More Reviews
REVIEWS Boss! Review
PlayStation Vita owners looking to exercise a little frustration can look to this rather low-fi title about creating a monster and destroying everything in your path.

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.5 ReMIX Review
Part 2 of Square-Enix and Disney's cooperative compilation cash-cow is ready to milk the series for another go, but does the milk taste sweet or is it spoiled?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Evolve Preview
With multiplayer action set as its focus, Evolve surprised us earlier this month by introducing a single-player campaign mode where you can switch between mercenaries.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Kalimba
Release date: Out Now

Persona 5
Release date: 12/31/14

Motorcycle Club
Release date: 01/01/15

Atelier Ayesha Plus: The Alchemist of Dusk
Release date: 01/14/15


LATEST FEATURES Downloadable Content Walks the Line Between Fun and Frenzied in Middle-earth
I don’t even care all that much for the Lords of the Rings brand, which makes the content falling under Shadow of Mordor’s Season Pass a pleasant surprise.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Gamers
If this awful trend is going to persist, you may as well do it your way.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Black Friday 2014 Video Game Deals Buyer's Guide
Looking to score the most bang for your buck the day after Thanksgiving? Well look no further! Our Black Friday guide is just the tool you need.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Wipeout HD Review

Jesse_Costantino By:
Jesse_Costantino
10/06/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Racing 
PLAYERS 1- 8 
PUBLISHER SCEA 
DEVELOPER Studio Liverpool 
RELEASE DATE  
E10+ Contains Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Dance Party, 2097.


Back in 1995, you couldn’t spit on a college campus without hitting a rave promoter in the eye. Glow stick manufacturers were wealthier than they’d ever been, and Burning Man was just entering the mainstream. Electronic music was riding high on a wave of sweat, drugs, and synthetic beats.

click to enlargeWhen WipEout was released for the original PlayStation that same year, those of us who couldn’t dance—or didn’t want to spend a week in the Nevada desert with a bunch of free lovin’ “concept artists”—stayed home, cranked up the home theater sound, and raced super-sonic spaceships instead. Now, thirteen years and nine WipEout releases later, the series has finally got its futuristic groove back.

Like seeing Grandma in skinny jeans, playing the two most recent WipEout releases on PSP reminded us that this series was still alive and kicking. The PSP titles tested the waters, making sure that the world was still interested in the bass-heavy tunes and face-melting speed of the series. Like a biblical voice in the wilderness, these prior titles prepared the way for the WipEout that was to come.

While WipEout HD borrows heavily from its immediate predecessors for its game modes, ship types, and track layouts, the level of detail and polish makes it all seem as new and refreshing as the day the first title in the series was released back in ‘95. For the inexpensive $19.99 PSN price tag, you might expect a less-than-full experience, but you’d be far less than correct. The game includes an eight-stage Campaign mode, each with multiple races, tournaments, and other play types. The single-race Racebox mode allows you to customize your races and play offline split-screen multiplayer. An added online mode allows you to race against up to seven other people in both tournaments and single races. All of these events can be further divided by racing class and A.I. difficulty.

click to enlargeFor the masochist in all of us, Zone mode returns. For those unfamiliar with Zone, think bull-riding, but instead of a bull, you’re riding a ticking time bomb with wheels. You know you’re going to get blown to a bloody pulp, but that doesn’t stop you from trying to outlast the other guys. In Zone, the longer you survive, the faster your ship flies, and the faster your ship flies, the more you slam your ship into the sides of the track until your ship eventually disintegrates into a polygonal mess. In Zone mode, success is measured in ten-second increments, and failure is measured by the number of colorful invectives you utter with each wall-slam.

It's true that there are only eight course layouts, but with four different event types, three different play modes, a large group of differently performing ships, and a whole slew of other difficulty tweaks along the way, this game isn’t lacking content. What’s more, even on its easiest settings, this is a seriously challenging game.

If you haven’t played a WipEout game before, expect to feel more like a pinball than a supersonic spaceship for the first few hours. To ease the learning curve, the game includes a “pilot assist” feature that prevents you from hitting walls and falling off the edge of the road. It’s like bumper bowling—and, yes, it’s just as humiliating—but it’s a great way to learn the ropes since you can use pilot assist in almost every event type including the online races. The single drawback to the assist is that it does slow you down a bit. But once you're comfortable enough to take the training wheels off, you’ll be slipping and sliding your way around the roller-coaster-like tracks with the best of them.

click to enlargeFor every event you complete, you’re given a set number of loyalty points for the specific team you’re racing for. You’ll get bonus points for completing a flawless lap, and as you reach certain point-total milestones, you will unlock more skins for your team’s ship. That way, even if you lose, you still get something for all your pain and frustration. In addition, getting a medal in every event in campaign mode will unlock even further skins, as will getting a gold medal in every event. Trophy support is also included, giving you even more incentives to find new and creative ways to fly at ball-crushing speeds.

At 1080p and a nearly constant 60fps, WipEout HD joins an elite class of current-gen racers—so elite that its only other graphical equal in the racing genre is the stellar Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. The tracks feel like they exist in a real world, alive with its own people and culture living in richly detailed environments.

Further enhancing the visual presentation of WipEout HD is a robust photo mode. At any point during or after a race, you can satisfy your inner shutterbug by switching to a photo mode that lets you move between ships, adjust the camera position, change the focal depth and lens aperture, and apply a host of other optical effects.

Keeping this title from true adrenal nirvana, however, are some irksome bugs and glitches. The game menus are prone to occasional hangs and pauses of about 30 seconds. Worse, the online leaderboards are completely broken. Very few scores are posted globally as of the time of this review, even though the game’s been out now for over a week. According to what’s posted, my scores would put me in the top ten in nearly every course. As much as I’d like to believe I’m that good, I know otherwise. Hopefully a patch will appear at some point in the future, but for now, it’s an annoying issue for us leaderboard whores.

If you’ve played the previous PSP titles, much of WipEout HD will feel very familiar. But chances are, if you enjoyed the PSP entries in the series, you’ll immediately want to get this repackaged and retooled version of all the brilliant tracks, modes, and ships. And if you haven’t already played the PSP games, you’ll be kicking yourself because you could have been playing WipEout all this time. It’s cheap, it’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s a much less embarrassing way to relive the ‘90s than reuniting your old band.
B+ Revolution report card
  • Gorgeous tracks and ships
  • Tons of content
  • A lasting challenge
  • Beginner friendly
  • Recycled material
  • Leaderboard bugs
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Wipeout HD