There is no question of the almost immediate positive response this game got when it was first debuted for the Sony Playstation. Psygnosis have repeated the performance with an excellent PC port. Racing games are a genre that has only a couple basic styles -- race for speed, or race for speed with weapons. Wipeout fits into the second category. Your spacecraft flies extremely smooth on a true 3D course, where taking the right line through the course is absolutely essential. The handling is nothing short of remarkable. The PC version, with an analog joystick, has handling that far exceeds that of the Playstation. The sound is incredible, and the graphics excellent. Wipeout supports network play for up to 8-players!
WipeOut has been the first of a series of PC games to be converted from the Sony PlayStation console. Psygnosis, renamed Sony Interactive Europe last year, already shipped four titles for the PC platform shortly after their release on the PlayStation. For your information, these titles include Destruction Derby, 3D Lemmings and Assault Rigs.
The concept behind WipeOut is a racing game in which you must be the first driver to cross the finish line. There would be nothing very original about it if you could not shoot at the other drivers while driving. There were however, similar games that were released in the past such as Crash'n Burn on the 3DO and Megarace on the PC, but if you compare them to WipeOut for the PlayStation, none can pretend to come close.
As you can guess, the PC version does not compare at all with the PlayStation version. The difference consists essentially in the speed at which the graphics are displayed on the screen. This does not mean the game is not worth playing, but don't expect the same gameplay!
The splendid introduction of the game gives you an idea of what kind of vehicle you will drive: a futuristic car which levitates on the road with a high maniability. When beginning a new game, you will be given the choice between two different classes: Venom and Rapier. Only the first will be selectable as you must reach a certain level of expertise before moving on to the second class. Before starting a race, you must select the competition you will enter. There are the Championship, the time trial and a single race. In the time trial, your goal is to beat the existing lap record, thus training your driving skills for the Championship. The single race takes place on the track of your choice with seven opponents, with you starting in the last position. You will then have to choose one of the four available teams, and select one pilot among the two present in each team. After these selections, you will finally start the race. Six huge 3D tracks await you in WipeOut with tunnels, bridges, twisting segments and more, over several landscapes remarkably designed. Unlike certain games on consoles, the landscape will not pop up suddenly piece by piece as you approach it, because it was taken into consideration during the design of the tracks.
The 3D graphics of WipeOut are not pre-rendered like Megarace, but instead generated in real time, following, of course, the 3D design of the track itself. This involves a great freedom of moment only limited by the barriers along the track. If you feel like you want to drive the wrong way, don't hesitate and go for it, but, of course, this is not how you will win the Championship! The controls at first will be quite time consuming to master as your car is floating on air at high speed, inertia won't allow you to go exactly where you want to. That's why your car is equipped with directional brakes on each side to help you correct the trajectory. I tried really hard to avoid using them, but the result was catastrophic. My car was always bouncing from one side of the road to another, and I always finished last in every race. So believe me, it is wise to use the side brakes!
The game can only be played by a single player, and while the network & serial add-on is being done by the company, you can only race against yourself in the time trial or against the artificial opponents in the Championship. The game supports keyboard, mouse and joystick controls and you can also configure the keys on the keyboard and choose the sensibility for the mouse. You will have no less than six keys to choose on your keyboard, so make sure they are all centered if you don't want to cross your fingers.
WipeOut's soundtrack matches the feeling of speed that comes from the game with a techno-style music playing directly from the CD. The fans will be delighted, but for those who don't like the music, the options will let you select the proportion between sound effects and music.
WipeOut should find a good audience that is looking for speed and action.
WipEout is a futuristic racing game set in the year 2052. Racing for one of four teams, the player competes in the F3600 Anti-Gravity Racing League on six tracks. Each team's hovercraft racer has different ratings in speed, acceleration and turning. In addition to high-speed racing, there is also shooting in the game, with different weapon pickups like rockets and mines available, useful for slowing one's opponents down. Shields can also be picked up and can block the weapons' effects.
There are championship, single race and time trial modes. Winning the championship in the regular Venom class unlocks the Rapier class, where the craft are faster and the tracks have slightly different looks.
There is also a two-player mode where two opponents can race and shoot at each other.
People who downloaded WipEout have also downloaded:
Wipeout XL (a.k.a. Wipeout 2097), Witchaven, Resident Evil, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Witchaven II: Blood Vengeance, Unreal Tournament, William Shatner's TekWar, Powerslave (a.k.a. Exhumed)
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