Since the era of the Super Nintendo, kart racers have always been a staple of a gaming console. However, with the emergence of new consoles, these have been slowly phased out and replaced by more realistic and graphically impressive Games. Besides Mario Kart, there are few of these Games that stand the test of time, but the brilliant part about Modnation Racers is that this game’s future is in your hands.
United Front Games challenge this concept with Modnation Racers, which takes the tried and tested formula and exponentially expands it, much like Little Big Planet did for the platformer. With a nearly unlimited number of tracks, and the tools to keep your and your friends challenged, this is a game that will constantly be pulled out at parties and when friends stop by.
Upon booting up (and installing), Modnation Racers you will be thrust right into the action. There are no menus or options before this point and this must be done before you will have access to the selection of features the game does have to offer. These acts as the tutorial, giving a crash course in what the Games controls are like, along with the concept of powers and how to drive. Once you have finished this section you will have the choice of exploring the game at your pace.
The single player mode is solid and humorous, but it is best not to expect a deep storyline. If you stick out the single player, there are some great jokes and some genuinely funny moments that you will not want to miss. The game is also accessible to younger audiences with an abundance of whacky characters and crazy visuals should keep then entertained for hours.
As the title would suggest, the biggest draw for Modnation is the wealth of creation tools at your disposal. The customization is similar to Little Big Planet in the way that all aspects of the game are modifiable. The driver and kart customizations work on the same basic principles, and both leave the player with a wide array of possibilities. The one downside lies in the fact to really get the full impact of the customization; you will need to play and win the single player races in order to unlock the desired modifiers.
Possibly, the most exciting aspects of Modnation are the track creation tools. They are extremely deep and flexible yet always user-friendly. Within about five minutes, you can have a fully set up track with scenery and jumps. But of course, the more time you spent on these courses, the more detailed and personal they can become. In other words, you will get out of this game whatever you care to put into it.
The gameplay of Modnation may be familiar, but it also contains some refreshing new elements. The kart racing fundamentals are similar to many in the genre, you race around the track collecting uniquely upgradable power ups which help you mess with the competition and place upon the podium.
The power-ups are done in a way that the more you collect the more powerful the ending result of you using it. For example, the lightning power-up will shoot a small burst of lighting in front of your kart, stunning a single racer ahead of you. But if you charge it up fully, you will soon be able to stun a large group of drivers, thus making for some very exciting and challenging last laps around the track.
The game controls are solid and familiar, which quickly become second nature to experienced gamers. All elements are easily useable and you will find there is never an issue to click the shield or boost when needed in the tight situations.
The characters and graphics are cuter than they are realistic. The entire look of the game is fun-filled and impressive, and the frame rate is functional without any major glitches. Remember, Modnation is not a game that will wow your friends with stunning visuals, but it will however win them over with customizable characters, courses and overall gameplay. The lighting effects work well and the charming style of the racers creates a fully-realized world that lends the game a cartoonish believability.
The multiplayer of the game is where many people will spend countless hours. With the options of building the Games tracks along with changing how the rules are set (weapons or not, etc.) it will allow you to customize the game to your play style and then populate it with your friends. Beyond this it has a split screen mode that runs smoothly and will allow for many who do not have an internet connection on their console to still play with their friends for hours of amusement.
On the whole, the overall presentation and multiplayer components will please older and younger gamers alike with the accessible yet eccentric style. The only issue that can be felt is that with such an interactive and customizable style, the load times are rather long. It should be noted though that at the time of writing, this there is no patch to fix this issue. However, Sony has stated for the record that it one is slated for release, so this minor problem should be fixed by the time you all grab a copy of this game.
Modnation Racers is a solid game with hours of fun packed within. The ability to build every aspect of the game makes for endless possibility and with a solid network behind it will lead to even more possibility as the community grows. With online races and the ability to share the creations you make this game will be up there with Little Big Planet as a platform to experiment and try new ideas. If you are an adult gamer or you have kids this is one you both will be able to play and enjoy. This is one title that anyone interested in the genre and owns a PS3 should not miss!