Publishers combat the used and rental games market by using online passes in a form of a code in new copies of games that must be activated to play online multiplayer. Online passes wasn’t a problem for me until I rented a copy of Twisted Metal for the PS3, and as a long time fan, I was thrilled to try the game to see if I wanted to buy it new. The available single player, however, did nothing to make me want to play more. I can definitely feel the potential for some multiplayer fun in what was offered, but as I keep progressing through the game, the challenges just keep getting more and more unbalanced. When it becomes apparent that everybody in the arena was only aiming for me, it really breaks the fun.
In online multiplayer, I don’t expect that to happen, but I don’t get to try out any online multiplayer because of the online pass issue. That’s a real shame because the only way to play any multiplayer at all is through local split screen, and local multiplayer is never representative of the online multiplayer experience. Not getting to try out the online portion made me put away my $60 and return the game thinking I would only revisit Twisted Metal when it’s much cheaper.
Sony is capable of doing great trials, however, with the recent release of the Killzone 3 multiplayer and its demo on the PSN, which gives players a limited time to play the multiplayer. It’s enough for players to get a feel for what the game has to offer while teasing the player of new items by gaining levels. Maybe they can do the same for Twisted Metal. Online passes with a limited trial; that’s the way to go.