Review – Wipeout 2048
And nary a Richard Hammond or Bob Monkhouse in sight…
Much has been said by this very magazine about how WipEout launching with Vita makes it ‘the true PlayStation experience’. Well, something like that. Anyway, it really does – why? Because WipEout 2048 is fantastic fun and a must-buy for any self-respecting owner of Sony’s new handheld. Also: those with no self-respect.
Those unfamiliar should soon get themselves acquainted with the world of WipEout: hover arrowhead car/ship/futureboat things racing at high speeds and shooting the hell out of each other with a selection of weapons. It’s simple stuff done very right – as compulsive as it is balanced, as addictive as it is challenging.
The game is a pretty even split between single and multiplayer, and it’s easy to dip in and out of each without much hassle. Both modes cover the same sort of events – straight-up races, time trials, combat-only non-races and ‘zone’ levels where control is boiled down to just steering and braking, with the aim to last as long as possible without crashing into a fiery (futuristic) heap. Swift progression and a consuming race campaign make for one of the best entries to the WipEout series yet.
The setting bears little relevance, but it does throw in at least one interesting point: it’s not as far in the future as the other games, so tracks have more recognisable elements to them. Basically, tracks look like the cities of today but with some extra futurey bits slapped onto them. It’s a nice atmospheric touch, but as we say, it doesn’t do much to the ‘game’ part of things.
There’s an inevitable faltering in the fact that this is ‘merely’ WipEout again – there’s not too much that can be done with the formula, but to be honest there’s little we’d want to see done to change things up. Though a crossover with PSone’s Rollcage, thus adding wheeled vehicles, would be pretty nifty. All the same, this does mean you’re getting a game made up of a very good experience – but a very good experience you’ve played through seven times before. Eight if you had an N64.
WipEout 2048 still comes with an unconditional recommendation. It’s well made, it looks nice, online integration is handled brilliantly and it’s the sort of game you’ll find yourself coming back to again and again for the age-old ‘just one more go’.
Review by Ian Dransfield