Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
Add one part car, two parts road, five parts traffic, ten parts adrenaline and 24,000,000 parts pure speed, mix well and you get Burnout 3: Takedown.
The changes between B3 and the previous installment are actually rather drastic, yet all add to the 'Fun' factor. For one, you no longer need to fill the boost bar in order to use it, it can now be accessed at all times, however the benefits of using it when it's full are still there, as you'll get max speed for the max time with a full bar. The next big change is the size of the bar. Although originally about half the size of a B2 bar, the bar can be extended and filled with a Takedown, hence the title.
This brings me to my next point, the Takedowns. Surely the best bit of the first two Burnouts was making the opponent get 'up close and personal' with the traffic. Now, not only is this easier, it is encouraged. The new physics engine allows players to ram each other into traffic, walls and pretty much anything that is flat and solid. Doing this adds a new section to the boost bar, which is about the size of the original B3 boost bar, and fills it. This boost bar can go to as long as 4x the original bars length. However, getting taken down, or otherwise getting too friendly with traffic will get a section of the bar removed. You can only go back as far as the original size though.
But you're going to need all the boost you can get. The AI not only know how to make your car do the splits through a tram, but they are not shy on showing you how. AI drivers range from pacifists, but push them the wrong way and they will eventually spend the entire race trying to make you crash and burn. Road rage can prove to be quite lethal.
One of the two new race modes, Road Rage, shows off the game's full potential. In Road Rage, the aim isn't to reach the finish line, it is to make sure they don't. Takedowns are the main goal, the more the better. All, well, nearly all, the old race modes return for more action, with Pursuit being the only missing one. The other new mode is Eliminator. In Eliminator, as soon as the guy in second-to-last passes the finish, the person in last is 'Eliminated'. And I don't mean eliminated in a nansy-pansy sort of manner, I mean in a large flaming explosion sort of way. Brutal.
Especially as they are probably driving a sweet car. Every car you can drive looks awesome and crashes similarly. Doors fly off, windscreens fall out and wheels fly off to distant lands. Wicked.
The only downside I can see to the game is how the Heavyweight vehicles are only drivable in Crash mode. Doing a takedown in one of those things would be absolutely brutal. But, more weight means less speed, so it's an understandable emission.
To sum up, this is a spectacular game, worth a spot in everyone's collection. Mmmm, yummy.