Ready, set, launch!
As with any new console, handhelds included, the manufacturer must provide a strong lineup of software that shows off the console as well as their first-party catalog. The PlayStation Vita is no exception, and as we would be correct to assume, the launch lineup is full of titles that are meant to fill rather than innovate. That's okay, though—we don't expect every launch title to be a console seller but to provide options that cast a wide net of appeal. Such is the point of the ever slick futuristic racer WipEout 2048.
Anyone familiar with the series knows that WipEout is a sure bet, with its Tron color palette, anti-gravity sweetness, and liquid-smooth speed that sets itself apart from all the premium arcade racers available today. Like its predecessors, WipEout 2048 is still about stepping on the thrusters, accelerating through the start gate, hitting all the zip arrows, nailing each turns with accurate air brakes, blasting foes with missiles, and nabbing first place and that shiny gold medal.
Of course, paying attention to the road is just half of the battle, as rivals will fire missiles, bullets, and all sorts of plasma-based weapons. One particular change is that weapons have been split into two categories: green defensive pick-ups and orange offensive pick-ups. Players with quick reflexes will be able to take advantage of this difference, nabbing orange pick-ups for passing opponents and green pick-ups for staying in the lead. As usual, both pick-ups can be absorbed by the ship to refill its shields.
But what truly sets WipEout 2048 apart is its introduction of cross-platform play on the PlayStation Vita, which will allow players to form matches with those on Wipeout HD Fury for PlayStation 3. Online multiplayer features various mission objectives similar to the normal single-player campaign and awards players with various unlockables as they progress.
WipEout 2048 provides various control schemes, with one motion-controlled scheme that takes advantage of the Vita's internal Sixaxis controls. At this point, it's too difficult to turn precisely using this control scheme, but this was only based off a short demo that is sure not to be the final build.
WipEout 2048 is set to launch with the PlayStation Vita on February 22, 2012.