Nova State City, the year 2048. The Anti Gravity Racing League is still in its fledgling years, trying to overcome the rough start that businesses and new sports has to cope with.
To be honest, I haven’t played every Wipeout game relentlessly, but I have had my eyes on the series for decades since I played the very first game in the series quite much, and always had this heartfelt jump whenever I saw one of the games. A couple years ago I bought Wipeout for my PSP as the first game for the handheld, and I played that one for hours on end as I had the time available. Wipeout 2048 isn’t that much different from either of these two games, though there’s a battle mode which is quite amusing, and I would have preferred more of those throughout the campaign, but eh what are you gonna do. People have different opinions, other players and fans of the series would say something different than me.
An iconic franchise takes a chance on handheld
The series is quite iconic for the Sony franchise as it haven’t reached any consoles that aren’t branded by Sony. It’s a futuristic racer, but in its own way as there’s some elements that a regular racer doesn’t have. For one, you’re driving (flying?) anti-gravitation ships, so physics is totally off – there’s no grip on the road, so you’ll have to learn how to take on tight corners with the help of air brakes. To make things all that more difficult, weapons and speed boosts are included, and the AI is not sleeping through the race, so be ready to grasp yourself and gather your patience from within the deep corners of your body to play this game. If you’ve played any of the previous installments of the franchise, you know what I’m talking about.
It was the first time for me to experience the Battle Mode – I’m unsure if earlier games have it, and from the looks of it, there’s a couple of variations in some of the games in the series. As the races gets frustratingly hard to beat, I think the battle mode is more entertaining to play – though the difficulty is still quite high.
Pads have multiplied!
The pads have now been separated into more colours. Gamers who have played one or more of the previous installments in the series know that the game contains two different pads; Boost pads and weapons pads. We still have that, but the weapons pads have been split into defensive and offensive weapons; hovering over the green pads will grant you something defensive, like grenades, shield and autopilot. Hovering over the yellow pads will give you an offensive weapon like plasma, cannon, missile and quake.
The online part of the game isn’t a campaign per se, but more a series of objectives, and the game is crossplay so you will be playing against PS3 users as well as Vita users. It looks like the online will die out pretty quickly as nobody wants to sit and wait for more than a minute to play – and to get going this is going to happen, when you’re matched with a group of people that are currently in a race. But when the race finally starts, it’s some entertaining stuff. When each race ends, there’s a poll starting, giving the players opportunity to choose between two different tracks, and the next race starts soon after. Unfortunately you have no say in what kind of mode you will be playing.
Will we ever see more?
The game runs smooth and graphics are astonishing for a handheld device. The game stays true to the series – hardcore fans will not get disappointed with this installment. The ships are like arrows, the tracks are beautiful and varying, menus are simple and futuristic and the narrator is well chosen. The biggest question at the moment is if the series will ever get more installments as the developer was closed by Sony recently. I hope not as the gaming world will miss out on a fantastic alternative racing game.
Miss; Customising the controls – the analogue stick is a little too close to the X, and it have been in the way for me in other games. Not the games fault, it’s the Vitas problem, but letting me choose what buttons to use would be of immense help.
Need; Longer campaign. I haven’t played that much, and it looks like I’m almost finished with it.