I’ve been looking forward to ModNation Racers ever since it was announced at E3. Originally I thought it was supposed to be a PSN downloadable title but I guess I was wrong. ModNation Racers is basically Mario Kart on the PS3 but with loads of customization. You can customize your characters, your karts, and also build tracks. The options while creating are endless too. As you probably would have guessed there is a campaign mode in which you participate in races against AI kart racers. Winning these races gives you items for customizing your karts and characters. For each track there are 3 goals to achieve which makes the game very re-playable, for each goal you unlock more goodies for your character or kart.
My time spent with the game was great. The controls feel so tight that you don’t even have to brake, you can keep your finger on the gas and never let go. Compared to how colorful your character and kart is, the tracks in ModNation are kind of bland in the color department. It may just be because I am used to the bright colors of Mario Kart but I felt like they were not diverse enough in their coloring schemes.
ModNation Racers has the standard modes you would expect in a kart racer: Campaign, Online Multiplayer and Split-Screen multiplayer. I had a chance to sit down and play the split screen multiplayer with my wife and she really enjoyed it. I was trying to get her to play at least one track and we ended up playing 6 or more. My biggest complaint about ModNation is the load times. The average load time for loading a race is 1 minute (I timed it). You may not think this is long but try sitting at your computer for a full 60 seconds and you will see what I mean. Now imagine sitting there each time you want to start a race. This is unacceptable, especially for a fast paced kart racing game. ModNation is what I consider a “just one more track” kind of racing game you’d want to play with your friends. The minute load times really kill that mood. This is a huge downfall for ModNation Racers in my opinion. I have however read there is a patch in the works to decrease those load times, the question is when will it be released? I remember the Fat Princess lag fix took over a month to roll out.
Other than the loading time problems ModNation Racers is a solid racer. While I didn’t really care for the cut scenes the campaign mode is lengthy enough, especially with the challenges you can complete. The bread of the game is going to be the customization and the multiplayer. I’m sure you will spend hours customizing your character and creating tracks, it’s kind of like the LittleBigPlanet of kart racers. This is a great game to play with people on the same couch as well, split screen works great and I honestly think it’s best played that way and it’s a shame that the load times have to kill the mood. The menu, also known as the “ModSpot” is basically a menu in which you drive around in. You drive to the campaign to start it, you drive to multiplayer to start it, etc. You can also browse the characters that people have created. When I first started the game there was Mario, Luigi, and Spiderman available to download. The sharing option is a great addition to the game.
ModNation Racers is definitely worth the money. If you are a little on the fence about the game then go check out the demo that is available in the PSN store. If I had to pick between ModNation, Blur or Split/Second, I’d go with ModNation Racers, but that’s just my style. One more thing: It has the same announcer from Crackdown and Red Faction: Guerrilla which is a plus. I’m giving ModNation a 3.5 out of 5 star simply because of the load times, if this wasn’t a problem it would be a solid 4 out of 5.
[starreview tpl=46 size=’30’]