Remasters are not usually something that get me excited but the Wipeout series was far enough into the ‘classics’ category to make it an interesting proposition. Having not played too much Wipeout as a child, but having played enough to remember how much fun it could be, I was primed and ready to be proven wrong with my possibly cynical opinion of remastered games. Who doesn’t want to maneuverer around wild and futuristic tracks in a hovering spacecraft whilst trying to attack enemy vehicles and stay in one piece! The best thing is there are 3 games in 1 here so you can enjoy Wipeout 2048, Wipeout HD and Wipeout Fury.
Best In The Class
Wipeout is probably one of the best games in this futuristic racing game sub-genre. Whilst many games before and after the Wipeout series may share the same influences (I’m looking at your Mario Kart), this game has a sense of originality as the core gameplay delivers a truly fun experience. The different game modes definitely make playing through each level less repetitive but in some cases, this is unavoidable – who really wants to play the Zone game modes! The combat game mode was a particular highlight for me, maybe purely as it caters to my destructive side, but the races and time trial made me think differently how I played out each race. Weighing up whether to go for a defensive or offensive weapon, whether to use the weapon or recuperate or whether to keep spamming the barrel roll boosts despite the impact on my ships health. This really made the whole experience much more strategic than you would expect from what is, in essence, a racing game.
I also found that the game create the perfect mix of chaos and fun. Whilst there might be times where you are racing through other spaceships and evading their frighteningly accurate weapons, there will be times when everyone is attacking each other in close quarters and only the strongest and most skilled will make it through. Imagine rocket explosions, gun fire and mines all combined in quick succession between 4 or 5 other racers and you can imagine just how frantic this game can get!
The Sights And Sounds
Two areas that stood out for me when playing through the Wipeout Omega Collection were the graphics and the music. Graphically, these remastered versions of Wipeout are stunning. The buildings and tracks are beautiful look beautiful, despite flying past at high speed! Despite the original game being many years old now, there is still a futuristic feel to the visuals and the difference in tracks just adds to the already diverse array of content in the game!
So we have established the game plays and looks great! The other aspect that really impressed me is the music. Whilst arguably not as strong as the original games, the music stands out in every race and complements the action perfectly. Whilst not necessarily something I notice much in video games in gerenal, this stood out to me in Wipeout and for good reasons too. It won’t be the reason you buy the game but could be influential in how much you enjoy the game!
Whilst I can praise much of this Wipeout remaster, there are a couple of things that do spoil the fun. I did find that the handling was not as fine-tuned as it could have been and this resulted in inexplicable crashes into the sides which required a restart to have any chance of winning the race. Whilst not 100% game breaking and also infrequent enough for it not to be a reason to stop playing, it cannot be argued that this can be frustrating to experience, especially if you are in pole position or recovering from a sub-standard start to a race.
My only other gripe with the game is the balancing of the weapons. Whilst they have the capacity to create much of the fun in the game, they also possess the power to provide lulls in the fun factor. Some weapons are near to pointless in that they do not deliver on their intended purpose. Cannon, for example, is one of the most pointless weapons that requires ungodly accuracy that its only real purpose is to recharge your ships health so you can barrel roll until your heart is content.
You could argue that the weapon balancing only helps to add more strategy to the game but it is an element I could live without in the game. That said, the final product is a highly enjoyable experience for fans of this genre!
Plenty of other futuristic racers have been released since Wipeout’s last release including F-Zero and Redout but Wipeout has returned in all its glory. With relatively unchanged but ultimately engrossing and enjoyable game play, it is hard to not recommend this game to anyone who enjoys arcade racing games. You can guarantee three things with this game; intense emotions, chaotic fun and a real sense of achievement when you win. It’s a winning combination for the Wipeout Omega Collection, despite minor complaints with some of the game play, and will make most of us cry out for a new Wipeout game to enjoy on modern consoles. Too bad the original developers, Studio Liverpool, are no longer around to bring this classic game into the modern era of futuristic racing games! Back to the future it is with this classic revamp.