Twisted Metal

Common Sense Media says

Dark combat racing game that is extremely violent and gory.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

No positive messages can be taken away from this game. TWISTED METAL is an extremely violent and gory game that focuses on combat racing -- to the death. Players are encouraged to destroy other vehicles with missiles, machine guns, chainsaws, and flamethrowers. You can even run over screaming pedestrians if you want. Live-action cut-scene sequences show decapitated bodies and bloodied serial killers.

Positive role models

No good role models. Your intent is to compete in this deadly game of demolition derby -- as characters such as Sweet Tooth (the serial killer clown who graces the cover of the game), Doll Face, and Mr. Grimm -- all of whom partake in this over-the-top competition. You might not be as evil as Calypso, the twisted character who created the Twisted Metal contest, but these playable characters are not good role models, either.

Ease of play

There will be a learning curve to master vehicle control and combat at the same time. This game can get very tough to juggle these simultaneous tasks. But the game starts off with instructions on how to play, and there's some information in the manual that ships with the game. Controls are also quite responsive, too.


This game contains extreme violence. Heavily focused on vehicular combat, the game requires you to use your vehicle like a weapon to destroy others in the Twisted Metal competition, as well as use flame throwers, machine guns, missiles, chainsaws, and other weapons. Story sequences with real actors are also violent, bloody, and gory, with potentially disturbing imagery such as a woman bleeding to death on the street, someone holding a decapitated head (and bloodied saw in the other hand), a serial killer stabbed in the face with scissors, and more. 

Not applicable

The game contains strong profanity, including "f--k," "f--kr," "motherf--ker," "s--t," "a--hole," and others.



There are signs, billboards, and marquees in the game, but they're promoting fictitious brands. But parents might like to know one of the publicity stunts to promote this game: Consumers who registered at with either their Facebook or Twitter account in mid-February vied for the chance to shoot at a truck located in the desert via their computer. The gun in front of the truck is hooked up to a webcam and a server.


Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Creates privacy and safety concerns: In addition to four-player split-screen, players can play online with up to 16 players simultaneously where there is unmonitored open chat. The game creates an opportunity to talk with strangers where profanity might be heard and there could be inappropriate conversations between players.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Twisted Metal is a very violent, gory, and bloody "Mature"-rated game. The game centers on vehicle combat and racing, with numerous types of weapons to use against other players in a deadly demolition competition called "Twisted Metal" -- including missiles, machine guns, chainsaws, and a flying helicopter outfitted with a turret. It's also possible to run over pedestrians and destroy the environment. Live-action story sequences are very graphic, with bloody images of murder and decapitation. The game also has strong profanity.


Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

From the same creative team responsible for the original car combat game for Sony PlayStation in 1995, TWISTED METAL is dark and twisted tale of the evil Calypso, who puts on the Twisted Metal tournament, and challenges drivers to use whatever they got to take down everyone else -- including multiple weapons of mass destruction. The single-player campaign reprises familiar characters (including Sweet Tooth, Doll Face, and Mr. Grimm), plus it adds live-action sequences to help push the bizarre story along. In fact, gamers will experience separate storylines as these characters and have access to 16 unique vehicles -- from the ice cream truck and souped-up sedans to motorcycles and a helicopter. Along with the co-op mode on one television, there are a number of online modes playable via PlayStation Network.

Is it any good?


For mature players, Twisted Metal is a good game, though it's not a perfect 10. This new spin on the car combat genre adds high-definition graphics, fast and responsive control, more weapons, bigger and more destructible environments, live-action story sequences, challenging boss battles, three endings, and on- and offline multiplayer modes. But on the flipside, many gamers have experienced problems going online to play against each other, be it connection errors or joining one mode (such as Nuke) but finding yourself in another (perhaps Last Man Standing). There are a few other niggles, too, such as only having three characters to play, but overall this game delivers an exhilarating action experience and should be a treat for long-time fans of the franchise. Do take heed to the warning on the front and back of the box for the game's intense violence, blood, and gore, and strong language.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether live-action story sequences -- that is, real actors rather than computer-generated ones -- is potentially more disturbing (or desensitizing) to gamers. Images of bloody death, murder, and destruction can be seen in these video sequences.

  • What is the impact of extreme violence, as is found in this game? Is this no different than a horror movie or worse because gamers can then play in this world?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:February 14, 2012
Topics:Cars and trucks, Magic and fantasy, Adventures
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language (PlayStation 3)

This review of Twisted Metal was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byBrittish Trash February 18, 2012

Amazing for young teens!!

WOOOOOOHHHHHH!!!!!! What is commonsense talking about!! im 13 and love the twisted metal series!!! Yes theres blood but kids can handle it....the only thing to watch out for is the language but if u turn down the volume it makes it almost E.
Parent of a 18 year old Written bydaddy60000 August 19, 2013

NOT FOR KIDS horribly violent and gorey

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byErnesto M January 25, 2013

Fun but just pointless

This is just by far a sweet game for ADULTS not kids. The game is about 4 what appear to be mentally illed characters "If you played Twisted Metal Black you would see they all start off in a Insane Asylum". They compete to get a wish the Clown = Kill his own daughter "How stupid", Doll = To be a famous Model, Grimm = To save his faughter. The game even dough i enjoy driving fast cars is very pointless nothing fun really happens its cool but.. it did not take long for me to get over the game and it is by far the most frustrating game i have ever played i broke 2 controllers trying to complete the game with levels that seemed impossible.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide