ModNation Racers is an incredibly customizable kart-racing game hitting the PS3 in 2010, but you'll have a chance to get an early taste when the game's beta begins next week.
Sony and United Front Games have announced that the ModNation Racers beta will begin on December 18. ModNation Racers is a very neat looking PS3 exclusive that appears to be a mix between LittleBigPlanet and Mario Kart.
Players completely customize their own characters in ModNation Racers, to an even greater extent than LittleBigPlanet allows. While LBP gives the ability to create outfits from tons of different pieces, ModNation Racers characters are created from a blank canvas using hundreds of pieces of clothing, decals/stickers, and colors. The decal system in particular (partially shown here) looks interesting, putting hundreds of layers in players' hands to mess around with to create unique looks. ModNation's karts can also be fully customized in the same way, and the game should also come with an extensive track editor.
Kart-racing videogames have either sucked or been Mario Kart for as long as I can remember, but ModNation Racers will hopefully change all that. It doesn't look like a PS3 title to let slip through the cracks, but we'll see when the beta finally opens up. It will last until January 10, 2010; a pretty solid amount of time to get a feel for the game. To gain access, you either have to follow the PlayStation blog where codes will be given away, or acquire one by purchasing LittleBigPlanet: Game of the Year Edition. My code is already burning a hole in the top of my PS3, just waiting to be entered. See you on the track!