ModNation Racers Impressions

ModNation Racers is effectively Mario Kart meets LittleBigPlanet, and we got to check it out for the first time at E3 2009.

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One of the most interesting games to come out of yesterday's Sony E3 2009 press conference was ModNation Racers. It's the first kart racing game for the PlayStation 3, and it takes its inspiration from the customisation and collectability of the vinyl toy scene. The game lets you design your own tracks, karts, and racers then share and play them online with friends; something that puts it clearly in the same vein as another Sony stablemate, LittleBigPlanet. We got to see the game at a behind-closed-doors meeting to find out more.

The character creation tools look extremely powerful, with an amazing number of different options from which to choose. As we watched the development team show off the tools, we spotted 125 mouths, 18 hairstyles, 32 shirts, 27 pants, and 52 pieces of head gear, to name but a few. This doesn't mean that it's difficult to make a well-matched character, however, as the tools allow you to set a primary and secondary colour, then sync those colours across the entire outfit.

If we thought the character creation tools looked impressive, then the track creator blew them out of the water. You can create new tracks in the game simply by "driving" the track around an empty environment, while using the shoulder buttons allows you to raise or lower the track from the ground. From there, you can do everything from change the material of the track itself to adding points of interest, such as trees and houses around the periphery. You can even terra form the land itself, growing it up into hills or bringing it down to fill with a lake. The tools make it incredibly easy to do whatever you want.

It took the team about 20 minutes in total to make a track that looked comparable to the ones that will be included in the full game. In fact, the developers were using the exact same tools to build the tracks that will ship with the finished product. Once you've created your masterpiece, you can then publish it to the Net and share it with other people, who can both play what you've created or continue to adapt it. The team has adopted the same "Play, Create, Share" mantra as LittleBigPlanet, so expect a very similar system when it comes to online.

ModNation Racers is being developed by United Front Games for release in 2010 as a full retail game. We'll keep an eye on its development and bring you more just as soon as we see it after E3.

Discussion

79 comments
BalramRules
BalramRules

wen i sed as dat i ment waz dat sorry im typin this on my ps3

BalramRules
BalramRules

BatrozX the weather changer is the whole point of the position of the Sun Moving Feature or as that the time of day?? either way this game is gonna ROCK and Im buyin it!!

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Very nice idea - like the sound of the track creator. Can't wait to have a go!!

jumper-man
jumper-man

This game looks like a blast for creation and multiplayer. Also has a unique look to it, can't wait to play it

scottishboy
scottishboy

this game looks awesome! I feel i need to convince my friends 2 get it tho!

AKADreyadigg
AKADreyadigg

this is better than Trackmania in my eyes- this game looks awesome, and the track creation is simply brilliant

Megamanx266
Megamanx266

This seems to be essentially Trackmania but with weapons.... not only did Microsoft rip this game off but Sony too? Shame on both of you.

gamepunk86
gamepunk86

this sounds awesome. i saw it and just the fact people can play your tracks is amazing. i do want this game

Glokwerk
Glokwerk

Gelugon baat, watch the Stage demo video. You create the track while driving, you do all the environment stuff after the track has been made. You win the prize for least informed assumption ever. Aside from that this game looks spectacular and I can't wait for it to come out.

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

The track customization looks really good. the game overall I can't say much.

msudude211
msudude211

This game looks great. It's like Mario Kart with more customization and features.

gmax
gmax

Not really sure about this one, but it might be cute.

blahxx215
blahxx215

This game looks awesome. One of the best game during the Sony E3 confrence

R34Vegeta
R34Vegeta

This is one of the games that just awed me during the conference. I'll probably be using the world editor more than actually racing the karts. The editor looked and worked flawlessly. Granted the person using it knew what the hell they were doing, but even still. The ease of use it portrayed was amazing. Looking forward to this one's release for sure.

BatrozX
BatrozX

I loved the track creator, it feels like if you were god. Making hills grow from the ground, houses pop out of nowhere, changing the position of the sun. I really hope that they put a weather changer also, I'd be awesome to play while raining or snowing.

dkjestrup
dkjestrup

Wow, much better than I thought, will definately be one of the best local multiplayer experiences of this generation (with LBP).

pakhair
pakhair

Looks like a GR8 Kart Experience.........

PalatialRegalia
PalatialRegalia

this looks amazing... wow, just like little big planet

PalatialRegalia
PalatialRegalia

this looks amazing... wow, just like little big planet

thrasher510
thrasher510

@SSBFan12 And.....? Whats wrong with that? Mario Bros. was a great game, really kiddy (sort of), but is an iconic symbol for all gamers.

thrasher510
thrasher510

I loved LittleBigPlanet, so this looks like a decent buy.

Cranio3000
Cranio3000

@DarkNeoBahamut @ Sharvie Yup, the track creator was just amazing, no loadings, no nothing, so smooth.... Creating trees, textures, power-ups, landscapes, etc... is so easy!!!!! That really blew me away, if not exploded on my face XD

aurora_born_93
aurora_born_93

Awesome tools, awesome visuals, awesome game. I just hope there are different camera options b/c it seemed to me that their stupid big heads got in the way of the track in front of you.

SSBFan12
SSBFan12

It looks like a game for little kids to tell you the truth.

thrubeingcool13
thrubeingcool13

this game probably won't get the attention it deserves

Shadow-Koopa
Shadow-Koopa

I'm actually really looking forward to this, mainly because it looks like an idiot like me can design a decent(ish) track. Hopefully it won't be too in depth like LBP, I loved the game, but I could not make a level I had no clue where to start. This game looks like they understood my pain. XD

Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest

while the track creator looks cool, I imagine they would need some different environments to keep it fresh

DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

this was one of the best things I saw in E3, the world builder was awesome !!!!

danthegamer32
danthegamer32

@wolves1989 that comment speaks nothing but truth ;) looking forward to making some tracks with you mate :D :lol:

danthegamer32
danthegamer32

@King9999 haha true :P Well if you can do both then that's fab :D

mtofu
mtofu

this is pre-order worthy. maybe they'll throw in codes for some special costumes.

JBjazzbo
JBjazzbo

Looks pretty good! As long as the gameplay isn't too samey and you can be reeealllly creative, somewhere near as creative as LBP, then this should be awesome.

RGDT021
RGDT021

Looks great... re-creating the Nurburgring would be fantastic!

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Want want want I love any game with user created content :)

Sharvie
Sharvie

The track creator really blew me away. There were so many possibilities.

rebound2
rebound2

I wasn't sure at first .. but then my friends (who were watching simultatiously) started to think it was cool... then said they were going to buy PS3's because of how awesome the press conference was. So i'm very excited for a full customisable, online, kart racing game with mate =D (please be as good as crash team racing!)

lbptoady
lbptoady

looks sweet! I love LBP and want this game now.

Peaches1347
Peaches1347

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

T0mP1ckl3
T0mP1ckl3

Still haven´t been able to try out LBP but this looks really cool too!

BanditDee
BanditDee

It looks so fun and creative :D

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

When Sony first announced this game at the press conference, I thought it was a joke like Microsoft's go-kart game. But ever since I saw the demo, I was blown away!

King9999
King9999

@danthegamer32 What's wrong with quality AND quantitiy? :P

lord_doom45
lord_doom45

lets hope the release gos smoother than LBP's was.