Sony’s WipEOut series is one of the most prolific franchises to grace a PlayStation platform in the brand’s 15+ year history. Launched in 1995 alongside Sony’s grey telly box, the futuristic racing series has put in an appearance on every major console the electronics giant has released, up until and including PlayStation Vita last year. Disheartened we were to learn then, that developer SCE Liverpool Studio (formally Psygnosis) were shuttered in 2012, seemingly bringing the curtains down on this celebrated fast-paced franchise.
With a revival unlikely to happen, PSU.com thought the time was ripe to celebrate WipEout’s illustrious history by listing five things that made the series standout among its contemporaries, becoming one of our all-time favourite racers.
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WipEout’s adrenaline-charged soundtrack is an electronic force to be reckoned with. The series has always proved highly contemporary in its aural presentation; a feat no better illustrated by the fact Sony marketed the original game to clubbers and music-buyers by setting up playable kiosks in nightclubs. From The Chemical Brothers, Orbital to The Prodigy, WipEout’s soaring score is the perfect companion to the blistering gameplay and futuristic, neon-lit tracks.
Racers are notoriously tricky buggers at the best of times (unless you happen to be Mario Kart), but WipEout takes things to a new level. Just like Nintendo’s own F-Zero series, Sony’s fast-paced franchise is crushingly brutal when it wants to be. In fact, between having to tackle tight turns and avoid being reduced to scrap metal by your opponents, WipEout doesn’t leave much room for error. In order to score the best time – or if we’re talking about WipEout HD, collect all Trophies – you’re going to be as meticulous as possible in your planning, and have every corner, bump and straight embedded into your brain. If you want hardcore, then WipEout will give you a challenge you won’t forget.
Anti-gravity ships are awesome
Petrol heads have their pick of racers featuring the hottest cars on the market – Gran Turismo, Colin McRae Rally and Forza cater to all your needs – but WipEout let us escape reality and still enjoy the thrill of the race. Being set decades into the future, the franchise plonks us in the cockpit of some fancy anti-gravity ships, capable of reaching blindingly fast speeds and firing off rockets at the opposition. The sci-fi aura the games give off is brilliant, and the sensation of speed achieved within any given race is palpable – you won’t get this anywhere else.
It’s a visual showpiece
Not only does WipEout offer a stellar soundtrack, but its visuals – right from its inception on the PSone to present day – have always remained a standout component regardless of the platform. The futuristic environments afford an eyeball-popping and distinct aesthetic, packed with vibrant colours and stunning lighting effects. Sure, the PSone games may look dated now, but anyone who has grown up with the PlayStation brand will surely appreciate how spectacular they looked back in the day. Meanwhile, modern entries such as WipEout HD and 2048 are equally fantastic, boasting silky smooth frame rates and gorgeous environments. Regardless of the console, WipEout was one of the games you could show to your mates to illustrate your hardware’s graphical prowess.
Competitive multiplayer is a blast
Any good racer worth its salt needs a good multiplayer under its hood, and last but by no means least on our list is WipEout’s own offering. Whether you go split-screen with the old-school titles or online with HD or 2048, WipEout is one of the best multiplayer experiences to have graced a Sony console. The track difficulty inherently means you’ll be plugging away at each course like a madman in order to get the upper hand on your opponent(s), and cultivates one hell of a competitive streak in players. Sure, you might tear your hair out in frustration now and then, or end up cursing at your best mate from time to time, but it’s worth it.
Why do you love WipEout? Let us know in the comments section below.