By Chad Sapieha,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sci-fi racer delivers high-octane thrills, fantasy violence.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The racing is about as fantastical as can be, but it nonetheless glorifies high-speed competition while neglecting to address its potential repercussions.
Positive Role Models
Players never see the characters supposedly piloting the game's futuristic vehicles, but their participation in such a dangerous and violent racing sport makes them poor behavioral models.
Ease of Play
Regardless of whether players choose traditional button-based steering or the more novel motion control method, piloting vehicles is always simple and intuitive. However, mastering the game's hovercraft is challenging. Expect to begin re-racing events multiple times before the end of the first season.
Violence & Scariness
Players can use weapons including mines, rockets, and machine guns to disable and destroy their racing opponents. Vehicles blow up after taking a set amount of damage, creating brief but spectacular explosions. Players never see any characters injured or killed. Fighting is a secondary feature of most game modes, but is the focus of one mode dubbed "Combat."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wipeout 2048 is a futuristic fantasy racing game where players pilot extraordinarily fast hover cars armed with a variety of deadly weapons. Like most racing games, high-speed collisions simply result in lost time. Weapons -- rockets, machine guns, mines -- can damage and destroy the game's cars, but vehicles respawn almost instantly. Parents should also note that while this game supports Internet-based competitive play, there's no avenue for player communication, making it a relatively safe online gaming experience.
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What’s It About?
Sony's long-lived futuristic racing franchise makes its debut on the PlayStation Vita in WIPEOUT 2048. Fans of the series know what to expect: Sleek hover-vehicles armed with a variety of powerful weapons racing through the streets of the cities of tomorrow to a thumping background score. As usual, players unlock new vehicles as the game progresses, each suited to particular kinds of races. Some are speedy, some are tough, and some are jacks-of-all-trades, masters of none. Players can steer using the Vita's analog stick or by tilting the device left and right, controlling thrust with the rear touch pad. The single-player mode offers plenty of challenges to work through, and players interested in testing their mettle against human opponents can play against up to eight others locally or online over WiFi. There's even a cross-platform mode that allows Vita players to race against friends playing on a PlayStation 3.
Is It Any Good?
There's not a lot here that Wipeout fans haven't seen before, but it's been done well. Stunning city spires slide past slick as butter on a hot pan as our hovering racers zip through curving avenues at a breakneck clip. The sense of speed is excellent, and the frame rate never stutters. Plus, there's probably no better experience on Sony's nascent handheld for fans of multiplayer gaming.
The only serious problem is the same one that plagues all Wipeout games: Things end up feeling a bit repetitive after a while. There may be plenty of race modes and different vehicles to choose from, but everything feels just a little same-y. Still, it always remains fun to revisit for a quick race now and again. Wipeout 2048 is fine -- but not exceptional -- fun for fans of fantasy racing.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about driver safety. What are some of the consequences associated with high-speed driving? Do you know anyone affected by a car accident? Could that accident have been avoided if the drivers were more cautious?
Families can also discuss violence in media. Violence, even when it only involves the destruction of inanimate or mechanical objects, can still be scary and have an impact on the viewer. How do you decided what's safe for your kids?
- Platform: PlayStation Vita
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Release date: February 22, 2012
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and Trucks
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
- Last updated: August 29, 2016
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