Product Type: Sony PSV Games
Newest Review: ... angle just means the car designs are less streamlined and more eccentric. The game itself is pretty playable. You can compete in a ... more
Will we all be driving these in 36 years then?
Wipeout 2048 (PSV)
Member Name: illogicology
Wipeout 2048 (PSV)
Advantages: Fun gameplay, lots of events, flawlessly made, looks beautiful.
Disadvantages: Nothing new for the series here, familiar weapons-based racing gameplay.
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.
Summary: A flawlessly developed game that plays well but fails to break new ground.