Despite not being in the press conference, it still exists.

“So,” I wondered, “What happened to Twisted Metal?” and I wasn’t the only one asking. After sitting through Sony’s press conference last night, I couldn’t help but notice a few glaring omissions but Twisted Metal was the most obvious. After making such a big deal out of it last year, it was odd that we didn’t see it. The developers of the game seemed as unclear as I was. Whatever the case, the game was at Sony’s after party last night and is being featured in meetings above the Sony booth at E3. We had the chance to see and play both versions.

Last night, free-for-all deathmatch was on the menu as players sped around a dingy urban setting lobbing missiles and firing machine guns at each other. Loads of cars, choppers and one helicopter make for a frantic battle, particularly when you add in all the shotguns and nitro boosts. While it was fun to jump behind the wheel of Sweet Tooth and mow down the other drivers, it was pretty much what we expected.

Things didn’t really get interesting for me until I hit Sony’s booth this morning and got a chance to try single player in the new Nuke the Base boss battle. In this battle, the second of the game, players face off against Iron Maiden, a giant baby-doll headed robot piloted by a woman who looks like she couldn’t decide whether to dress up like a clown or a prostitute. It’s meant, with its multiple stages and unique interactions, to prepare players for the Nuke the Base mode in multiplayer.

The giant robot flies around the level, launching vicious attacks at the player. To beat her, you’ll need to track down the nearby faction leaders, who can be spotted driving around the level in red limousines. The leaders have their own guards, so you’ll have a hard time taking them out but, once you do, you can drag the leader behind your car to a nearby missile truck. An opening in the back of the truck reveals geared jaws and massive flames, and you’ve got to sacrifice the leader here in order to launch the missiles.

Once the missiles are in the air, you take control of them and steer them to hit Iron Maiden. Since she’s not too keen on this, you’ll also have to dodge her attacks. If you live long enough to make contact, you drop her health a bit and then start the whole process over again. The only difference is that this time the missile truck is on the move. Trying to sacrifice the faction leaders while battling her defenders and staying in range of the truck is a much dicier proposition.

After the second hit, Iron Maiden goes crazy, vomiting out baby heads left and right as you pour fire into her. Your regular weapons are good enough now that your second missile has reduced her shields, but you’ve got a few more phases to go before she’s completely defeated and the clown-prostitute finally gets what’s coming to her.

Why in the world didn’t Sony want to show this?

See all our coverage directly from the show floor.

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