I have a lot of fond memories with the Wipeout series of futuristic racing games. My introduction to the franchise came in 1995 when a friend that lived across the street from me ended up getting the very first game in the series on his birthday for the original PlayStation. It reminded me so much of F-Zero that I was hooked on it and couldn’t get enough. Fast forward well into the future, and I’ve sunk countless hours into multiple titles in the franchise. Wipeout Omega Collection, the latest release on the PlayStation 4, brings together two iconic games from the series with remasters of Wipeout HD and Wipeout 2048. Together with the Wipeout HD Fury expansion pass, there’s a ton of content for both newcomers and veterans alike. Read on for our full Wipeout Omega Collection review.
Title: Wipeout Omega Collection
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Clever Beans and EPOS Game Studios
Available On: PlayStation 4
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4 Pro
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Review Game Purchased by Reviewer
Truth be told, Wipeout has never been an amazing performer when it comes to sales for Sony Interactive Entertainment. The original developer, Studio Liverpool (also known as Psygnosis), was shuttered in 2012 because it just didn’t make financial sense to keep them operating. It’s a shame, because their titles were relatively good. I was pleasantly surprised when Sony announced this collection of past Wipeout games, and hope has been somewhat restored that a new game in the series may come in the future.
Newcomers to the franchise are going to be in for one hell of a welcoming party. Wipeout has never been a series willing to hold your hand and ease you into the mechanics and racing. Even as a somewhat veteran to the games, I still found myself regularly bouncing off walls and falling behind in races until muscle memory started to pick up after hours upon hours of game time. It’s very rewarding and is a truly fun experience, if you stick with it and can manage to overcome the learning curve. The curve is so steep, however, that I’ve seen multiple people turned off from the racer throughout the years, and that still remains true with this collection. There’s an autopilot mode that is designed to help people when first learning the controls avoid walls and help with sharp turns. I experimented around with it to see how well it did, and honestly, I recommend leaving it off. It seemed to hurt more than help, especially if you have any basic fundamental skills of prior racing games from any franchise.
Going into the game, you can select from any of the three titles to jump in with and begin learning the ropes. The newest release, Wipeout 2048, originally released on the PlayStation Vita and is probably the best looking of the bunch, and the one I would recommend starting with. From there, you can move on to Wipeout HD, originally released on the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 3, and then it’s expansion pack, Wipeout HD Fury. While 2048 still looks beautiful and even more so in 4K resolution, HD and Fury are definitely starting to show their age, and it’s made more apparent when jumping around between tracks and different stages.
The campaign modes for all three games are completely separate, and each have slightly different mechanics and variations that need to be mastered. Each one also has a couple different race styles when going through the different campaign grids. Time attack races, races where you need to go over a number of certain areas, ones where the object is to destroy and take out other competitors, and of course, traditional racing. When you’re ready for a break from the campaign, you can jump into the Racebox mode, which allows you to mix and match with modes and options to set up your own events and and races.
Wipeout Omega Collection performs like a champion, running at a brisk 60 frames-per-second with no slowdown noticeable. Clever Beans and EPOS Game Studios really did a great job remastering these titles, and as mentioned, especially with Wipeout 2048. If you didn’t know better, it could honestly pass as an actual PlayStation 4 developed title instead of a PlayStation Vita title. Wipeout HD is a bit outdated though. When it was originally released back in 2008, it included content from Wipeout Pure from 2005 on the PlayStation Portable. Not much can be done at this point to make that look any better without a full remake.
And then there’s the racing itself. Wipeout has always been known for blazing fast speeds, quick turns, and mastering the tracks. Thankfully, all of that carries over from the original games with ease. As soon as you start playing, you’ll be amazed at how fast this series actually moves. The sense of speed is incredible, and it’s going to take a while to adjust and begin to understand the tracks and actually do well in the later races, especially when you start moving up in the speed classes. Much like Mario Kart and other racers, the true difficulty lies within the highest speed class, and it’s there that you should prepare for brutality and utter chaos.
Wipeout Omega Collection is a great entry point if you’ve never played through a game in the franchise before. Wipeout 2048 is the true standout from the collection, with HD and Fury definitely showing a bit of their age. It’s sad that nothing new was included in this package, as fans of the series have been eagerly awaiting what’s coming next. However, those looking for a true Wipeout experience need look no further. While not as impressive as a brand new title would be using all of today’s technology, this is still a great collection to own nonetheless.