The Mod of the title isn’t a Quadrophenia-aping Weller wannabe, but rather refers to the ability to modify practically anything, moving or stationary, in this fun kart racing title. Like Sony’s answer to Super Mario Kart, ModNation Racers puts you in a funky go-kart and sends you off to race around a myriad of wacky tracks, while also placing a variety of cartoon weapons at your disposal to quite literally stop your rivals in their tracks.
While there is an enjoyable single player career mode, as well as a split screen option to take on up to four of your mates, the real longevity of ModNation Racers is in its online modes, where you can share your customised karts, characters and tracks with a worldwide community, in a very similar way to that of Little Big Planet. The good news is that the developers have made it pretty easy, even for novices, to create decent tracks worthy of sharing with the world.
Of course, this would all count for nothing if the basic gameplay wasn’t up to scratch, but thankfully it is. The races themselves are action-packed, as you career around abandoned mines, medieval castles and enchanted forests, all the while avoiding the obstacles in your way, trying to find short-cuts to give you an edge, and, of course, zapping other karts with all manner of weaponry. The ability to upgrade the weapons at your disposal (each time you pick up a weapons pod, it strengthens the firepower of any weapon you’re currently carrying) is great fun, adding a degree of tactical nous to what’s otherwise a pell-mell arcade racer.
Indeed, the only criticism we have of ModNation Racers is the exceptionally long load times between races, although when you see the gorgeously created tracks, it’s just about worth the wait. Wonderfully mindless cartoon fun.