Back to the fu­ture

Sony’s remastered racer proves that some things never get old.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Technology - By MAD­HA­VAN M mad­ha­van@thes­tar.com.my

IF THERE is one fran­chise that’s syn­ony­mous with speed and style, it has to be Wipe­out, a se­ries ex­clu­sive to the PlaySta­tion videogame con­soles.

The grav­ity de­fy­ing fu­tur­is­tic racer is back for another round on the PlaySta­tion 4 but as the orig­i­nal de­vel­oper – Sony Com­puter En­ter­tain­ment Stu­dio Liver­pool – is no more, you are not get­ting any­thing new.

What you will find in the Wipe­out Omega Col­lec­tion is Wipe­out HD, orig­i­nally re­leased on the PlaySta­tion 3, and its ex­pan­sion, Fury, as well as Wipe­out 2048 which was pre­vi­ously ex­clu­sive to Sony’s hand­held gam­ing de­vice, the PS Vita.

Ter­rific trio

All three have re­ceived the nec­es­sary spit and pol­ish, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the PS4’s – and its more pow­er­ful sib­ling, the PS4 Pro’s – su­pe­rior fire­power.

As ex­pected, the PS Vita ver­sion has re­ceived the big­gest makeover, not just in the graph­ics depart­ment but also in terms of frame rate, dou­bling the Vita’s 30fps (frames per sec­ond) to 60pfs in the Omega col­lec­tion.

And in a game where it’s all about speed, you’ll re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the bump, as con­trol­ling the ve­hi­cles has never been smoother.

How­ever, as we only own the PS4, we didn’t get to en­joy the 4K and HDR (high dy­namic range) en­hance­ments that the PS4 Pro brings to the table.

Fast and fu­ri­ous

First off is Wipe­out HD and if mem­ory serves us right, it plays just like on the PS3 so you are pretty much get­ting the same game with sharper graph­ics and slightly bet­ter frame rates.

That’s not re­ally a ter­ri­ble thing – it was one of the first strong ti­tles in the se­ries and it’s still in­sanely fun to play be­cause no other game is quite like it.

There’s just some­thing awe­some about pi­lot­ing anti-grav­ity ships at full throt­tle on tight tracks that twirl around build­ings in a fu­tur­is­tic city.

If you are not fa­mil­iar with the fran­chise, it will take some get­ting used to, as mas­ter­ing the con­trols, and es­pe­cially the air brakes, is vi­tal for sur­viv­ing tracks that send you up and down build­ings.

But it’s just not the twirling tracks you have to worry about – the game also has plenty of pick ups that arm you and your op­po­nents with mis­siles, mines and all sorts of slick power ups.

The mix of me­chan­ics all work to keep you com­ing back for more as there’s plenty to un­lock too, from new ships to nicer skins to even more con­vo­luted tracks.

When you fire up the Fury ex­pan­sion, you get even more modes that shift the pace to a lot more shoot­ing, so if the ear­lier modes didn’t give you an adren­a­line rush, this def­i­nitely will.

There are also 28 pul­sat­ing sound­tracks to keep you pumped through­out the race. They are mostly elec­tronic dance num­bers which is just the right mu­sic to match the fran­tic pace of the game.

Past is present

The fi­nal en­try – Wipe­out 2048 – is ac­tu­ally a pre­quel of sorts, as it takes place be­fore Wipe­out HD (and Fury) so you’ll see fa­mil­iar land­marks such as the Brook­lyn Bridge and the Empire State Build­ing.

It’s a nice touch ac­tu­ally as you get to see how anti-grav­ity rac­ing pro­gressed in the Wipe­out world through the cam­paign’s three rac­ing sea­sons.

What’s re­ally fun is that you can play the ti­tles in any or­der at any time so if you are get­ting bored of one, you can switch to another.

Or you could skip the cam­paign al­to­gether and use the Race­box mode with all the tracks and modes un­locked – so maybe there is such a thing as a free lunch af­ter all in the fu­ture.

This mode is prob­a­bly the rea­son why you’ll keep the game in­stalled on your con­sole long af­ter you are done with the cam­paigns, as Wipe­out is great to pick up and play at any­time for a few min­utes.

Start to fin­ish

Although you are not get­ting any­thing new, Sony has done a good job of bundling ti­tles that each of­fer some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.

And even Wipe­out vets may not have had the chance to try out Wipe­out 2048 as it was a PS Vita ex­clu­sive and no­body is crazy enough to get the hand­held just for this game.

I just wished it was cheaper – RM99 would have made this bun­dle a sweet deal. For RM149, I would have ex­pected it to in­clude VR sup­port as Wipe­out has all it takes to make it a mind blow­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

So we sug­gest you wait for a sale, or pray that it’s in­cluded as a free­bie in a PSN Plus of­fer­ing in the fu­ture.

Also, it doesn’t mat­ter if you are a fan or new to the se­ries – you’ll en­joy the col­lec­tion as long as you have a se­ri­ous case of need for speed. WIPE­OUT OMEGA COL­LEC­TION

(Sony XDev/Clever Beans/Epos Game Stu­dios)

Fu­tur­is­tic rac­ing game for PS4

PRICE: RM149 on PSN

Re­view unit cour­tesy of Sony In­ter­ac­tive En­ter­tain­ment

PROS: Not a com­plete col­lec­tion but packs the best ti­tles and ex­pan­sion; still looks stylish; tons of tracks; plenty of re­playa­bil­ity.

CONS: Pricey; noth­ing new; no sup­port for PS VR.

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