The Wipeout series is PlayStation’s oldest so it’s only fitting that with new PlayStation hardware, comes a new Wipeout game. Going back to its origins, Wipeout 2048 features wider tracks that are heavily featured on city streets in an urban setting. But does that this Vita launch title keep the tense racing as thrilling as ever or is it just too much of the same thing?
The first thing you will probably notice about Wipeout 2048 if you are a fan of the series is just how much detail is seen around the track. The series has always been simplistic in its aesthetic but 2048 is filled with gorgeous textures and plenty of detail resulting in the gaming looking quite different to the other in the series.
What is probably best known about the franchise is the controls and thanks to the amazing analogue sticks of the PlayStation Vita, Wipeout 2048 feels perfect; something that’s essential for the game. The vehicles feel light and glide along the track and utilising the airbrake correctly shows off just how responsive the controls are.
The single-player career mode is a lengthy affair that will take hours to complete, and hours more to obtain an elite rating on every event. Throughout the career you will participate in race, combat, time trial and zone events, each needing precision in one discipline or another. The racing in 2048 is more combat oriented than previous titles due to the wider tracks. Offensive and defensive pick-ups are separated between orange and green markers on the ground respectively, also creating more strategy to the race.
The multiplayer, is handled differently than the typical multiplayer in racing games. As you make your way through a multiplayer campaign. You are given goals to complete and can be completed in any race on any track. Cross-play with the PlayStation 3 works great, once you understand how to set it up. If you didn’t know, Wipeout 2048 is compatible with Wipeout HD on PS3 and you can race against players who have Wipeout HD on PlayStation 3.
Of course this is the Vita that the game is on so it does have Vita specific controls like controlling the vehicles by tilting the Vita left or right and firing the weapons by touching the Vita screen. The tilting works well enough but because this game is all about precise turning, it’s not the way to go about if you want to get elite in every event.
Wipeout has always been about learning the tracks and ridiculous speed and you’ll be happy to know that none of that has been lost on the Vita. Although the game only runs at 30 frames per second, whereas other iterations run at 60 FPS, the controls are silky smooth and you’ll never seriously feel that the gameplay has taken a hit because of this.
Wipeout 2048 is a fully fledged game with single-player career, multiplayer, and cross-play with the PlayStation 3. It is absolutely amazing to look at and the gameplay is just as impressive as ever. This is just as hardcore as other titles in the series so those looking for a casual racing experience need not apply. For everyone else, this is an essential buy for anyone who wishes to pick up a PlayStation Vita.