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Twisted Metal: Why It’s Shot Itself In The Foot

Twisted Metal: Why It’s Shot Itself In The Foot

Twisted Metal is now likely to be a ‘mature’ rated retail release, as opposed to the first-announced ‘teen’ download-only game we were so looking forward to.

Since then we’ve played it and we’ve not been blown away. Now, with this, I can’t help but feel Twisted Metal has shot itself in the foot. Or stabbed itself in the eye, as the case may be.

Yes, Twisted Metal: Black had ‘mature’ themes (and was a brilliant game) – so much so that they were cut for the EU release. But this isn’t a series built on attracting a particularly adult, ‘mature’ audience.

Twisted Metal is a silly, fun series and finds a strong following in a teenage audience. That’s not me being dismissive (nor is it based on observable fact) – it’s just how things feel and seem to be. It’s not exactly the kind of game 30-something gamers come together to have deep discussions on.

So surely swapping out the ‘T’ for a ‘M’ effectively eliminates this core audience?

Granted, age ratings – especially in the US – don’t exactly stop people from buying games, but the mere fact the game is likely to have a ‘M’ on the front cover rather than a ‘T’ speaks volumes, I think, to three groups: impulse purchasers, parents (and others) who want to play with younger gamers and those buying for gifts.

The ‘mature’ on the box is sure to put these people off buying what they would likely have little hesitation to buy if it were a simple, innocent ‘teen’ game. It’s got cars! And explosions! Harmless fun!

Swap the ‘T’ for a ‘M’ with a picture of a scary clown and I think you’re trying to attract the wrong audience.

I don’t want Twisted Metal to fail – the original is home to some truly great schooltime memories for me, the second is one of my favourite games ever made and TM:Black was excellent. But when this popped up, I couldn’t think anything other than ‘they’ve stabbed themselves in the eye’.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.

[You will notice the words ‘mature’ and ‘teen’ keep appearing in speechmarks. That’s because no Twisted Metal game has ever actually been ‘mature’. Yes, I’m being a bit petty.]

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  • Sev

    First off, Twisted Metal PS3 was never going to be a PSN download only game. Well, maybe way back in development it was, but when they officially announced it at E3 2010 they made it very clear it was going to be a full out retail only game.

    Also I would think most of Twisted Metal’s audience are the people who played it back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, who are all 17+ I imagine. I agree the M rating will probably affect sales, but I do not think it’s going to affect quality.

  • Ian Dransfield

    It’s pretty common knowledge that the game started out as downloadable – Jaffe has said so himself.

    And I agree it won’t affect quality – if anything it will help, at least when it comes to cutscenes etc. I just don’t think it will help sales, as I do think its main market is teenage boys.

  • Sev

    Jaffe said the game started out as downloadable yes, but that was in early production and they quickly changed that. By the time it was debuted at E3 2010 it was stated in every single interview you can find that the game was planned for full retail only.