By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on November 14, 2014

The dial is set; all systems are in more or less functioning order. So I guess it’s time to say our goodbyes and start making our way towards the year 1996…. And what a year it was; Prince Charles and Princess Diana agree on divorce, France announces end to nuclear tests, Disney releases The Hunchback of the Notre-Dame and SingleTrac game studio creates what would become one of the most beloved vehicular combat games ever; Twisted Metal 2: World Tour.

Released by Sony for PC and their very own Playstation, Twisted Metal 2 is an instant smash hit. It had 14 playable characters in total (two of which were available through unlock), eight different arenas and a shitload of weaponry to fulfill all your destructive needs. Now, there actually was a fifteenth character one could control: Dark Tooth. This character however, was only available through a cheat device and even then caused the game to glitch or freeze up. So let’s forget about him for a second.

Twisted metal world tour takes place one year after the first Twisted Metal tournament, which becomes clear in the games intro when the main antagonist (Calypso) tells us a story about how his tournament wrecked the city of angels. Now he faces a real tough choice; where is this year’s Twisted Metal contest to be held. Not being of the humble persuasion, Calypso proclaims the world as his playground and selects battle arenas all over the world. Antarctica, Amazonia, Paris, Hong Kong, Holland, Los Angeles, Moscow and New York are ‘lucky enough’ to tickle his fancy and are selected as destinations for his upcoming battle of vehicular annihilation.

As noted above, Twisted Metal lets you choose one of 14 characters. Each one of these dare devils has their own vehicle and special abilities, and a damned good reason to participate in this banquet of death and destruction. Let's take a look at the contestants, shall we?

Shadow - a dark purple hearse, capable of shooting a shadow at its opponents that detonates remotely
Thumper – A bright violet tricked out low rider with a huge ass flamethrower mounted on its hood
Mr. Slam – A yellow crane like vehicle that could pick up it opponents and slam them into the ground
Axel – A tortured man mounted on a weird set of two huge tires that crush all they encounter
Mr. Grimm – The Grim Reaper on a motorcycle that fires souls of the damned at its opponents
Road Kill – A junkyard monstrosity that fires solid steel javelins at high speeds, obliterating everything
Hammerhead – A monster truck capable of crushing opponents underfoot
Twister – A formula one car that causes a cyclone, picking up its opponents and thrashing them about
Spectre – A fast sports car that fires homing missiles that can pass through solid rock
Warthog – A humvee packed with cluster missiles that do more damage the longer they are in flight
Outlaw 2 – A police vehicle with the power to shoot taser bursts at nearby enemies
Grasshopper – A brightly colored dune buggy that jumps high into the sky and smashed enemies when landing
Sweet Tooth – The iconic ice cream truck that fires deadly pink cones at its enemies
Minion – A tank from hell that fires three regular missiles as well as a freezing missile at once

After you select the motorized madman of your choice, it's straight into the fray! Engines roaring, missiles flying, people screaming in agony...Welcome to the madhouse that is Twisted Metal 2! After a brief introduction you compete against other drivers in arenas all over the world. The objective of each race is to be the last man standing (or driving, as the case may be). This can be accomplished by completely annihilating everything that moves, and sometimes even things that don’t move (my absolute favorite is still, without a doubt, blowing up the Eiffel tower). This may not be as easy as it sounds though, because your opponents do not like being blown up as much as one might suspect. So they in turn, do everything in their power to prevent that from happening, which usually means try to blow you up.

The arsenal in Twisted Metal 2 was unlike anything you had ever seen up to that point. Fire missiles, power missiles, homing missiles, even a giant gasoline bomb are among the things you as the player are able to pick up. You’ll find these useful items strewn all across the arena you are currently doing battle in. But you’ll have to be quick, because the other combatants can just as easily snatch these destructive delectations from right under your heavily armored nose and use them against you.

Twisted Metal 2 was everything a vehicular combat game needed to be. It was fast, challenging, over the top and most importantly, it was fun. The single player missions featured great variety in level settings, and focused on the story behind the driver you picked at the start of the game. But where it really comes in to its own is the split screen coop story mode. You could team up with a friend and blast your way through the same missions as you would normally play through in the single player mode, but with double the fun! It was really great to just thrash about the course and take down an enemy together. Add a case of beer to the mix and you’ve got yourself a party!

I’ve had loads of good times playing this game and I’m sure any of you who played it as well will agree with me. Twisted Metal 2 is still one of the best games in the genre out there, although its graphics now seem a bit outdated. But believe me, they didn’t back in 1996! The PlayStation version was without a doubt the best of the pair, since the PC version had slightly down-toned graphics and a somewhat clunky control scheme. But what the hell; on which system you played hardly makes a difference when you’re having as much fun as this game brought you. Oh and did I mention YOU GOT TO BLOW UP THE EIFFEL TOWER?! What?... oh, I already did… Ah what the hell… It’s still cool!

Vive la Twisted Metal!!!