Wipeout: Omega Collection – Review
When our Editor Matt sent me a message asking me if I liked Wipeout, I got really excited. Of course, I like Wipeout! Who doesn’t like that show about people jumping on giant red balls and getting knocked into the water like a bunch of jabronis? I love watching people make idiots of themselves! To my disappointment, Matt was talking about a video game rather than the show, but this was short lived when only a few minutes into the game I realised: Wipeout absolutely freakin’ rocks.
Not having ever played the series before I didn’t know what to expect, so I jumped straight into the campaign thinking things would be explained to me along the way.
I got into my first race and sat there like a moron pressing R2 and wondering why I wasn’t going anywhere until I realised the control scheme for this title came from the 90’s and the accelerator was actually X. The confusion is real throughout the rest of the game too, with the loading screen tips only offering me very small snippets of somewhat useless information. You pick it up after a few losses but it would have been nice to have things explained before I had my arse handed to me.
The control scheme in this game really needs some work. By default, the accelerator is X, using weapons is square, “absorbing” a weapon (to restore your health) is circle and air brakes are the L2 and R2 triggers. This means that whenever I want to use a weapon or restore my health I have to take my finger off the accelerator; which wouldn’t be so bad if doing these things required a quick tap the button, but there are many weapons where square needs to be held to use effectively. A few seconds off the gas (or whatever the equivalent of gas is in space) reduces your speed significantly, and in Wipeout a few moments of slowness make or break you.
Despite its few (but incredibly frustrating) flaws, Wipeout is an absolutely amazing game. There are three different single player campaigns, each which have a bunch of levels to go through and play, so you’re really getting a lot of bang for your buck already. My favourite part though is that each of the campaigns has minimum criteria you have to hit in order to pass and then harder criteria to ace the level. Stuff like this always gets me, because I’m a sucker for trying to ace everything. I sat on one level trying to budge my medal from a silver to a gold for a good 40 minutes before I realised how long I’d been going at it for.
Contributing factors to how addictive Wipeout is is in some of the smaller details, one being the absolutely baller soundtrack. Drum and bass and electro-house music might not be everybody’s cup of tea but it just works with Wipeout. Plus any game with Prodigy in its soundtrack lineup is a winner if you ask me.
The other detail I loved is the fact that it takes mere seconds for the game to place you back on the track after you accidentally fly off somewhere. This was refreshing, especially after being burned for so many years by GODDAMN RAINBOW ROAD, whereby the time you’re placed back on the track it’s been a thousand years and your opponents have finished the race, grown old and friggin died. But anyway.
Wipeout is the kind of game that gives you “just one more race” syndrome something wicked. It’s so easy to sit there and hammer away at each race to try and get the gold class on each one. This is helped by the fact the races are all stupid fun- zooming through racetracks to beat your opponents or ace that perfect lap at high speeds is just awesome. Plus there’s a range of different race modes to cater to all styles of play. The classics are there; time trial, perfect lap, your standard race- but then there’s also zone and combat levels. Zone levels see you racing through as many “zones” as you can whilst the speed of your ship increases. As you get faster, handling gets harder and you crash into a lot of stuff, slowly whittling down your durability until you blow up. Combat levels though- they’re the absolute bomb (pun intended). The aim is to race through the track collecting weapons as you go and basically blow your opponents to kingdom come. You accumulate points by landing successful hits with rockets and missiles and the like against your opponents and at the end, the person with the most points (or the last man standing) wins. Any game where you can blow shit up is a winner in my books, and coupled with racing around kick ass race tracks makes for one of my most favourite racing game experience since the Burnout games.
Whether you want to play this game with mates, or just pump up the jams and solo the campaign at your own pace, Wipeout is beyond fun for both fans of the franchise and newcomers alike. If you pick up one racing game over the next few months make it this one, there will be no regrets I can assure you.