WipEout 2048 Review

WipEout 2048 Review

Back in 2005, WipEout Pure was a core part of the PlayStation Portable's launch. It's something that Sony felt worked rather well and for that reason, we're looking at another Wipeout title for the launch of the PlayStation Vita. This time around it's called WipEout 2048 and it features the same hi-octane action that we've come to expect from the series, but that's not to say it offers a great deal more.

As the name of the game suggests, you start off in the 2048 season of the Wipeout championship. By this point in the Wipeout timeline, the sport of anti-gravity racing is still quite fresh and as you play through the game, you'll also get a taste of what followed shortly after in the 2049 and 2050 seasons.

While this doesn't affect the core gameplay that much, it does mean that the courses are rather different than in previous Wipeout titles. No longer are they all hi-tech, purpose built tracks. Instead, you'll be racing around city streets that offer varying degrees of difficulty.

Speed has always been a core part of the Wipeout experience, but with WipEout 2048, this isn't always the case. There are a few different events to pick from, which range from straight-up racing, to time trials, the classic zones and frag contests. Sometimes the game will also challenge you to try and race with "fighter" class ships - something that is a lot more tricky than it sounds due to their poor handling. In general, you're able to choose whichever type of ship you want, for any type of race, so there is that element of choice. And trade-offs are in there. For example, speed class ships can't use certain weapons.

When it comes to the racing, not much has changed. Outside of the pure combat races, you'll want to traverse the tracks are quickly and fluidly as possible. And this is where Wipeout excels over many other racers. Due to the technology that's implemented, if you managed to get into a groove, you do just glide around the track, in the literal sense.

As you progress through the game, the tracks will get harder, the AI will become more ruthless and the ships go faster. But when it all comes together, Wipeout is a beautiful experience. That is, until someone shoves a rocket in your face and you come crashing down to earth.

Although racing is the core part of the experience, combat is just as important. In Wipeout 2048 there are offensive and defensive weapons and you'll want to think carefully about the type you pick up, depending on your situation in each race. For example, you may find a shield rather useful if you're sitting pretty in first, but if you're in last position, that's not going to help you very much. Allowing you to make this distinction is a welcome addition and it makes the racing a bit more tactical - the chance doesn't play such a crucial role.


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