Upon its release in 1995, Twisted Metal became a household name for the PlayStation. Its unique cast of characters, interesting plot, car combat gameplay and amazing multiplayer helped cement it as one of the PlayStation’s best games in its first year. However, a string of subpar sequels caused the Twisted Metal brand to languish, even though it saw a brief resurrection with the critically acclaimed Twisted Metal: Black for PlayStation 2. Series creator David Jaffe returns to the series to revive it once again with the PlayStation 3 exclusive Twisted Metal. As noted above, past Twisted Metal games were known for their eccentric and deranged cast of characters; they would battle each other with the winner being granted one wish by the mysterious and evil Calypso. These storylines were usually played out in the single player mode and offered a decent diversion when none of your friends were around for some multiplayer action. Unfortunately in Twisted Metal, the cast of characters for the single player mode has been reduced to three: Sweet Tooth, Doll Face and Mr. Grimm. Luckily, they aren’t confined to one vehicle so while the cars and special abilities of past combatants show up, the past combatants themselves are absent. Sadly, the story mode is not that interesting because of this; while the three playable characters are interesting, it’s just not enough to be a compelling mode with only three characters. Luckily, the story mode is over in a matter of hours so it doesn’t drag itself out for very long. However, it may take you a bit longer to play through the story mode (which is recommended before diving into multiplayer, by the way) due to the game’s controls. Unlike past Twisted Metal games, the new Twisted Metal’s controls aren’t as intuitive as you’d expect from an arcade car combat game. While it’s something that will become second nature in time, it’s definitely not a game where your friends are going to join you and jump right into the action without a bit of practice. The gameplay in Twisted Metal is what you’d expect from the series: your car against a host of other cars as you shoot, ram and explode your way to victory. Scattered throughout the field are power-ups that either help you or hinder your opponents. This is the same gameplay seen as far back as the original Twisted Metal and it still works great to this day, as this game is proof of. Where the real fun comes from is multiplayer: Twisted Metal supports both local and online multiplayer. In addition to ground-based car combat in multiplayer, you can take the action to the sky by piloting a helicopter, providing an interesting twist. Twisted Metal features nine multiplayer modes, with returning favorites such as Deathmatch and Last Man Standing to new modes such as Nuke. Twisted Metal’s multiplayer has also adapted a Call of Duty style leveling system; destroying your enemies and completing objectives rewards you with new cars, weapons and powers. The combination of multiple game modes, an incentive based leveling system and the pure, unadulterated fun of turning human opponent’s cars to smoking rubble ensures that Twisted Metal is an online game you’ll be playing for quite some time. When it comes to the graphics and sound, Twisted Metal is what you’d expect from a next generation game from 2012. While it won’t win any awards for the best looking or sounding game released this year, what it does bring to the table is more than adequate and suits the game nicely. Does Twisted Metal live up to its predecessors? For gamers looking for a single player challenge, no, it does not. What little the single player mode does offer is over in a matter of hours and is not worth the cost of admission. However, for gamers interested in multiplayer gaming, Twisted Metal can’t be beat and is definitely worth your time. Recommendation: Purchase if interested in Multiplayer and/or hardcore fan, rent only if you are into vehicular destruction type games.