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Modnation Racers starts real race karting, then wraps it in a technically stunning customisation modes. Something so flexible that it feels so simple is testament to the amount of complexity the interface seamlessly deals with.
Modnation Racers finally ads a solid Kart racing game to the list of excellent PS3 games. At first glance this looks like a downloadable cheap PS3 game but on closer inspection it is something much more fleshed out.
Modnation Racers is a game of two parts. Firstly it delivers an excellent, and compared to Mario Kart a noticeably high definition Kart racing game. Then it ices the cake with creation modes that approach Little Big Planet in terms of flexibility.
There are well balanced and intelligent design decisions in both parts. The racing is restrained while gleefully delivering thrills and spills. Rather than providing an endless variety of weapons you have just four on offer here. Sonic attacks temporarily stun other drivers, missiles hunt them down, lightning attacks from the skies while turbo adds some speed.
These each start feeling quite similar, but as you save up your tokens they are powered up through three stages. Speed up becomes a teleport, missiles become multiple, and lighting and sonic attacks rip up more of the track.
Where Modnation Racers really shine though is with the technically accomplished editing modes.
This keeps the focus on racing tactics rather than duplicating the lottery of other Kart racing games. If you are an experienced Modnation Racers player you are going to do better much more of the time.
Where Modnation Racers really shine though is with the technically accomplished editing modes. Here you can take any element - driver, car or track and essentially create your own unique version. It takes the intuitive Mii customisation and then puts a rocket up it with endless colours, textures, styles, items, clothing and themes.
You start with a basic set, and then earn more as you race your way through the career mode. This is great for one player, but for me it's the four player split screen that really creates that true Kart racer fell.
I rented the PS3 game for an evening, invited three friends to join me, got the snacks and beer in, and can honestly say I've not had as much run in a long time.
You can race as Nathan Drake, Ratchet and Clank and even Little Big Planet's Sackboy.
But as I discovered, although you may rent this to discover first hand what all the fuss is about, the technically impressive creation and online modes will have you either renting it for a lot longer or looking for a cheap way to buy it outright.
This is topped off with some excellent models for other PS3 heroes. With the right code you can race as Nathan Drake, Ratchet and Clank and even Little Big Planet's Sackboy. Another simple touch, but one that both adds fun and shows off how flexible the customisation is.
I can't wait to see what the online community comes up with as it starts to invest time creating character-full drivers, classic tracks and high-styled cars. Each week the best and most popular of the user created content will be highlighted in the game.
The decision to invest heavily here has paid off.
As something of a game designer myself it's a secret ambition to get my creation featured here. Like with Little Big Planet this will take a bit of time, but also could be a real route into proper video game development - if you really shine.
This is a great PS3 game that offers much more than cheap PS3 downloadable content on PSN. The decision to invest heavily here has paid off as everyone will be clamouring to rent and buy this for some time.
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