With every new PlayStation platform be it handheld or console there has always been a Wipeout to play. The PlayStation Vita is no exception to this. The first time it appeared it introduced us to a new type of futuristic battle racer with its anti gravity vehicles and crazy breath taking tracks.Later it moved to the PlayStation’s first attempt at handheld gaming on the PSP. It then brought us on the PS3 visually stunning HD graphics and tracks with online multiplayer and later an update patch to support 3D. This time with PlayStation’s second handheld platform the PlayStation Vita we see if we if they can continue to bring us the fast pace visually mind blowing experience that it has been known for over the years, and what new features it can bring to the table this go round.
There is not much story in wipe out other than its a futuristic NASCAR type event. (at least that’s what I got from it.) In Wipeout 2048 it takes us back to the start of the anti gravity racing series and in a cool video intro it shows the progression made in racing and how it got to the anti gravity vehicles. So as far as story that’s about all I got from it.
The controls are what you would expect from a battle racer. You have your acceleration, breaks, steering, and fire/use buttons. In Wipepout 2048 you have three control configs to choose from. The default “Racer” config will basically give you a control set familiar with most racing games. New for the Playstation Vita is the “Touch and Tilt” config which will add the touch screen to fire weapons and absorb, the rear touch pad to accelerate, and the accelerometer to steer. The directional pad and left analog stick will be used to control the pitch now in this config. The left and right bumper will serve as a left and right air break giving more precise breaking for tight turns. Then finally we have the “Wipeout” config which every thing is the same as the touch and tilt config with the exception the directional pad and left analog stick will be used to steer and control pitch, with x used to accelerate. While the last two configs will give you a little more precise controls me being a amateur at Wipeout I decided to stay with the default config. The option is there for those that choose to have a different form of control. While the touch and tilt function was enjoyable I feel this game just moves too fast for me to get used to the tilt steering.
Graphically this game blew me away. I was not really expecting it to look as good as it did. The vehicle models are detailed and each has their own unique look to them. The environment and tracks are almost photo realistic. For a handheld its crazy how detailed it is. The back ground is just as detailed where in some cases there are moving videos playing on screens throughout the tracks. Other levels will have subway cars going past as you are racing. Graphically the game is visually stunning.
You will race as 5 different teams unlocking 4 different car types per team. The car types are speed, agility, fighter, and prototype. Each has its own perks and uses for different types of races. Speaking of the races you have several race types to keep you occupied in Wipeout 2048. Race events are your standard races where you race and battle to be the first across the finish line. Combat events are just like what it sounds like combat. You are placed in a track and the motive is not to try to be the first across the finish line but be the one at the end of the race that dealt the most damage while also trying not to get taken out yourself. Zone events are will test your handling skills. You are placed on a track and the game will handle your acceleration and with each zone you pass you will go faster. The goal is to make it through the target amount of zones before your vehicle gets destroyed. Time trials you will be tasked with trying to finish a certain amount of laps in a certain amount of time. In addition to these matches you have other match types that either require a certain rank or you have to find using the rear touch pad in the single player event selection screen. These events are the Prototype ship challenges, speed laps, A+ challenges. With all these match types you are sure to have plenty to keep yourself busy with. If that’s not enough for you they also have multiplayer.
In addition to single player campaign you have multiplayer campaign. Instead of different events like in the single player the multiplayer campaign will have you take on different objectives that can be accomplished on any track with a min of 4 players. There are 20 levels in all to complete in multiplayer campaign. Just like in the single player campaign you have race events and combat events in multiplayer. Take on your friends and other racers via adhoc or online. In addition to the standard multiplayer you have new feature cross play which will let you take on opponents that have wipeout Hd for the PS3. So PS3 and Vita users can race against each other via online. This feature I think is a game changer. You now have the ability to race your friends that are at home or don’t have a vita while you are on the go. My time with it showed that it was polished and done well I really enjoyed my self with this portion of the game.
During single player races you are able to enter a mode to take pictures of the race at any moment in the race. It basically pauses the game and takes you into a editor where you can use the touch screen and analog sticks to navigate the scene and take a picture. In addition to just navigating you can adjust the blur and focus on different parts of the scene. This feature was really cool and is similar to the video editors we have seen in games like, halo and call of duty.
I really like the amount of detail put into the graphics of the game. I was taken by surprise and this is something that when showing what the Vita can do I will be sure to show Wipeout 2048. The amount of events and unlocks in just the single player portion of the game is enough to keep any handheld gamer busy for awhile. You add on the multiplayer and the fun just keeps going. Cross play is a great new feature and really is a game changers and a great way to set the bar for future games on the Vita to use this feature. Not a plus or a minus but it depends on how you like your games, the game is challenging. Don’t think its just your standard racer where you will come in first every time you play. This game will take you to the extreme on some levels and have you cursing and wanting to throw stuff. On the negative side I really wish they would since they kinda included a story go into more detail on it. Like after each race have a cut scene detailing whats going on or who is who. I just felt like they just said, ok this is Wipeout this is how it started now race. If you don’t go and read the on game manual then you will really have no idea as to what the story is. It is a racer and story is not needed but I feel if you are going to put one in there then at least do a better job of telling it. All in all Wipeout 2048 is a great game to add to your vita collection. Even though some will complain about Vita game pricing I believe Wipeout 2048 at $39.99 is a steal.