Modnation Racers – Review (PS3)

As much as I enjoyed a few rounds of Mario Kart in my youth I am not a massive fan of kart racing games, so having played the great beta I was keen to see if Modnation Racers could live up to the hype.

As I mentioned in my beta impressions the game is being sold on the customisation aspect of your driver and kart – not to mention the tracks themselves.

It is extremely easy to get yourself a created mod (driver) and kart, despite there being so much choice. United Front have done a great job on making everything feel accessible and it’s the kind of system that is simple to use but has real depth if you want to be a bit more serious about your designs.

                                                                                            My Mod rolls in style 😆 in the HorrorMobile

Alternatively there is also a random option for those who aren’t fussed what they look like.

The track editor is superb – allowing anyone to create a half decent track in around 5 minutes. Yes you read that right, 5 minutes 😮 Obviously you can go more in depth – my first creation took around an hour and I guess you can tweak the track as much as you feel it needs before unleashing it on the public.

*Shameless Plug* My first attempt at a track is entitled GregHorrorShow Arena if any of you out there fancy taking a spin round it. If you do let me know what you think or what could be improved.

                                                                                               My created track in all it’s glory.

So with that part of the game out of the way, let’s move on to the racing. Because without a decent racing mechanic the rest is kind of pointless.

Thankfully Modnation Racers stands head and shoulders above anything I’ve played since Mario Kart.

But this isn’t just a simple rip off of the Italian plumber’s kart game – Modnation adds a whole new layer of tactical depth to proceedings.

First the similarities – you race karts which can pick up weapons and speed up by driving over boost pads.

Where Modnation really comes into it’s own is with the boost bar. By drifting, slipstreaming, overtaking or doing massive jumps off ramps you build up your boost meter.

Holding L1 will propel you forward until the bar runs out as you’d expect but there is a whole lot more to the boost meter than that.

Broken down into sections, with at least one section full you can flick the right stick towards an opponent alongside you to sideswipe them – stopping them immediately for a few seconds and causing them to lose whatever weapon they were carrying. At certain points on some courses a tap of R1 will drain a little of your boost but will open a shortcut on the track ahead and finally (and probably most importantly) if you hear the incoming beep of someone else’s weapon approaching, holding circle will give you a shield until the boost meter drains.

So this isn’t a case of picking up weapons and then building boost to get as far in front as possible. You will need to judge when and where to use your boost meter and what to actually use it for.

You can play quick races or time trials and there is also the option for up to 4 player split screen locally if you want to go old skool.

The single player career mode is great fun and the accompanying mini cut scenes are fairly funny. Essentially career is a really nice tutorial of how to race before you get yourself online for the real action.

Online you’ll be able to compete in Hot Lap (a daily event: literally whoever is quickest at a lap wins, it’s you against everyone else in the online world) online races/series or even just challenge people straight from the lobby for some 1v1 action.

I’ve encountered no lag or any real problems other than a shortage of other drivers. I’ve only had a maximum of 6 (out of 12) so far with the average being 4 which is really disappointing. It’s still a lot of fun but I did think more people would be playing this. The problem probably also isn’t helped by the fact you can only race against people from your own territories (so PAL for me) although this may be patched in the future.

Other than that my only real complaint is that the load times in general are pretty long but at least they have put a percentage indicator on them now so I know the game hasn’t crashed 🙂

If the online had been better supported by the community I would’ve been tempted to give Modnation Racers full marks but I just feel I haven’t fully experienced the online side of things (through no fault of my own).

As it stands this is still one of the best racing experiences out there – it’s a lot more tactical than you may realise from just looking at the cute screenshots. Pick this up, even if it’s just a rent as this is a game you will have a whole lot of fun with.

Rating 9/10

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


  1. […] author: gaming « Tag Feed […]

  2. Greg,

    Just bought this game today, will do load your Track and try it out later…

    salty7000 – PSN

    Look forward to racing you!

    Great Review


  3. […] much as I enjoyed the PS3 version of Modnation Racers I feel United Front Games have dropped the ball somewhat with the Vita version. The game looks […]

  4. […] by Square Enix. Initial footage looked promising but could developers United Front (makers of Modnation Racers) deliver a great, open world […]

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s