Let me start my review by saying - this is classic Twisted Metal updated for the current generation graphically, perhaps not so much in physics, but that by no means makes this a bad game. The problems with it come from its severely short single-player length and multitude of multi-player issues.
The last TM game I played was Black for the PS2. The European version was cut so severely that it simply served as a number of death-matches stuck together with absolutely no story. Thankfully, that issue isn't present here, but we are left with a 3 limited stories following Sweet Tooth, Mr Grimm & Dollface. All of the tales are interesting enough and I really enjoyed watching the live-action cutscenes, but they were very short and easy to progress through (and there were only about 3-4 cutscenes per character anyway). The meat of the story mode is in the matches themselves - traditional TM vehicular carnage in death-matches, electric cage matches, that sort of thing. There's varying levels of difficulty - up to "Twisted" which is horrifically hard, but generally playing on normal you'll have a good time. There's also a 'challenge' mode, where you can choose the map, game mode and settings you want to play against bots, which adds some slight longevity to the single player. Finally, you can play offline splitscreen or LAN matches, which is a very nice addition to keep the series close to its roots.
The actual game itself is a lot of fun - like I mentioned earlier, it's classic Twisted Metal. The environments seem very destructible and the weapons are a lot of fun. The controls can take a bit of getting used to, but thankfully you can change the control scheme to either original Twisted Metal or the dual-stick mode from Twisted Metal Black, which I chose to use. One thing you will notice is the physics are often way off - cars go flying all over the place sometimes, but I count this as more of a nostalgic nod to the older games and as such don't really have a problem with it.
So despite all this praise, how come I ended up giving the game 3 stars out of 5? The answer is quite simple - the online multi-player is completely broken at the moment. At the time of writing (21/04/12), I cannot connect to the online servers at all - I have to log out of my PSN just to play the single player. Hopefully this issue will be solved with another patch (I'm led to believe that the recent 1.05 patch is what caused this problem in the first place), but for the time being I'm completely unable to play online which is a massive problem. Even when I was able to connect before the patch, there were many server issues and disconnects which made the experience a hassle.
It's a real shame, because the actual game itself is huge amounts of fun, the kind of carnage which you can only seem to find with Twisted Metal games. It feels like a product which needed 3-6 more months in development to iron out the problems with online play and beef up the single player campaign.
Just a small final note: The game requires an pass to play online if you weren't already aware (if the online servers ever get up and running again!) Buying the game new, I also got two redeemable vouchers - one for a free downloadable version of Twisted Metal Black (which is still a lot of fun), and one for a Sweet Tooth skin for the upcoming game 'Starhawk'.