How LittleBigPlanet Karting is different from ModNation Racers

LittleBigPlanet Karting is a kart racing spin-off of the popular PlayStation platformer. It takes the Play, Create, Share spirit of the original game and throws it into an entirely new genre. But wait, hasn't this been done before?

It has, with ModNation Racers. And oddly, United Front Games--developer of ModNation Racers--is behind this project as well. Given a similar premise and an identical graphics engine, how could LittleBigPlanet Karting possibly differ from United's first PS3 racer?

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At first glance, it's not different at all. 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.

While racing will feel exactly the same, creation is where LBPK promises to one-up its predecessor. While the creation tools in MNR were impressive, there's always room to do more. For example, you'll be able to create entirely new weapons using the in-game toolset. "If you don't like the weapons that ship with the game, you can alter them. You can alter their behavior, their look, the frequency of those weapons," design director William Ho told us. "You can even make your own entirely custom weapons using the objects that we ship with the game."

If the default AI is bothersome, you'll be able to tweak that as well. "All of the AI is as easy or as hard as you want it to be in your custom levels… You can give them different personalities, you can give them different objectives, to try to dogpile after someone for example. The AI is very deep for customization."

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of LittleBigPlanet Karting's creation mode is the ability to create more than standard races. While MNR offered a truly great track-laying kit, all you could really do was create new courses. United Front Games is taking a page from LittleBigPlanet 2, by offering players the ability to create their own game types as well. "If you are familiar with the scripting language of LittleBigPlanet 2, you're going to feel right at home," Ho told us. "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."

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LittleBigPlanet Karting will be available later this year.