OK game, but doesn't bring enough to the table that wasn't done the same way, over a decade ago.
I'm not even going to count the graphics against it, which are a little too oldschool. Almost more like a PS2 game, but good gameplay would have more than made up for it.
Problem is, the gameplay is also too much like a PS2 game. Having played all sorts of driving games, from Dirt3 to GTA4, the driving and physics just feel half-hearted. Doesn't even steer properly in reverse, giving it more of an unrealistic arcade feel. I know some people will always argue against realism, but in a game like this, the visceral energy that can come from realistically speeding, drifting, and barreling through things can be awesome.
It could have been so much more with a really modern system for how the cars feel, locational damage, functionality and deformation, and vehicles that have a real sense of mass to them. They don't, any more than TMB did. The original Twisted Metals were great in this respect, but they've fallen way behind the times, which is especially sad, given how few and far between anything in this genre has been.
Then we've got the story mode. Now I see why Jaffe's been ranting about story in games. It's not that the story is bad, but that they had to abandon the convention of having a mini-story for all the different vehicles/drivers, so that they could do one major coherent story. but it just does fit. I don't know why they did that. Twisted Metal worked so much better with just a little cut-scene to reward you with, for completing the game with each character. Like a fighting game. More story than that just doesn't make sense in a game like this. This is why not ALL games should tell stories.
They could have gone the other way, doing the "player authored" thing. How cool would it be to design your own crazy driver, and even their vehicle out of some sort of vehicular customization system - and I mean a lot more than just the paint job. Let me take something like that online.
No, instead we're supposed to be on the edge of our seats, caring about Sweet Tooth. Meh, I say. F#%$ing meh.