ModNation Racers screenshot
ModNation Racers screenshot

How hard can it be to create your own race tracks? They're just a series of straights and corners, built out of tarmac, so surely anyone could do it if given the right tools. Well, that's what PS3 exclusive ModNation Racers aims to do, being the LittleBigPlanet of the racing game genre. And, as it turns out, track creation isn't hard at all. It's a piece of cake. Just as in LittleBigPlanet, though, the best creations are going to come from those of us with some real creative talent. Rules me out then.

Before talking about my incredible creations, it's worth talking briefly about what the racing's actually like. The preview build we received featured only four tracks, but they were enough to understand that this is very Mario Kart, although from what I've played it lacks that game's charm. Comparison's to LittleBigPlanet also come unstuck here, as the level of artistic freedom on display isn't close to what Media Molecule sewed into every one of Sackboy's seams. ModNation Racers is, based on what I've played, a fairly generic kart racing game.

The handling model is what you'd expect, with agile karts able to corner easily, while a slide mechanic lets you whiz round trickier bends. Slide enough and you'll fill a boost meter, which lets you zoom past rivals. There are even the fairly standard power-ups to collect, and none seem to stand out as anything overly original. It is still good fun though, and will be playable online and on a single machine via four-player split-screen - something that's essential for this kind of racing experience. And the less said about the career mode the better. From what I've played it seems aimed squarely at young children.

I'm willing to give developer United Front some slack at the moment, as the preview build is only packing a fraction of the content the final game will offer, but even so the bigger draw certainly comes from the game's creation tools. At a basic level, gamers who don't want to mess about with the track creator can quickly and easily knock together a customised Mod (your racer) and kart. It's all done via a series of easy to understand menus, and if you're really lazy the auto create option produces some funny results.

What the hardcore will want to jump into, though, is track design. This is split into the creation of the area in which your circuit is set and the layout of the track itself. I set about building a level in a jungle, although after 20 minutes the end result was like nothing I'd ever seen before, or should that be, like a mishmash of every other race track I'd seen before. It's a good job the sharing functionality, which will let users upload and play other people's creations, isn't working in this build, as I'd have been shamed by the community.

New stuff to check out

Comments

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

SausageDropper's Avatar

SausageDropper

A flawed review Tom considering you only PLAYED....but couldn't CREATE anything worth SHARING. Ha Ha....rubbish!!
Posted 21:57 on 29 March 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Probably will get this due to how happy I've been with Little Big Planet in my very short time with it :)
Posted 18:50 on 29 March 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Good read.

Hmmm, I got myself into the Beta was impressed by the terms of creating such as the tracks and etc. Though for me personally. I can't really see it grabbing my attention for a long time such as Little Big Planet. Great for the first month then BAM! Sits on the shelf and dust swarms all over it.
Posted 17:16 on 29 March 2010
A1J2P3's Avatar

A1J2P3

looking forward to getting this :)
Posted 13:18 on 29 March 2010

Game Stats

Release Date: 21/05/2010
Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 1,564 164
Check Price