Game Review: Wipeout HD (PS3-PSN)

 The long running racer series has finally arrived for the PlayStation 3 in the form of download from the PlayStation Store. Is it worth it? Is it any different than previous iterations? Read on to find out….

 

Wipeout HD is the ninth game in the Wipeout franchise, dating back to 1995 on the original Playstation, Sega Saturn and DOS.  For those of you who have never played a Wipeout game, it is a futuristic racer where the player controls an anti-gravity racer through various tracks.

Visually, Wipeout HD is a very pretty game and runs smoothly at 60 FPS. While playing, it is hard to really appreciate the graphics as you are constantly battling other racers or just trying to stay on the track as you speed through each race.

Wipeout HD could have easily been called Wipeout Remixed as it is a collection of tracks from previous games Wipeout Pure and Wipeout Pulse.  Through the campaign mode, there are 5 different race types. Speed Lap, Time Trial, Tournament, Single Race and Zone Mode. Speed lap and Time trial have you beating a predetermined time, Time Trial is for multiple laps as Speed lap is for a single lap. Single Race is exactly that a single race against other competitors, while Tournament is a series of races and the accumulated best score over these races wins.  Zone Mode, looks like something out of TRON. There are very little textures in the environment as you navigate the track. Each time you bump into a wall or fall off it, you lose energy and once you lose all your energy, you explode.

As you complete tracks and earn either a bronze, silver or gold medal, you unlock the track for Racebox mode. Racebox mode basically lets you customize the race completely for single or split screen play. Multiplayer is done in two ways, 2 player split-screen or for the first time 8 player online. 

As always, the music in Wipeout HD is an excellent collection of techno that fits the intensity of gameplay. It is one of the few game soundtracks that I hope is available for purchase in the PSN at some point in time.

The controls in Wipeout HD are very responsive and I have found that for me, I actually had to lower the sensitivity on some of the options to suit my style of driving the various craft. One of the new features is the ability to utilize the motion controls of the SixAxis. You can use this for Pitch only or Steering and Pitch of your craft. It takes a bit to get used to but I actually felt is was a lot more fun using it over the standard analog stick. Again it also has sensitivity options for the motion control as well, so you can tweak it to your liking.

Wipeout HD also has trophy support and there are 38 in all. Click here for a complete list, even the hidden ones. They range from very easy to insanely difficult.

Overall, Wipeout HD is a welcomed addition to my collection and at only $20.00, I feel that it is a steal.

Brian Says – BUY IT

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