Wipeout 2048 Review (PS Vita)
For some strange reason, for the first time in my life, I was excited about a game from the WipEout series. WipEout 2048, one of the Vita launch titles, does plenty to impress. The game uses the new system’s technology to a tee, and adds in plenty of fun twists and turns as you race your way through the future.
WipEout 2048 is your typical racing game, but this time you’re in a futuristic setting. Imagine a new-age F-Zero game, or Hydro Thunder without the water, and you get the new THQ racing title.
The game is as simple as any racing game. Your goal is to go faster than everyone else, hit harder than everyone else and boost more than everyone else.
Each map has speed arrows on the ground, which will give you a quick burst if you cross them. Most of the time they are right after the other, which will bring in more strategy to the game; something a racing game has lacked since I can remember. Also, there will be yellow and green hot spots on the ground as well, and those indicate weapons that can be used to help you and destroy your opponents.
Before each race you will be able to select your speeder. There are five teams to choose from, with each have a ship that specializes in speed, fighting or agility. Eventually the ultimate prototype for each team will be unlocked. Selecting a different team will do nothing more than change the look and colors of your speeder.
Touch and Tilt
Touch and Tilt is the control option that utilizes the Vita technology. By tilting the Vita left or right, your speeder will turn; by touching the bottom corners of the screen, you will use your weapons. The idea and technology are pretty slick, but the execution tells you that developers are still trying to master the new technology.
The turning with Touch and Tilt is too sensitive, and will cause you to crash more than you would want. It’s awesome that this option is there, but unless you have time to master these controls, I’d stay away.
There are four race types in WipEout. Race, Time Trial, Combat and Zone. I won’t touch much on Race or Time Trial, since they are identical to every other racing game. But Combat and Zone offer to unique experiences that I haven’t seen in a racing game for quite some time.
Combat is exactly what it says it is – combat. In order to pass the map, you must collect a certain amount of point. To get those points you must hit other vehicles with an array of weapons that range from missiles, machine guns and a plasma cannon. You can also pick up self-beneficial items such as the leach beam (steal another racers health for your own) and shields. The points you gain will range depending on how difficult the actions you take. If you hit with the plasma cannon, six points will be added to your score. But if you hit with the machine gun, you’ll be rewarded with a whopping .28 points. However, occasionally there will be a gigantic cluster-bomb of insaneness that happens directly in front of you, causing you and everyone else to crash. It’s not a glitch, just an annoying part of the game.
Zone is a little more interesting. The first Zone event won’t pop up until you’re a decent way into the game, and it will take you by surprise. First of all, the game takes a familiar track and completely changes it to look reminiscent of the old Windows ‘95 Maze screensaver. The colors look fabulous on the little Vita screen. But the point of Zone is to survive. You don’t need to worry about accelerating; you just need to control your vehicle. After each lap you complete, your vehicle will significantly increase its speed, causing it tougher to weave through the track. You must last long enough before your speeder blows up in order to pass the event.
Multiplayer is where WipEout can shine. Key word: can. The online servers are actually pretty stable and won’t show much lag, but the time it takes to connect to a game, then load that game is what can cause the major buzz kill. There were times where I spent 15 minutes just waiting to get into, and start a match. Maybe once more people have the Vita and this game it will be easier, but the problems I saw are on a different spectrum then lack of online bodies.
WipEout 2048 is what you expect from every racing game, but then more. With the addition of strategy in races, and modes Combat and Zone, WipEout takes a leap of faith that may have actually paid off.
With great graphics, a fun race system and some sweet looking rides, this is a must-buy game for any new Vita owner.
Graphics: The colors, shadows, speeders, tracks … you name it. The whole thing looks great on the Vita.
Sound: The music is pretty entertaining, but it’s the sound of speeding vehicles that give it that extra oomph. Still, nothing too special.
Controls: Avoid Touch and Tilt and you will be just fine.
Learning Curve: Moderate. You won’t beat this game unless you work at it.
Entertainment Value: Pretty dang high. The game is quite good, and almost creeps into great category at times.
Score: 7.5 (Good)