“Twisted Metal 4” is a vehicular combat video game developed by 989 Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the Sony PlayStation (PSX). Released in 1999, it is the fourth installment in the popular “Twisted Metal” series known for its chaotic vehicular battles and unique characters. The game builds upon the foundation set by its predecessors, offering an array of vehicles, arenas, and weapons for players to enjoy.
Gameplay: “Twisted Metal 4” maintains the signature gameplay of the series, combining vehicular combat with an arcade-style approach. Players select one of several unique vehicles, each with its own special weapon and attributes. The goal is to engage in battles across various arenas, eliminating opponents and achieving specific objectives.
The game features both single-player and multiplayer modes. In single-player, players progress through a tournament-style structure, facing off against AI-controlled opponents in a series of battles. Multiplayer mode allows friends to compete against each other in split-screen, adding an extra layer of chaotic fun.
Vehicles and Characters: “Twisted Metal 4” introduces a new set of vehicles and characters, each with their own distinct personalities and vehicular weapons. From classic cars to bizarre and fantastical vehicles, the roster provides a diverse range of choices for players. Some characters from earlier installments make a return, along with new additions to keep the gameplay fresh.
Weapons and Power-Ups: The game offers a variety of weapons and power-ups scattered throughout the arenas. Players can pick up items such as missiles, mines, shields, and health packs to gain advantages or heal their vehicles. The strategic use of weapons and power-ups becomes crucial, adding an element of planning and resource management to the fast-paced battles.
Levels and Arenas: “Twisted Metal 4” features a range of diverse levels and arenas, each with its own unique design and hazards. Players navigate through urban environments, deserts, and fantastical landscapes while engaging in intense vehicular combat. The dynamic environments and interactive elements add to the chaos and unpredictability of the battles.
Graphics and Sound: The game features 3D graphics that, while not groundbreaking by contemporary standards, were fitting for the PlayStation hardware of its time. The visuals capture the chaotic nature of the battles, with destructible environments and explosive effects.
The soundtrack includes a mix of rock and electronic music, complementing the fast-paced and frenetic atmosphere of the game. Sound effects, including vehicle engines, weapon blasts, and character taunts, contribute to the immersive experience.
Reception: “Twisted Metal 4” received mixed reviews upon release. While praised for its fun and chaotic gameplay, some critics felt that it didn’t innovate enough compared to its predecessors. The game’s controls and graphics were also points of contention among reviewers.
Legacy: While “Twisted Metal 4” may not be considered the pinnacle of the series, it remains a nostalgic title for fans of vehicular combat games on the PlayStation. The “Twisted Metal” franchise continued with subsequent entries, but the fourth installment holds a special place in the memories of those who enjoyed its fast-paced multiplayer mayhem.