Twisted Metal: Black ONLINE Review

Twisted Metal: Black ONLINE is not a full version of Twisted Metal: Black.  The single player campaign and split-screen modes present in the original are not included in the game.  What you do get is a version that is compatible with Sony's Network Adaptor and that is geared to Internet play.  Also, there is nothing to unlock through gameplay - you can select from all 20 arenas and 15 vehicles from the original game right from the start. 

Connecting to the game servers is quite simple.  The first time you play you need to create a login ID and password, and that's about it.  If you save your ID and password to your memory card, you can login with a single button press in future sessions.  Once online you are taken to the Twisted Metal: Black lobby which will list all the current games, the type of each game, and the number of players in the game.  Pick a game to join, select your vehicle, and you're in the game.

Twisted Metal: Black ONLINE supports four modes of play Death Match, Last Man Standing, Man Hunt, and Collector.  The number of players supported in a game depends on how you are connecting to the Internet; eight players per game via broadband, and two players head to head via dial-up.  Should you not find a game you like, you can create a Death Match game with two computer controlled bots (hint: this is a good way to practice if you are new to the game).

Death Match is an everybody versus everybody free-for-all where the goal is to collect the most kills.  Should you be killed you will regenerate in a random location and be free to enter the fray once again.

Last Man Standing is similar to Death Match, but each player has a limited number of lives.  Once you are out of lives, you are out of the game.  The last player remaining wins the game.  Last Man Standing also differs from Death Match in that players enter the game simultaneously in rounds instead of regenerating automatically after being destroyed.

In Man Hunt, one player is designated as the Prey and all other players are the Hunters.  Hunters receive points for damaging and destroying the prey, while the Prey scores points by evading or killing the Hunters.  If the Prey is killed, the Hunter making the kill becomes the Prey.

The final mode, Collector, places artifacts throughout the arena.  The winner in this mode is the player who can collect all of the artifacts.  Damaging a player can cause him or her to lose an artifact, and if a player is killed, all artifacts are lost.  Should you die, you regenerate without any artifacts at a random location.

All game modes can be further customized by setting a number of parameters such as time and lives limits and scoring method.  In addition,  additional game modifiers can be selected that limit players to a single weapon or single vehicle type, or add power relics to the game.  When collected, power relics provide you with unique powers that increase your offensive or defensive power, or provide you with special abilities.

Gameplay online is just as fast and furious as it is in the regular version of Twisted Metal: Black.  The action is blisteringly fast, without any noticeable slowdown caused by playing on the network.  The huge and detailed arenas are a natural for online play, and are very well-designed for multiplayer action.  The number of cars available ensures that there will be at least a couple that will match your preferred style of play; light and fast, slow and powerful, or something in between.

If there is a knock against the game it is that the manual assumes that you are familiar with the original game.  The control layout is not included in the manual; players are instead instructed to refer to the controller set-up in game.  This does not do you much good if you need a reference while playing the game when you are learning the control layout.  Also, there is no mention in the manual of how to perform combos and no reference list for the cars.  If you're new to the game, your stuck with learning everything the hard way.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 92%.  This game is a natural for online play and will make players glad that they purchased a Network Adaptor.