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Review

WipEout Omega Collection Review

Back in the anti-grav saddle.

Once a shining light amongst Sony’s exclusives, Wipeout epitomised the cool, tuned-in ethos that played perfectly within the PlayStation’s key demographic. It appealed to the cool kids, the clubbers, the gamers growing out of the primary coloured experiences Sega and Nintendo had perfected. As time went by, Wipeout became synonymous with Sony’s consoles, both at home and on the go, until, suddenly, it wasn’t there anymore.

SCE Liverpool, formerly known as Pysgnosis, birthplace of this anti-gravity racer, was unceremoniously closed in 2012, only a short time after releasing one of the PS Vita’s best launch titles in Wipeout 2048. A year and a half later saw the release of the PS4 and though it has since utterly dominated the gaming landscape, there’s been a hole in the console’s software library that only a Feisar-shaped craft can fill.

Without a dedicated studio to create a new Wipeout game though, PS4 owners will have to make do with up-rezzed versions of the last few titles. The PS Vita’s Wipeout 2048 is joined by Wipeout HD and Fury, which also appeared as DLC for the handheld title, having originated on the PS3, and which were themselves HD versions of the PSP’s Wipeout Pulse and Pure. While these tracks have never looked better, there’s the possibility that you’ve been racing around them for the best part of twelve years. That doesn’t seem to matter much when they’re hurtling by at eye-bleeding speeds on a 55” 4K TV.

If you’ve got the 4K HDR TV to suit, Wipeout Omega Collection will display at either a native 4K if you turn the motion blur effect off or a checkboarded 2160p with it enabled. On top of that, you get lovely HDR as wel, and the series’ trademark 60fps action is delivered more or less flawlessly, with only the odd stutter during the pre-race passover. It’s truly something to behold. The only way to play 2048 on a TV screen before now was with a hacked PSTV, and it’s safe to say that this is much less faff and looks much more impressive. Sure, it’s a shame we’re not getting a brand new Wipeout that really pushes the PS4’s capabilities, but this isn’t a bad substitute by any stretch.

There is a clear visual difference between the 2048 portion of the game and HD and Fury, though it’s much less jarring if you’re set on a particular version rather than jumping back and forth. As the more modern release, it’s no surprise that 2048 looks the more attractive, and thanks to the earlier setting its track design is much more characterful. Perhaps more unsettling for players will be the difference in handling between the Vita game title and those from the PS3. HD and Fury feel much tighter than 2048, and though it makes sense given that they’re different games set in different eras, it can be tough to transition between the two – at least for the first lap or two.

We’ve played much of HD and Fury before – three times by my count – but really, it’s all about getting your hands on 2048, and playing it shorn of the PS Vita’s constraints. Moving from the cramped controls and ditching the short analogue sticks of Sony’s under-supported handheld is transformative, and the tracks gain a new sense of scale and space from being displayed on a larger screen. Using the vastly superior DualShock 4 also makes a big difference here, and though you may know these tracks, you’ve never been given the best tools with which to tame the until now.

The online portion of the game is fairly comprehensive, and you can make plenty of changes to the set-up of online races, and form your own lobby using all of the collection’s 26 tracks. Those hoping for ranked matchmaking are also in luck, and you rank up as you progress through the online multiplayer. You also collect badges which display at the end of a race, such as for obtaining the highest speed or performing the most barrel rolls, all of which are added to your profile. The first time I’ve played Wipeout with two player split screen for a number of years, it’s as raucous and enjoyable as you’d hope.

Beyond the upscaled visuals, the other changes are fairly meaningless, though they’ve all been done to try and tie the different parts of the collection together. The announcers are now unified across the game, with weapon warnings making the jump from the HD tracks to the 2048 ones, while pickup announcements make the jump in the opposite direction. It’s something that purists will no doubt frown at, but it makes sense to have parity between the old and the new.

That same ethos hasn’t really passed across to the game’s soundtrack. Though artists that are indelibly linked to the series such as The Chemical Brothers and Prodigy contribute some of their newer material, the emphasis is on modern electronica, and though its heart-pumpingly intense beats fit perfectly with the action and with the series’ outlook, it seems a shame that there aren’t a few more nods to where the series has come from. Of course, you can just fire up a Spotify soundtrack and listen to as much Leftfield and Orbital as you like, but there needs to be some CoLD SToRAGE to really hit the spot.

What’s Good:

  • Incredible 4K HDR visuals
  • Wipeout 2048 content is fantastic on the big screen
  • Decent online options and performance

What’s Bad:

  • Some disparity between the remastered Vita and PS3 content
  • Fans may be overly familiar with much of the collection

Wipeout Omega Collection pulls together some of the series’ most recent highlights and uses the power of the PlayStation 4 Pro to keep the franchise on the technological bleeding edge – and it does so in spectacular fashion. This feels like far more than a tentative step towards a fully-fledged new entry, proving that as long as there’s PlayStation, there should be Wipeout.

Score: 9/10

Version tested: PlayStation 4 Pro

11 Comments
  1. rSp8
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    I can’t wait for this! June is DEFINITELY retro month on PlayStation. We’ve already had Tekken last week, this week we get Wipeout and later this month we get Crash Bandicoot and Micro Machines!

    Comment posted on 05/06/2017 at 17:16.
  2. double-o-dave
    Member
    Since: Nov 2008

    Nice review. I pre-ordered last night.

    What did you prefer? – Native 4k or the motion blur effect on the Pro as my 65″ HDR 4K Badboy has been waiting for this for a while!

    Comment posted on 05/06/2017 at 17:17.
    • Dominic Leighton
      Member
      Since: Mar 2012

      I settled on the motion blur in the end – it just feels…right?

      Comment posted on 05/06/2017 at 18:11.
      • double-o-dave
        Member
        Since: Nov 2008

        I’ll probably pick that too.

        Comment posted on 05/06/2017 at 18:39.
  3. ron_mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    Great review, looking forward to this arriving in a couple of days time. It’s funny how much most of us panned the deluge of teamsters a few years ago and now we’re dribbling for some Wipeout that, as you say, some of us have rinsed to death three times already. It’s sad that this isn’t a complete collection of tracks and vehicles from the entire series, that would’ve been truly special, but I’m glad to see the series last hurrah making our eyes bleed for probably the final time in glorious 4K and with online and split screen thrown in. Thanks to the guys who put this together and especially to Studio Liverpool for all the thumping headaches :)

    Comment posted on 05/06/2017 at 17:51.
    • ron_mcphatty
      Member
      Since: Sep 2008

      Remakes, not teamsters!! Bloody autocorrect.

      Comment posted on 05/06/2017 at 17:52.
      • double-o-dave
        Member
        Since: Nov 2008

        I actually read that as ‘remasters’ for some reason

        Comment posted on 05/06/2017 at 18:40.
      • ron_mcphatty
        Member
        Since: Sep 2008

        Hah, youre ahead of the curve with your mental autocorrecting of autocorrect! I just feel like a compulsive spelling and grammar nazi that can’t get anything right himself.

        Comment posted on 06/06/2017 at 08:05.
  4. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    All over it. Gassed for this revisit.

    Comment posted on 05/06/2017 at 22:40.
  5. camdaz
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    Looking forward to seeing the “Incredible 4K HDR visuals”

    Comment posted on 05/06/2017 at 23:47.
  6. Jake Durasamy
    Member
    Since: Jun 2016

    This looks like a lot of fun. Eager to try out 2048 on PS4 with the improved controls.

    Comment posted on 06/06/2017 at 00:11.

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