E3 2011: WipEout 2048 Hands-On Preview

Sony's Liverpool studio brings the Wipeout series to the NGP in style.

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Sony's Studio Liverpool knows its way around a Wipeout game. The UK-based studio has done fantastic work with the series across the PlayStation 3 and PSP. At Sony's recent pre-Electronic Entertainment Expo event in Los Angeles, we got our first look at WipEout 2048, a brand new entry in the series for the upcoming NGP that boasts some slick new features.

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Who's Making It: SCE Studio Liverpool, the veteran studio that counts the Wipeout series as one of the highlights of its robust body of work over the past two decades.

What It Looks Like: 2048 pumps out visuals that are easily comparable to the PlayStation 3 entries in the series. The crazy vistas, futuristic cities, twisty tracks, buckets of color, and more neon than 10 Las Vegas cities are all on display in the new game and run at a smooth frame rate.

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What You Do: 2048 will challenge players to outrace opponents to win races, earn points, and unlock more content. The game continues Studio Liverpool's winning balance of skillful racing and combat.

How It Plays: The game handles like the previous entries in the series with some new control options that take advantage of the NGP's built-in Sixaxis motion sensors. The game has a familiar, comfortable feel to it that is easy to pick up. Our demo of the game boasted a surprising showcase for an NGP feature we'd like to see more of: true cross-platform play with the PlayStation 3. Besides the single-player demo on the NGP, Studio Liverpool reps demoed on online race between a PlayStation 3 and an NGP unit. The action hummed along seamlessly and impressed us mightily. While reps on hand were a little hazy on specifics, the gist we got was that the feature would work when the game is released and include some kind of patch for the PlayStation 3.

What They Say: SCE Studio Liverpool reps on hand were high on the game, suggesting that it's a full-featured offering that stands as the best yet in the series.

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What We Say: The game looked fantastic and was fun to play. We're anxious to see what else the Liverpool crew is cramming into the game. The PS3 cross-play is an interesting and exciting component of the experience. We'll be very curious to see where the team goes with it. Wipeout 2048 is slated to ship around the NGP launch window. Look for more on the game in the coming months.

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