ModNation Racers for PlayStation Vita is taking a page from Foursquare, incentivizing travel and "checking in" to various places around the globe. Whereas Foursquare users attempt to unlock badges and steal mayorships, Vita gamers will be working collaboratively to unlock new gear for the game.
The "Mod Explorer" will let gamers check-in to various locations, earning Travel Points based on the distance between their check-ins. Those Travel Points can then be spent on unlocking parts for use in the level editor.
Your progress will be stored in a global pool, which combines the efforts of every ModNation player on Vita. As with Noby Noby Boy, when the community reaches a certain distance milestone, the game will unlock additional track creation parts. "This could be how world peace starts. Don’t you want to be a part of it?," the PlayStation.Blog cheekily notes.
So long as gamers remember to check-in whenever they travel, it should ensure Road Trip has a slow trickle of new content as it ages. To further reward gamers for traveling around the world, the Mod Explorer contains 45 featured cities with three distinct destinations. Checking into Big Ben in London or Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, for example, will unlock a new item for use in your game. When enough gamers check-in to one location over time, additional items will be unlocked for everyone.
On one hand, the "Mod Explorer" feature is a tricky way of blocking content from gamers, making them literally move out of the way to unlock all the content the game has to offer. On the other hand, receiving a continuous influx of free community-driven unlocks sounds much better than having to shell out money for DLC.
ModNation Racers: Road Trip will be available on Vita at launch day.