WipEout 2048 Review(PS Vita)

Posted: May 31, 2013 in Reviews
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The evolution of cars has lead to this point, no tires, just propulsion systems and hovering devices, and not only do the cars look cool, they are ultra fast. The cars get to super sonic speeds, keeping you engaged through the twists and turns of the futuristic tracks, but not all of the events or cars are speed based, there are vehicles with a lot of health, and some are designed specifically for handling the many corners. Each event will have you either race a group of opponents, make you try to blow them up in Combat mode, have you try to beat a specific time in a time trial, or play through Zone which you just have to steer and survive as it gets faster and faster, as you go you’ll make it through zones and you’ll need to get a specific amount of zones to pass. Picking the right car is easy as the cars for the events have their own sections in the team menu, so you just have to pick the best car in the class.

There are 20 cars in total which are unlocked by doing missions or leveling up the driver rank, there are 50 driver levels and they take quite a while to achieve depending on your skill level. There are a few ways to gain experience, there are a lot of speed pads on the tracks which not only give a boost but add experience as well, there are also weapons found throughout though unfortunately there are not that many weapons, but getting hits will add more points, then at the end of a race if you pass you’ll get a big experience bonus, and there are Elite Passes which will add as much as a regular pass. If you are having trouble with an event and need experience there are also speed laps, they allow you to race around the track uncontested and allowing you to do as many laps as you want, all while gaining experience for the speed pads.

Though there are a limited amount of tracks, each track has different sections that you’ll race through keeping your mind on the game. The tracks can be complicated the first time(s) through, going at such high speeds while cornering takes finesse and there are many corners that can cause problems, it may take a bit to get used to if you are new to the WipEout series. The speed laps are also a good way to get used to the tracks, going at such high speeds it can be easy to miss the many side routes within, some of the routes can either help or make you lose ground, having an option of casually playing and finding the quickest path is a nice option. Speed pads in every track can be either the reason you won or lost the race, you want to hit them all if possible, and knowing when and when not to hit them will only benefit in the close races.

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There are many close races, quite a few come down to the last lap or section of the track, most of the races will be decided by who hits more speed pads and who makes the fewest mistakes, a simple mistake can take you right out of first or out of the race. As I mentioned before there are weapons which are activated by going over the weapon pads, they range from useful to useless depending on the situation, each event has specific weapons that can be used, the weapons can also be a deciding factor in the end, and at times it seems like the opponents weapons do more damage than yours regardless of the car.

With the tracks being so fast and most taking a bit of getting used to, it adds a bit of replay value, some of the courses may take a few times to win, and achieving an Elite Pass may take a few more. Depending on your skill level the Driver Level may also add some replay value, there are 50 Driver Levels so getting an Elite Pass will become crucial if you want to achieve that rank. Leveling up earns you a car or an event in which you have to find on the events map, completing some of the hidden events can also unlock the cars. Some of the events require you to unlock new cars, but not because you’ll need a specific car, but because the events get harder and some of the cars just can no longer keep up.

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If you are having trouble there are three control configurations, three camera views, and three pilot assists to choose from, there are not that many options but can be very helpful. The choices in camera views will have an up-close look at the car, a zoomed out view of the car, and an internal view which does not put you in the cock-pit but gives a view from the front of the car, the internal view makes it look like you are riding a motorcycle which not only looks cool, but also makes parts of the tracks a bit easier to see. The three pilot assist options are off, normal, and extreme, turning it off is great for people looking for a further challenge, it leaves everything up to you so unless you’re really good at the game it may not be for you, normal will help a bit with steering and breaking but you’ll still mainly be in control, and extreme helps in all aspects.

Online adds to the challenge, it is mission based and you’ll have three chances to complete the mission or you’ll have the ability to earn a new mission, if you have friends who play online you’ll have the option of going straight into the event they are playing. Just like the single player, online gets intense and there are also driver levels to achieve, online can rack up a lot of experience if you get good enough and it can be a lot of fun. If you want to go online you’ll need an online pass, if you get the game pre-owned you may be out of luck unless you know the code has not be activated, or you can purchase the pass online, but WipEout online may not be for everyone so having to pay for it can be a nuisance. You don’t have to play online to compete with your friends, you’ll get updates when friends beat your scores, then from the notification page you can go straight into the event and try to return the favor.

The cornering takes finesse and it can cause problems, if you bounce off a wall it can spin you around even if you should have just slid around the corner, or the nose of the car will catch and it’ll grind on the wall even if you didn’t hit the nose. At times even if the weapon pad is active it does not always give you the weapon, if the majority of the car does not go over the pad you may not get it, it can be really frustrating if you’re trying to keep up, or if you are getting bounced around in combat and it makes you miss out on getting a weapon. There are some events that require quite a bit of skill or require a vehicle upgrade, but the upgrades are not always easily accessible so you may have to do speed laps or play previous events until you can level up, it can make progressing at times take even longer which is good and bad.

WipEout 2048 is a fun game and can get addicting, if you like the game and are struggling it wont be so bad to replay previous events so you can progress with better vehicles. Though the weapon choices can be bland, they can be really fun given the right situation, and the races can be down to the wire adding to the excitement. If you don’t feel like there is enough content there are two additional content packs that unlock WipEout HD and WipEout HD fury, to keep you in the action. The events are generally fun, all are faced paced and intense and the game-play can get addicting, it remains entertaining with various challenges. WipEout is a great blend of futuristic cars and tracks, speed, action, and it all looks quite good on the Playstation Vita, if you like fast paced racing, this could be for you.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

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