I love karting games – especially Mario Kart. Hell, the only section I even go to when I play GT5 these days is the karting. For a while, I was enthusiastic about the new Playstation exclusive kart racer from United Front Games and Media Molecule, LittleBigPlanet Karting, which would blend my favourite type of racing with one of my most beloved platformers, LittleBigPlanet.
That enthusiasm has waned – because in a preview, Shacknews has said that the game plays much like the frankly awful Modnation Racers.
“Racing is identical across both games, from the sense of speed, to car handling, to drifting. Replace the Mods with Sackboys, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect,” they say in their hands-on.
That…sucks. I think United Front Games is capable of some incredible things; they’re behind Sleeping Dogs, which I’m terribly excited for – but Modnation Racers is just a soulless, poor Mario Kart clone. Don’t get me wrong – I have no inherent problems with games that try and emulate Mario Kart – as long as they’re actually fun to play. Modnation Racers has always been more about creation (and insufferable load times); building new tracks, karts and characters. If that’s your thing, then you’ll be happy to know that that’s the area that’s most getting an overhaul; the creation toolset will be more akin to the one used in LittleBigPlanet 2, and like that game will allow you to create different experiences.
“We can script this so that it’s not just a race, it’s about hunting for things. It could be a deathmatch battle on a track–all those possibilities are available to you," says United Front.
I love the “Play.Create.Share” ethos of LittleBigPlanet and Modnation, and I’m more than happy to see if proliferate. Still…shouldn’t racing game get its fundamentals right before worrying about superfluous extras? Man, I hope they tighten up the actual Karting…I was really looking forward to this.