Wipeout HD

Wipeout has been a core game in the Playstation brand’s stable now for over ten years, with Wipeout games coming out on every Playstation machine that Sony have released. Even the PSP has had some anti-grav racing goodness with Wipeout Pure. It’s highly likely that you’ve played a Wipeout game, or at least heard of one.

For those of you who have been hiding under a rock.. on Venus.. in a total gaming eclipse, let me fill you in on what Wipeout is all about. At its heart it’s a racing game, but a futuristic racer where the cars aren’t cars but anti-gravity ships that hover along just above the track – at insanely fast speeds.

For those that do remember Wipeout, unless you were good at it, you probably remember it as the game with flying cars that you scraped along all the walls a lot, but more about that later.

One of the things that amazed me when I bought Wipeout HD was just how much of a “full” game it comes across as. Often with downloadable titles the game feels like you only paid a discount price for a reason. Wipeout HD, on the other hand, is dripping with polish. It has excellent music, time trial modes, racing modes, a survival mode, splitscreen play, online play, trophies… the works. In short, it’s a lot of game for your money. I paid £11.99 for it when it was just released but a quick check on the Playstation Store currently shows the price as £13.99 – oddly.

Technically this game is very impressive, as it plays in 1080p at 60 FPS. For those of us who aren’t nerds, that’s a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, running at 60 frames per second (which is 36 more than most Hollywood movies display per second). I’ll leave it up to the fanboys to fight over the numbers, but what that effectively means to us real people is that it runs as smoothly as a baby’s bum and looks as good as Natalie Portman naked.

Admittedly, previous Wipeout games have been hard to play for the reason I touched on earlier: the tracks have walls around them and if you’re not very good that’s where your ship will spend all of its time – scraping along them. Fortunately, Wipeout HD has an option called Pilot Assist. This prevents you from scraping around every single corner and makes the game a whole lot more enjoyable when you’re new to it. However, it does tend to push you away from the very apex of a corner, which means that you can get much better times once you know the track and can negotiate it without Pilot Assist. This, I think, is genius, as it means that there is a reason to turn it off, which encourages you to master the game rather than just (not) scrape by.

The online mode works a treat, and is a lot of fun. I also love the fact that this is one of few modern games to feature split-screen, so I can play it with real people… who are actually in my house. Brilliant.

So, it’s a game with great graphics, music and gameplay, that only costs £14, but as I played it I just really felt like something was missing. It was hard to put my finger on it, but I think I have it now. What’s missing is a plastic box, a printed manual, a Blu Ray disc and £26 from the price.







9 responses to “Wipeout HD”

  1. Duncan Aird avatar
    Duncan Aird

    I am dead excited about trying this one out when I have the time. Been playing since the PS1 original. 🙂

  2. DelTorroElSorrow avatar

    I think you’re forgetting that Wipeout was also out on Nintendo 64. So I’m not sur about it being in Sony’s stable.

  3. Emily avatar

    Looks stunning, I’m very tempted!

  4. Tony avatar

    DelTorro – you’re right, it was, but to me Playstation and Wipeout go hand in hand and always will.

    And if we’re being picky, I’m pretty sure that Wipeout 64 was the last Wipeout that wasn’t Playstation specific, and it came out in 1998, so Wipeout has been a Playstation specific brand for… “over ten years”!

  5. Kirsten avatar

    Nice screens, Tony. I was so excited about this before it came out and then never bought it!. I shall amend the situation forthwith.

  6. Michael avatar

    The only Wipeout I ever played was the N64 version… and I was brilliant at it! Scraping the walls? Tch, that’s for losers! :p

  7. Mart avatar

    My favourite game for quite some time, downloadable or otherwise. I actually bought a PS3 specifically for this and Tekken 5. Strange, and pretty stupid, but true.

  8. Emily avatar

    I downloaded this about a week ago. This is officially the best looking, smoothest running game I’ve got. It’s SO GOD DAMN PRETTY!

  9. City avatar

    I got this today..

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