It's not unfair to say that vehicle combat games have gone out of fashion. There are very few, if any AAA franchises anymore, which is definitely a big part of why Twisted Metal's multiplayer is so refreshing. The combat in the game is just as fast-paced and competitive as a FPS or fighting game, but without the reflex-based twitchy feeling that deters players who don't have that competitive streak. This version of the game sets itself apart within its own genre as well with improved controls.
I played a round of Nuke, a multi-tiered version of capture the flag. (Those of you keeping up with the game may have seen this before.) In Nuke, one team tries to capture the other team's "leader" (read: flag), drag him to a truck with a missile on top and, after a securing period, fire a missile at the opposing team's giant statue mascot. Try to do this as many times as you can in a set period of time, then switch to defense. The mode, which takes simple capture the flag and stretches out the process, is a lot of fun.
Simple tweaks to the standard driving controls which make the game less frustrating than other car combat games. The biggest improvement is the addition of the quick turn button. By press X while in motion, the car immediately goes into a full skid in order to turn you 180 degrees. However, if you were chasing someone, once you lock back on the character and turn, the car will correct itself, like an aim-assist for driving. Using this saves you from a lot of ramming into walls and makes it way easier to start chasing cars going in the opposite direction.
Driving-related frustration has always been something that kept me from absolutely loving the Twisted Metal series and its descendants. By fixing that, the possibilities for the game are limitless.
Twisted Metal is slated for release on October 4th, 2011. If you want to see more, check out the trailer.