WipeOut 2048 is a near-future track racing game. The game is set on the PSVita and was one of the first titles to come out for the handheld console (It was released as a launch title) as it was released early 2012 (depending on the region). It was developed by Studio Liverpool and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game contains a single player mode and a multiplayer mode.
The game is set in the near future, 2048 to be exact. However in comparison to the other WipeOut games it is set at a much earlier date (of all the major games anyway). Many of the tracks within the game are multi-leveled, some having up to three tiers (these could even be used to show the level design of the cities the game is in). Throughout the game if the player fails a level 3 times in a row the player can have the option to skip the level and the player is allowed to return to the level at any point.
There are quite a few types of races within the game. The main race is the standard race, where the player has AI controlled opponents and the player has to beat them in order to progress. The player can pick up numerous weapons (orange pads) and defensive items (green pads) to attack and defend against the other racers. There are also the inclusion of the blue speed pads to give any of the racers that extra jolt of speed. Also reintroduced into the game are the time trial events where the player races on their own to attempt to beat a time set by the AI racers, the other event that was brought back was the zone race where the player has to go around the track using their skill to get as far as possible and as long as possible.
Throughout the game the player can unlock new vehicles which have different stats, which allow a different type of gameplay. There is a new type of ship within the game called the prototype ship which has experimental changes to it. To unlock the ship the player must complete a prototype challenge.
The sounds of the vehicles are for the most part realistic or at least sound realistic (as far you can imagine the sounds being), all the engine sounds are impressive too. Every time the vehicle hits a wall or another vehicle the sounds make you feel very impact. The voice over and announcer for the races comes in occasionally is a female synthetic voice which while it is not a realistic voice it works well with the futuristic setting of the game. Another set of sounds is the weapons and the defensive items the vehicles fire all of them again sounds meaty and realistic which is a good factor to have it makes the game more enjoyable.
One of the aspects of the game's sound is the music tracks the game plays while racing. The soundtrack was picked for high intensity and adrenaline music aimed at getting the user more and more pumped up as they play the game. The soundtrack itself contained 14 titles some original to the game other were remixes from previous titles. The 14 titles are as follows, 'Change of Direction' by Anile, 'Breezeblock' by Camo & Krooked, 'Electronic Battle Weapon 3' by The Chemical Brothers, 'Some Chords' by deadmau5, 'School of Funk' by Dirtyloud, 'Louder' by DJ Fresh & Sian Evans, 'We have explosive' by The Future Sound of London, 'Tour de France 2003' by Kraftwerk, 'Regurgitate' by Noisia, 'P.E.T.R.O.L.' and 'Beelzedub' by Orbital, 'Invaders Must Die' by The Prodigy, 'BTKRSH' by Rockwell and 'Kittens' by Underworld. I'll be honest with you the music tracks are what makes the game stand out from other track racing games (excluding the futuristic vehicles) it just makes the races more exciting and well you get into the game more and more the faster pace the music is, the more the user wants to win.
The graphics within the game are very good for a handheld console, all of the animations are well made and work very well within the game. The game is a very colourful game, full of vibrant and bright colours, a lot of the colours are neon in type which again adds to the futuristic feel of the game.The faster you get within the game, the game seems to add a kind of motion blur to the race and again it adds to the feel of the game and the colour get more and more entwined with the background adding to the sense of speed.
The background always consists of a city (or multiple cities you never can tell), the architecture of the city is always fascinating and different depending on the levels. However the background is never too distracting to the player, so they maintain concentration on the game.
However everyone must take it to consideration that the game is on a handheld console and in comparison to the latest generation of consoles and gaming PC's the graphics are of low quality however that is to be expected.
The game doesn't really have a story so to speak of, the single player within the game is mainly for the player to progress through a series of races (and the other special events). The player must get at least 3rd least in most of the events, sometimes only 1st place is good enough for the player to advance. There are a few special events in the single player that allow the player to acquire new vehicles to fly in the races.
The multiplayer within the game is where the longevity of the title is made. I'll be honest the online side of the game isn't much different from the the single player however instead of the AI controlled opponents in the race, the opponents are real life players on their own PSVita's. The online to me seems to have a few different modes from the single player The game no matter your level, allowed the game to be equally player throughout the course of the multiplayer.
Later on with the release of the downloadable content the game allowed a cross platform play between the PlayStation 3 and the PSVita. Honestly I prefered the multiplayer it allowed me to play the game at a harder difficulty and you get more satisfaction from the wins afterwards.
Overall my conclusion is that as a release title for the PSVita it is a very good game, and as a racing game it is also a very good game. However within recent releases for the Vita and other consoles it is a little outdated. However I would recommend it to anyone as a game.
*I used Wikipedia to get the titles of the tracks within the game
If you are a PlayStation player and you do not know Wipeout, you are not a true PlayStation fan. Since the original Wipeout for the Playstation One (Now avaliable on the PlayStation Store as a classic, playable with a PSP, PS3 and PSV) to Wipeout HD for the PlayStation 3, the game evolved a lot, in both graphics and gameplay, and has conquered their place in the throne of all of the Sony PlayStation titles.
Conquering PlayStation, there are Wipeout, Wipeout 2097 and Wipeout 3 for the PlayStation One, Wipeout Fusion and Wipeout Pulse for the PlayStation 2, being the latter avaliable for the PlayStation Portable as well, together with Wipeout Pure. The PlayStation 3 received Wipeout HD and its expansion pack, called Wipeout HD/Fury.
Wipeout 2048 acts as a prequel to all other games, being set in the beginning of the Anti-Gravity Championship. It is maybe the best game of the series and for certain the best inside the genre ever seen on a handheld console. It also was one of the launch titles for the PlayStation Vita, and includes:
- A singleplayer campaign
- An online multi-player campaign
- A Cross-Play Mode, where you race against players on Wipeout HD on the PS3.
The graphics are stunning, rivalizing with those of the PlayStation 3, and the game uses the touch screen and rear touchpad wisely.
The controls are the usual for a racing game, and can be changed to use the PS-Vita's sensors.
Now about the races... Unlike in other games in the series, Wipeout 2048 does not feature the Bronze, Silver and Gold medals (except for the two DLC's, which are based on Wipeout HD and HD/Fury for the PS3, and share the same events with it), having a "Pass" and "Elite Pass" instead. To proceed, either a Pass or Elite Pass is required, and they can only be obtained after accomplishing certain tasks, like finishing in 3rd or better, or destroying an enemy with a weapon, and the latter gives you better score, being also harder to get. In major races, getting an Elite Pass will also unlock a trophy for your PSN account! In these same races, you can also unlock ships, from different manufacturers and classes, like Agility, Speed, Combat and Prototype. Each class has its own bonuses and weaknesses.
Now, the "Zone" game mode does not have an exclusive ship or ship skin, and you use any ship you choose, with their own speeds, agility and shields. In this game mode, the aim is to survive as much as you can, while your ship speeds up (from the D class to B, then A, A+ and up to Mach X), and if you reach Mach 1.5 (Zone 65), you get a trophy. If you own Wipeout HD/Fury DLC and/or Wipeout HD (digital copy), you also get Wipeout HD/Fury and/or Wipeout HD DLC's for this game for free, and vice-versa. I myself bought the two DLC's for my PS-VITA, and got the game and its DLC for the PS3. These DLC's include old tracks (from titles such as Wipeout Pulse, now remastered in HD. For me, it was a good surprise, considering I loved Wipeout Pulse). A great game. You MUST have it.
I'm not a big fan of racing games. I have enjoyed some in the past, and I'm sure I'll enjoy some in the future, but they're never on the top of my list when it comes to buying games. However, during the early weeks of a console's launch when choice is limited, I usually end up picking up a game that's a little outside my comfort zone. With the 3DS I enjoyed a brief stint with Super Street Fighter IV, with the Vita I'm delving into Wipeout 2048.
Wipeout 2048 is pitched a sequel to the long running, futuristic racer series. Set during the early years of floating racecars, we are treated to a supposedly "back to basics" Wipeout game that promises all the action of the series with a nice pick up and play approach. For the most part, this is just marketing spin. In terms of gameplay, nothing seems to have changed from out entries in the series and the "2048" angle just means the car designs are less streamlined and more eccentric.
The game itself is pretty playable. You can compete in a range of different events from races to endurance trials to battles. You'll have to employ a lot of different skills, and a lot of different cars, to clear all the events in the distant future of 2048. Once you've passed all the events, you'll unlock 2049 which bumps the speed up significantly and introduces some new tracks. There's no real story mode or anything like that, but there is a nice sense of a career about it with a steady progression as you unlock more complex events.
Gameplay is tight, with a decent learning curve. Early on the speed is held back, giving you time to learn how to use your air-brakes and to make your way around the track without bashing your car up too much. This will become more of a challenge as you pick up speed, but once you get the hang of how cars handle it's a very satisfying experience.
On top of the career mode, there's also some good multiplayer options with ad-hoc between two Vita systems or against other players online. The game also shares some tracks with the PS3 version and multiplayer between the two systems is available. This is a nice touch which means there's always someone out there to compete against. However, to play online you will need to buy this game new or purchase a network pass from the PSN.
Graphically, Wipeout is a dream. This is easily the best looking Vita game, no exceptions. Every car, every track, every special effect is flawless. The models look clean and professional while the lighting and shading effects would be at home on the PS3. To top it all off, this game runs at the Vita's native resolution, employs anti-aliasing and runs at a solid 30 frames per second. Put simply, the game is absolutely flawless, accomplishing everything it sets out to without sacrifices. This is a rarity in modern game development and is wonderful to see.
The techno-soundtrack of other Wipeout games returns. This isn't really my area of expertise, but the music generally seemed nice and suitable for the game. It supports to gameplay without being distracting, which is about the best you can hope for.
So, all in all, how do I feel about Wipeout 2048? I started by telling you that racers aren't really my games, and that's still true. I played Wipeout 2048 and completed all the events, I played the multiplayer and I had fun but I probably won't be returning to it in future. Not that this should count against the game, I was extremely impressed with the final product which controls well, looks beautiful and seems to have been made without a single cut corner. I suppose, in the end, I have to settle with the judgement that Wipeout 2048 is an exceptionally well made game, but one that lacks ambition. Highly recommended, but don't expect anything groundbreaking.