Having already acknowledged its existence further to leaks from last month’s Destination PlayStation event, Sony has officially unveiled LittleBigPlanet Karting, a racing game based on the popular franchise created by Media Molecule.
Developed by United Front Games (the Canadian software house responsible for ModNation Racers) and described as a “a fast-paced experience that captures the best of classic karting gameplay, married with the unbridled creativity of LBP”, LittleBigPlanet Karting will let players “Play, Create and Share” tracks as well as customize vehicles and pilots in various ways.
It’s yet unknown whether or not you’ll be able to share your karts and pilots a la ModNation Racers. Probably not, but we shall see.
Interestingly, the toolbox will also provide means to create “custom AIs” as well as your own game modes and challenges. Moreover, unlike ModNation Racers, in LBPK you’ll be able to tailor the point of view to your design needs. Besides the obvious 3rd person view, in fact, the debut trailer (see below) includes examples of side and top-down perspectives as well. There is also an over-the-bonnet view!
Along with traditional pick-ups such as missiles, bombs, boosts and shields, LBPK will feature some unusual ones coming straight from the world of LBP2, such as the grappling hook (see below).
On the point of weapons and abilities, it looks like the Sackboy pilots will be able to pick up objects form the environment and toss them around. Even better, it sounds like you’ll be able to create your own weapons.
“As for powerups, we are going to be implementing a unique set of weapons for LBPK”, says James Grieve, Senior Producer at UFG. “The real game changer here though is that we are building these weapons with the same set of tools available to creators in the game. If you want your own take on a karting weapon set, you have all the tools available to make your own”.
It goes without saying that LBPK will allow players to battle and race against each other, both locally, via 4 players split-screen, and online (for up to 8 players). Two local players can also participate simultaneously to online games.
Technically speaking, the engine powering LBPK appears to be based on the ModNation Racers one, which of course rises fears about frame rate consistency and the loading times. According to the developers, tho, they have been hard at work on the engine to address those issues.
Awkwardly enough, even tho neither the press release nor the blog post mention PlayStation Move support (inquires on the subject posted in the comments section are followed by vague statements hinting at its inclusion, without actually confirming it), the official LittleBigPlanet Karting packshot spoils all the suspense by giving it away quite unequivocally.
So yeah, Move support is 100% in. And you can bet the rumored wheel peripheral is coming as well. As for stereoscopic 3D support, that’s one feature actually confirmed in the PlayStation Blog post comments section.
LittleBigPlanet Karting will ship on Blu-Ray disc later this year.