ModNation Racers Review for PS3

On: PS3PS VitaPSP
ModNation Racers screenshot
ModNation Racers screenshot

Who doesn't love Mario Kart? Well, OK, some people can't stand the way the power-ups mean you can be winning one second then last a few moments later. But most of us love the fact that it's a racing game that everyone can play. Whether it's you and some mates all sat on the same sofa, playing split-screen, or you against the rest of the gaming world online, something about Mario Kart has stuck, meaning the same basic formula has remained great fun for years. You'd think copying it would be easy, but there's a reason other games in the genre haven't had similar success. ModNation Racers, the exclusive PS3 kart racer from Sony and United Front Games, is the latest to try its hand at the ever popular arcade racing experience.

One of the biggest hurdles ModNation Racers faces is the fact that you don't get recognisable characters to race around as or themed courses to race at. Instead of Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser and co, you get strange anthropomorphic plush-toy-like creations that can be customised to reflect your own personality. While Sony doesn't have the wealth of famous, family friendly characters Nintendo has, an all-stars racing line-up would have added some much needed likeability and personality to the package. Still, the character creation tool is easy to use and allows everyone to race as their own Mod or Mod-ette.

This creation runs through to the karts themselves, too, with a variety of body kits, wheels, engines and accessories able to be combined to form crazy contraptions. The more races you win and objectives you achieve on the track, the more parts you have to use in the creation suite. You're not free to sculpt something exactly as you wish, but the variety of karts on show already, purely in the test network alone, suggests there's plenty of scope for originality.

All this character and car customisation is good, but it's not a patch on the quite brilliant track editing suite. Whereas we've seen level creation done well in the likes of LittleBigPlanet, in ModNation Racers the tools are so easy to use that anyone could put together a drivable track in minutes. This is going to be key to your enjoyment of the game, as it's by far the title's defining feature.

ModNation Racers screenshot

I'm not arty in the slightest and got bored after a few hours of messing about with the level creator in LittleBigPlanet, but I had a good time making fantasy tracks in ModNation. How professional the final track is will depend on how much time you spend placing environmental objects and adjusting the lay of the land, but it's perfectly feasible to create something and be racing on it with other people in under 10 minutes. For that United Front should be highly commended.

The ModNation hub, a drivable menu of sorts, lets you access all the game has to offer. The best characters, karts and tracks are all put on display, while hot laps and the like are easily challengeable. If you like what you see you can leave feedback or rate creations, and there's obviously the option to download and try out what others have made.

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22 Comments

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User Comments

K3RT's Avatar

K3RT

Do we really have to go through this everytime a PS3 exclusive is reviewed?

You rate the personality by how different it is to other games in the same genre and from reading the review other then the track editor it doesn't really sound like it offers anything new also its the karting experience what he says is lacking personality.
Posted 20:16 on 05 May 2010
renegade's Avatar

renegade

Lacks personality ? I don't know how you rate personality in games, but this game at least is "new" its not. "Sony all star racing" which it could of been, its new and like sackboy his personality is your personality.

Which means..... indeed.

I always find myself questioning your Ps3 reviews sadly VG.
Posted 19:44 on 05 May 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

sounds good didnt expect it to get an 8! i wont be buying this but eventually it will drop in price and then il think about buying it good review!.
and IGN can be very biased in reviews sometimes so i much prefer the reviews from here
Posted 17:17 on 05 May 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev@ Rickitis

I don't really trust IGN to be honest.
Posted 16:41 on 05 May 2010
Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis@ El-Dev

Gets a 9.0 on IGN so must be good.
Posted 16:06 on 05 May 2010
dudester's Avatar

dudester

Hmm was convinced this wouldn't score well but everywhere seems to be saying its a pretty solid game that can be awesome online with your mates.
Posted 15:37 on 05 May 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

Didn't think it would get as high as an 8, at the minute if I pick this up it'll be later on in the year at a cheaper price than the RRP.
Posted 15:11 on 05 May 2010

Game Stats

ModNation Racers
8
Out of 10
ModNation Racers
  • Fun karting with friends
  • Great track creation tools
  • Lacks personality
  • Career mode cutscenes are painful
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 21/05/2010
Platforms: PS3 , PS Vita , PSP
Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 1,171 13
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