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April 7 2010
ModNation Racers - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
20/5/2010SonySonyUnited Front Games
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-42-12$TBA

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Modnation Racers is a PS3 exclusive.
Exclusive to the Playstation 3 is this new kart racing game, ModNation Racers. Developed by United Front Games (a new company based in Vancouver) since October 2007, and first shown at E3 2009, this game is a part of Sony's "Play, Create, Share" themed games (the first being LittleBigPlanet). Sure, this is a kart game which is loaded with weapons, boosting and drifting around corners.

Perhaps one of the most telling aspects of the mindset behind this motto and importance to this game is United Game Front's decision to make this a PS3 exclusive. Part of this was due to the power of the PS3, but the main reason was that every PS3 owner can play games online, for free. Not only that but the Playstation Network is very open in allowing people to create and share content - a key component to this title. Essentially anyone picking up this title has the opportunity to play, create and share online.

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There are plenty of weapons in ModNation Racers.
First of all it's important to know that ModNation Racers will include a full single player story mode. This isn't just pick a car and race to win, but apparently a full scripted storyline revolving around racing. ModNation Racers is a kart racing game in a similar mould to Super Mario Kart which not only sees you power sliding, boosting and jumping around the track but also gives you a wide range of weapons to take out the opposition including homing missiles, Lightning Bolts, Sonic Rifts and much more. One thing is certain, these all look like great fun.

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ModNation includes 4-player split screen racing.
Another of the biggest selling points of this game is the complete track builder which can be used for you to build a track and then upload it for others to download and race on. Much like Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet we expect there will be some form of moderation available to the end users but the number of tracks should be pretty impressive after only a few weeks on the market if LittleBigPlanet is any indication. Of course not only will you be able to race on other peoples creations, but will also be able to rate them so you know whose tracks are best. Indeed United Front Games has been in close contact with Media Molecule about the issues with user-generated content, copyright and moderation.

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Some close 4-player racing.
There's plenty of good news on the multi-player front too. Sony have confirmed that the game will support 2-12 players in online racing with leagues and matchmaking included, and we expect this to provide plenty of thrills and spills. Perhaps more impressive, or important for those with young families is the fact that this game also supports 4-players in split-screen offline gameplay, or 2-players in split-screen while playing online. It has also been confirmed that even if you aren't online you will be able to create tracks, and then play them with up to 4-players offline.

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Creating racing tracks in ModNation Racers.
Visually the game looks a little sparse, cartoony and/or simplistic, but that's understandable given the ability to build your own tracks. Characters though look lively enough and as long as the game holds a steady frame rate it should provide a few thrills.

Are we totally convinced about ModNation Racers yet? In all honest we're not overly convinced as yet. But then again we could also say the same of LittleBigPlanet prior to release which turned out to be one of the best games the PS3, and indeed this generation of consoles, has seen. With the same level of community support, level creation and fun gameplay as Media Molecules title this should be a hit too. Expect to find out in late May...

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Another ModNation level creation screen.
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Getting some massive air.