Review: wipeOut HD + Fury

Review: wipeOut HD + Fury

Since its inception back in 1995, wipEout has been a rather niche racing series for Sony and many people have been patiently waiting to see how the game fares in HD. One word: Awesome!

Don’t Fix What Isn’t Broken

WipEout has grown a lot since it began back in the mid 90’s and has seen 7 total titles up to this point. WipEout HD takes the best features of every game before it and packs them all into a wonderfully complex HD package.

Now, don’t confuse this title with just a rehashing of some old concepts. No, sir! This game has more than enough content to warrant a full retail release and could probably get away with charging $60, but Sony has decided to please the fans and leave it as a PSN exclusive and drop the price a tad. If you are one of those people that waits for full retail games to go on sale and hit the bargain bin, then you should probably buy this game right now because it is such a smoking deal.

WipEout has always been focused on presentation and challenge. This game clips along at an unwavering 60fps in stunning 1080p HD. There was no doubt in my mind that the WipEout series would lend itself beautifully to the HD world simply because it always had a very crisp, fresh look to it that was very easy on the eyes.

Exponential Growth

For those of you unfamiliar with what the game is about, don’t worry. The concept isn’t too terribly difficult. Basically, you are behind the wheel of a high speed, futuristic bobsled that is equipped with quite the variety of weapons. It does come across as a simple racing game at first, but you will soon learn just how intricate this game is.

The first few levels are going to get you introduced to the concept of the game and you should be able to breeze through them with no problem. Learning the responsiveness and cornering techniques during these first few stages is going to be crucial for what is to come. This game gets hard very early on and it never looks back.

To give you an idea of how hard this game gets, I was about halfway through before I was frustrated almost beyond reproach. The three different game modes, Time Trial, Speed Lap, Basic Race, and Zone Events, all take a different set of skills that you are going to have to hone as you go. This game’s difficulty level increases exponentially. Meaning that as the difficulty level increases, so do the requirements for progressing. It’s brutal, but then again it is a welcome challenge.

The game does not progress as most racers do. It is far from linear thanks to the grid system. You can choose from a series of events at any time and the game modes are mixed together quite nicely. You are going to be hard pressed to complain about having too many of one event type.

Pulse Revisited

By the time you reach the halfway point in the game, provided you have mastered the skills needed to reach even that point, you are going to see just how much content is taken from the previous games. If you obsessed over WipEout Pulse for the PSP then all of the tracks are going to be strangely familiar to you because they are all taken directly from that game. This should be a bad thing, but racing these courses again in HD is worth the replay of beloved old tracks.

Now, the racing itself is slick, smooth, frantic, and loaded with weapons. You are going to be air braking around corners to find apex while trying to lock onto the sled in front of you with one of the many weapons at your disposal.

 

The most basic weapons are the rockets. These are fairly basic and need very little description as a rocket can only really do so much. A weapon called the Leach Beam is going to be quite useful if you are looking to make a quick pass as this weapon allows you to suck the speed out of your opponents and leave them in your wake. The Quake weapon causes a pseudo earthquake and sends shockwaves through the surrounding track, causing opponents a bit of inconvenience.

Not all of the weapons ae great, though. Some weapons that just plain suck are thrown in there for good measure and to keep you on your toes. However, there is an upshot to these duds. You can absorb any weapon into your ship and repair it. You are going to be utilizing this feature quite often later in the game just to survive and make it to the finish line. Sometimes finishing is decided upon whether or not you can make it to the next weapon and absorb it. This strategy is a great inclusion because you may get a great weapon that would be better saved for a hairy situation, but you are running low on life and can’t risk another hit. What do you do?

A Futuristic Rave With Afterburners

I have never really been a techno type music fan, but the WipEout soundtrack is quite entertaining and it really fits the motif quite well. This game is futuristic and deserves a futuristic type soundtrack. It doesn’t beat you across the face with thumping bass beats and annoying riifs. Rather, the music falls into the background takes a seat behind all the action.

Best Played With Friends

Finally, the online multiplayer is bar none. For a game that runs as smoothly as it does in single player, you would expect it to chug a bit online, especially with support for up to eight racers. However, this game flawless online and runs just as smoothly as the single player experience.

If you are looking for a good racing challenge that is going to push your ability to man up or get out to the limit, then WipEout HD is certainly what you are looking for. The games polished visuals and frantic racing keeps you coming back for more, even after you’ve been kicked and beaten several times. Plain and simple… play this game and love it.

Pros:

  • Stunning 1080p visuals
  • Loads of content
  • Incredibly challenging
  • Weapon strategies

Cons:

  • Difficulty brick wall
  • Some rehashed content

Score: 9.5/10

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