twisted Metal III. Your vehicle is literally sliding everywhere, you'd have to be lucky to hit anyone. The only way to get a good shot at something is if you stop all motion and just simply press the "X" button to turn around. Also because of the new physics engine 989 introduced in Twisted Metal III, your vehicle can do all sorts of impossible things. Flip around, go into barrel rolls, crash into each other before skewing into the nearest wall even at the slightest hit and your vehicle can go upside down. It's frustrating to handle when in addition to all of this, you're sliding around the level. Not to mention if you do it right, you can sit your vehicle upright or even have it hanging off a ledge.

How about the weapons being used? Talk about the trial and error these weapons provide. I love how the mortar and napalm go into a rainbow arc right over your opponent almost every time. Very rarely would they ever be of use, granted if you can hit anyone with the things. Missiles are plain, you have orange for Fire, blue for Power, purple for Homing, and red for Speed missiles. What makes them plain is how much damage they provide, which is next to nothing. Even the Power missile is lacking...power. Ricos would rather pop your opponent in the air to send them flying instead of in TM2, where they practically send your ass slamming around. Remotes do the same thing except they're stationary ricos. The new weapon introduce is the Rain Missile. Quite honestly, it is very useless! Once you fire it, it makes a ring of fire after you trigger it again. So people can easily avoid the ring of fire.

Conclusive Thoughts:

I felt Twisted Metal III was a very shallow follow-up and disappointing sequel to what Twisted Metal 2 left behind. It went backwards whereas the first two games went forward. The characters are watered down and campy-like with very crappy FMV endings that makes you think they're more stupid than they are creatively weird. The sounds are incredibly lackluster, and if I wanted to listen to bands like Rob Zombie, I'll just do the whole PS1 and music disc swapping trick. I don't need a game to play music I'll eventually grow tired of, and have. The controls play nothing like even a standardized Twisted Metal game did. It's more of a challenge battling the controls, firing weapons and where your vehicle goes than progressing through the levels.

I hate this game and I completely shun Twisted Metal III (as well as Twisted Metal 4) from being acknowledged as part of the series. Considering they almost killed the series regardless of their commercial successes. But then again it was all about making a quick buck. Twisted Metal III was surely terrible, but not as bad as Twisted Metal 4 which tasted like diarrhea frosting. Don't play Twisted Metal III, just skip it and move on to Small Brawl, Black, Extra Twisted Edition, and whatever else may come along.

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