Wipeout 2048 PS Vita review
Wipeout is a PlayStation classic. From the PS1 original that introduced the concept of classy grown up gaming, to this latest instalment – it’s been consistently fast, exciting and part of Sony’s lifeblood. Oh, and extraordinarily pretty in a ‘metal sleds on jets flying past neon’ kind of way. If you’ve somehow missed out on the series then here’s a quick primer: it’s quantum levitation condensed into racing form. Or, in non scientician speak, b*stard bloody fast future hovercraft grand prix goodness.
The move to Vita has done the series proud: this is every inch like a top tier PS3 game. For starters it boasts catwalk good looks that easily rival PSN’s full PS3 WipEout HD (a game you can join on certain tracks using Cross Play’s multiplayer magic). It shows the new hardware off brilliantly with searingly pretty lighting, a carbonite solid framerate and gorgeous colours.
It’s a real treat for the eye holes. Being the year 2048, this acts as Wipeout’s origin point, meaning craft design is less advanced and cities are on the turn towards futuristic, rather than the neon utopias of previous games. It’s enough of a subtle difference to freshen things up without actually changing any of the series’ essential traits. Namely driving rilly fast and blowing stuff up.
These thrilling and constantly breathless races are punctuated with devilish, tricksy course design and thoughtful, tactical weapons. There are a range of control methods from baby beginner options to tappy, swipy touchscreen interfaces with motion control steering. Don’t worry if that offends your hardcore sensibilities, you can change the default Racer controls to ‘Wipeout’ to get the full air braking tactical experience.
It’s a surprisingly hefty game as well rather than an on-the-go time-waster. The main campaign should last you upwards of ten hours, while online races and time trials should add plenty of extra ribeye-tasty meat to that number. The AI can be lethal as you progress meaning that later cups will also take ages to earn gold medals on. It’s a challenge but a consistently excellent one.
As you’d hope from the series, this is faster than Usain Bolt with rockets on his feet and a perfect showcase for Vita’s technical heft. Avoid the new dumbed down controls and this is as pure and addictive a racer as you’ll find on any handheld.