|Twisted Metal: Black is a return to the roots of the Twisted Metal series, as members of the original development team behind the first two games has been brought back to craft this first entry on the PlayStation 2. The game is considerably darker than the previous four Twisted Metal games, earning it an "M" rating from the ESRB.
Calypso is back again holding his Twisted Metal tournament of car combat. As before, the winner of the tournament gets a wish of their choice to be granted by Calypso. There are a total of 15 playable characters, each varying in vehicle type, driver, speed, armor, special weapon, and control. There are new characters as well as returning ones, including Junkyard Dog, Brimstone, Outlaw, Mr. Grimm, Roadkill, Crazy 8, Spectre, Dollface, Shadow, and Sweet Tooth.
Players engage in vehicular combat in a variety of arenas, including downtown areas, rooftop skyscraper battles, suburban neighborhoods, prison boats, snow covered roads, highways, freeways, and drive-in movie theaters. There are also hidden arenas and characters that are unlocked by exploring and discovering hidden areas of many of the battlegrounds.
Drivers compete in a last-man standing game that pits you against eight other opponents. The last person surviving wins the level and progresses onto the next stage (each character has eight levels). Weapons include character-specific special weapons, missiles, homing missiles, exploding gas cans, and environmental attacks triggered by the player. Progressing through levels not only gets you closer to the end of the game, but also unlocks CGI Movies that explain characters' pasts in greater detail. The standard camera view is placed behind the car, but can be altered by pressing the select button.
Twisted Metal: Black also includes four-player simultaneous play via a split-screen, as well as cooperative modes and a last-man standing mode.