A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
ModNation Racers is about competing in fast-paced, over-the-top races against either cartoon opponents or your friends, which can foster a spirit of friendly competition. You are rewarded for slowing down rivals using weapons, but it's clearly a cartoon game without any overt messaging.
Positive Role Models
You play as a graffiti artist named "Tagger," though he doesn't actually "tag" anything in the game. Little is revealed about our hero, so it's difficult to discern much about his personality other than that he's competitive and likes to race.
Ease of Play
ModNation Racers is very easy to control on the PS3 version we tested, putting much of the emphasis on the analog sticks and trigger buttons.
Violence & Scariness
This video game features cartoon violence not unlike what you'd see on a Saturday morning cartoon, such as tossing bombs at other drivers or zapping them with a lightning bolt. Rival drivers appear to be temporarily stunned by the attack. There is no other violence in this game.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that ModNation Racers is an "Everyone"-rated game for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. It is no more violent than a game of Mario Kart, with action consisting of cartoon weapons and high-speed races. There is some minor off-color humor, such as a driver who picks his nose and flings it at another driver and a scene where the commentator gives a driver a "Spock" pinch on the neck to make him pass out. Note as well that this game features open voice communication and profanity-filtered texting during online play. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online communication in games for pre-teens.
Is It Any Good?
This pick-up-and-play racer will be immediately familiar to fans of the genre. Rip around some wild tracks (peppered with ramps, shortcuts, power-ups, and obstacles); drift around sharp corners and press the boost button for a quick speed burst; and select a weapon to use to on rival drivers to temporarily stun them (such as missiles or electric bolts). The controls are tight and responsive. Along with the single-player modes are multiplayer options that allow for two gamers on the same TV or up to 12 players online. Finding people to race against is easy with the intuitive lobby system.
There are a couple of minor issues with the game, such as frequent loading screens and not enough weapons to choose from, but overall ModNation Racers is a blast. Note: A Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) version of the game is also available, but was not tested for this review.
Online interaction: This game offers rich multiplayer options, including the ability to share content by uploading and downloading custom creations. Note, though, that it supports open voice and text communication, which could lead to the sharing of personal information and conversations with inappropriate language and subject matter. Note that text chat has a profanity filter, and voice chat can be disabled by setting the PlayStation 3 console's parental controls to level four.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.