Genre: Sport Developer: Studio Liverpool Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Classification: G Release Date: 26th Sep 2008 Platforms:PS3
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The Good bits
This game looks absolutely amazing.
Wipeout HD gives you all the skills you need, and then challenges you to use them.
Photo mode is fantastic - even an artistic scrub like me can create... true beauty.
The Bad stuff
Even just one original track would have been a worthwhile addition.
Wipeout HD is an anti-gravity racer set in the future - you race hovering ships around tight courses to assert your dominance over the world. If you can bring yourself to do so, think back to Star Wars Episode One - the Pod Race which dominates a concerning portion of the movie is based on a similar concept. Wipeout manages to avoid Episode One's downfall of having a terrible plot by having
absolutely no plot at all - Wipeout HD is pure racer.
It doesn't pull any punches either. Check out this Trophy from the game - it's a Silver Trophy, putting it in the second lowest tier of achievements.
Airbraker - Reach Zone 50 (Subsonic) in Zone Mode on any track using only airbrakes and sideshift.
Let me break this down for you. Zone mode in Wipeout HD puts you on a normal track and auto-accelerates your ship for you. The challenge in Zone Mode is that your ship will always accelerate - your goal simply becomes survival. The fastest speed class in the other modes in the game is "Phantom" - around Zone 30. To earn this Silver Trophy you need to navigate to Zone 50 without turning - you can only use the airbrakes to get you around corners.
The idea here is that you will push yourself to be the best - it's a throwback to when finishing a game was something to brag about, not something you simply expect to occur after playing long enough. The game doesn't go about this unreasonably - you aren't thrown into the deep end of the pool to learn how to swim. You begin the game driving slow ships and using a training wheels function called Pilot Assist - this will keep you from hitting the walls as you drive around. As you move through the game you'll eventually reach a point where you have to remove the Pilot Assist feature to succeed - you'll need to find tighter lines and take corners closer just to remain competitive.
The game puts a lot of emphasis on speed - both as a method to keep people glued to the game and as a way to continuously challenge players. The speeds you can reach in the game are mind-blowing - Zone 50 in the trophy above is called Subsonic for a reason. The class of ship typically dictates how fast you can go - Venom is the slowest, topping out at close to 500 km/h while Phantom approaches 800km/h.
The different racing modes in the game are straight forward - with the exception of the aforementioned Zone mode. You can race in Time Trial - where you have to complete a set number of laps within a certain amount of time. There's also Fast Lap mode, where you have a number of laps, and only your fastest lap counts. These modes both include ghost data from your previous attempts to give you an immediate visual idea of how you're faring.
The blimp says "A friend in speed".
Race mode switches things up by putting AI racers in the game - and power-ups. You access Power-Ups by driving over a Power-Up pad - there are Turbo pads and Power-Up pads, and you'll have to choose between each one mid-race on the fly. After hitting a pad you're randomly assigned a power-up - the weapons provided vary in worth from the mostly useless machine gun type weapon all the way up to the almost one-hit kill Plasma weapon. There are also shields and extra turbos available at random - it can be tough to time using a shield, but turbos can be very useful if you know the right time to use them.
The game features eight player online racing, and even playing with people from all of the world isn't a huge hassle - if a player with a 300 ping is teleporting all over the track you typically won't find them impacting your racing style that much... Unless your racing style is "Destroy everything in sight" of course. Still, the net code seems quite good - even when playing against racers from all corners of the globe I didn't see anyone teleport too much.
The last feature which needs pimping in Wipeout HD is the Photo Mode. At any point in any race, you can pause the game and take a photo of the track. You can see from the screenshots in this review the kinds of pictures you might come up with - I took them myself. It really shows off the amazing graphics engine in the game - you can really appreciate the power behind the game.
The only thing which lets Wipeout HD down is the track selection. If you've played the Wipeout series on the PSP you will already be familiar with the eight tracks on offer - they're all reappropriated from Wipeout Pure and Wipeout Pulse.
Newcomers to the series won't be affected by this though - and the game only costs $30 - so it's hard to punish the game too much for this. Even one brand new track would have been a worthwhile effort though.
Beyond the game's pretty graphics and the quality gameplay, the reality is that if you don't like racing games Wipeout HD is not going to convert you. It sticks to the basics of racing games - going fast and looking nice. It combines a well-balanced learning curve with realistic challenges to keep you coming back again and again if you're even remotely interested in racing games Wipeout HD is a must-have game.
Wipeout HD is a spectacle of a game and at the low price of under $30 big ones, it's totally worth your time and effort.
Thankfully the gameplay is pretty game addictive although could benefit from more depth like craft customization etc,. Otherwise the airbrake system is great and has a good learning curve.
The reviewer makes a good point comparing WHD to Episode One. But the real comparison is the CGI to the graphics. If you recall any of the horrid Star Wars prequels think of the CGI of the city scape's with traffic and floating advertisements etc, (also think a crystal clear utopia blade-runner) and you have a good idea of the graphics here. They are amazing, if you're playing you won't have the oppurtunity to view the vistas on offer but take some time in photo mode or watch a friend to really see how amazing they are.
It's a great game, under 1gig download runs at 60fps/1080i and should wow just about anybody. It also has the honour of being a dam fun game to play.
Don't be expecting seeing this game in the top 5 for consoles any time soon. The Graphics are splendid and give the player a better sense of realism and fantasy. Its all the best things that came from the original and more. Shows a better side of Sony's Racing Games.
Though its not as addictive to as many people compared to other hit racing games.
I think its just something Sony wanted to do to try and broaden the PS3 horizons. As a PS3 owner i know this is the case. With such game titles as Final Fantasy fully changing over to 360, Sony will be pulling out some mega games before 2010 to bring back order in the ever changing console world.
Since Sony still has the top selling console in the world (PS2). There bound to pull out something soon that brings all the 360 fans over.
In my opinion the difference between 360 and PS3 is solely the games in which each console has exclusive.
360 is slightly ahead.