First off graphically this game is okay or maybe "average", which I don't really mind. The maps are all sized well and are appealing. Character models look fine, explosions look standard etc.
Single player mode: You play as Sweet Tooth, Mr. Grimm and Doll Face in a 3 chapter story mode. First is Sweet Tooth. An opening video starts up and you are introduced to his motives for wanting to win Twisted Metal, which is to kill the girl who got away from his first attempt of murdering his whole family. These videos aren't stunning, but somewhat cheesy. This is fine because Twisted Metal isn't to be taken seriously. You play standard death match (last car alive wins) electric cage matches (stay in the designated area or take damage as the cage moves throughout the match) Juggernaut matches (a huge 18-wheeler called the Juggernaut spawns enemies every couple of minutes, you have to destroy that Juggernaut and then any remaining enemies to advance. And last but not least the WORST thing ever to be included in a Twisted Metal game..............racing.
You'd think a game revolving around vehicular combat could possibly have a decent racing mode? NO! The controls are horrid for racing! Cars accelerate extremely fast making sharp turns very hard to pull off. The first 2 races are frustrating but within a few tries you should have it. But the final race is HORRIBLE!!! You HAVE to hit every checkpoint to reveal the next to win the race. Too bad these checkpoints are completely all-over the place meaning you need to have insane reflexes as well as good luck because with all the enemies in the race you get knocked around usually off the track or roofs that lead to the next checkpoint. If you miss a checkpoint, just restart because backtracking is not an option, whoever is in 1st place (usually Crimson Fury) will not be caught. Because of this race I have not completed the story mode, nor do I want to. It frustrates me way too much. It is a poorly executed attempt to add length to an already short story mode. Perhaps they could have added a few more maps and stuck with death-matches with certain variants to lengthen the game, just anything other than this atrocious "racing".
Multiplayer: Getting on online can be a hassle due to server problems and being kicked if you even find a game, but once you find yourself there it can be fun. You'd better be patient because you will run into people with more unlocked cars and weapons than you and you will get frustrated that you stand no chance, that is until you unlock these weapons/cars yourself.
You can also play split screen with up to 4 players at a time.
The AI: The computer AI isn't very good in this game, the CPU rarely fights with each other meaning you always kill everyone in every match. The AI also seems to only focus on you when you are around. During races it seems the CPU is more focused on making sure you lose rather than making sure they win.
All in all my final thoughts: Nostalgia really fuels this game, as for gameplay the control and physics seem exactly the way it was on the PS1. You could possibly make an argument that this game is just any of the original Twisted Metal games ported to the PS3 with a paint-job and a few new modes. Seriously, the control feels prehistoric. As for the vehicles and drivers, it is disappointing that you can only play as Sweet Tooth, Mr. Grimm, Doll Face and Preacher, but with other previously established characters' cars. Imagine Sweet Tooth in Axle's two wheeled ride, or Mr Grimm in the Ice Cream truck, etc. There is also no classic characters like Grasshopper, Twister, Hammerhead, Minion, Flower Power, Spectre etc.
This game is still tons of fun and if you liked the originals you'll probably enjoy this, but the game itself doesn't feel like a huge jump to the Playstation 3.