Modnation Racers Review

By on April 19, 2011

A welcomed addition to the “play, share and create” family.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

With the success of the Little Big Planet franchise developed by Media molecule, Sony looked to expand upon the “play, share and create” themed  games. The focus of the Little Big Planet series was on the platforming genre hence this time around Sony was looking for something fresh and new to try out . Enter Modnation racers, a kart-racing game that resemble titles such as Crash CTR and Mario Kart . The game revolves around the same idea of “play, create and share” backed by a kart-racing experience with huge emphasis on user-created content. Although Modnation racers’ moding and customization experience is overwhelming, the actual racing part is pretty lackluster in terms of both uniqueness and depth.

Modnation racers offers both a single player and a multiplayer mode. For the most part, the single player experience is a mere introduction to how the game feels and plays. You take control of Tag, an aspiring racer that is determined to become the top dog in Modnation. You begin the game by a preset version of tag but after a couple of races you get access to fully customizing him and his racing kart.

Single player puts you in front of a series of races that you need to finish as top 3 in each in order to advance to the next one. The gameplay is very similar to games such as Mario Kart where you kart-race against a group of players and use items and weapons you gain to stop them reach the top. The problem with this game mode is that there isn’t much variety to what you are doing. Although you are playing on different race tracks, the goals and objectives to finish the races are the same. This causes you to get bored fairly quickly from repeating the same thing for hours and hours. Another major problem in the single player experience is the sudden jump in AI difficulty. After you advance through several races in the game you reach a point where the AI goes completely crazy. For example you can take 1st place for 2 laps and be well ahead of all the other players but once that final lap comes in suddenly the whole AI targets you and bombards you with massive amounts of attacks. It reached a point where playing the single player mode felt more like a chore than a piece of entertainment.

Thankfully though, the multiplayer and heavily customizable experience makes up for the painful single player mode.  Modnation racers offers the same ingredient that made the Little Big Planet series shine and have great success: “user-created content”. The amount of content that you can share in Modnation racers is enormous. From custom karts to personalized characters to full sized race tracks. The community in Modnation is essentially what makes the game so fun to play. Hundreds of people spent huge amounts of hours making these amazing custom creations that you can use and try out yourself. That aspect just opens up hours upon hours of play time to try everything out. You can also create your own creations in the “creation station”. The game packs in an extremely detailed and easy to use creation system. You can use the in game creation kit to create a wide variety of karts, racers, and tracks. The game also has a handful tutorial that guides through the basics of the creation and editing process.

Once you created or downloaded a piece of user-created content then the best way to test it out is through multiplayer. Modnation racers features a well rounded multiplayer mode that has several types of races to choose from and compete with up to 16 players online. The multiplayer connection worked fairly well as even though latency was high at some points the game still manages to not make the player feel as if he/she is experience a laggy race.

One of the glaring errors though that affects the game as a whole is the loading times. Even though the game installs itself on your hardrive, the loading time is extremely frustrating and can be unbearably long to some people. Sony said they were working on the issue a while back but no actual fix to the issue has been shown as of yet.

Modnation racers is a solid kart-racing game but it sadly doesn’t do anything new in terms of the actual racing part. The game however truly shines with a wonderful community that generate tons of user-created content and  a well built multiplayer experience that  complements the content so well. I felt that Sony focused so much on the “create, share” part that they didn’t give as much effort to the actually “play” part. Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop Modnation racers from being the go to game if you are looking for a fun kart-racing experience on the Playsation 3.

The Scorecard
The actual racing itself is solid but pretty much feels like playing your typical kart-racing game as Modnation doesn’t add much different in terms of actual gameplay.
The game has a very humorous and cartoonish feel to it that is presented with gorgeous visuals.
The soundtrack merges well with the game’s feel , the voice acting however can be very annoying after a while.
Modnation really shines in terms of its user-created continent as that allows for countless hours of gameplay.
The multiplayer and the creation of karts, racers, and racing tracks provides a very fun highly connective experience.
Although Modnation has its problems that doesn’t stop Modnation racers from being the go to game if you are looking for a fun kart-racing experience on the Playsation 3.


A young zergling from Bahrain dreaming of one day magically morphing into an ultralisk. 20 years old, 2nd year of university, and a lover of all types of games specially RPGs and RTSs.

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