Revisiting wipEout Omega Collection
I’ve been a long time and die hard fan of the wipEout series, ever since I bought the first game on the original PlayStation back in 1995. For some reason I was intrigued and it wasn’t only by the beautiful silver cover art. It was a combination of what racing may evolve to: the sci-fi setting speaking to the imagination, the pounding soundtrack with some of the best raw electro tracks and the clean and inspiring artwork created by The Designers Republic captivating the spirit of the sport perfectly. Despite the series went through a lot of ups and downs over the years to follow, it always meant something special for me. And even though the Omega Collection on the PlayStation 4 is available for almost a year now, it’s still worth paying it a visit.
The Omega Collection consists of 3 games: pure and diverse wipEout HD, neon combat heavy wipEout HD Fury and the more raw urban wipEout 2048, each brilliantly remastered and offering its own campaign. Well, actually HD in itself is a remaster of wipEout Pulse on the PSP, but let’s just ignore that. You know what? Let’s ignore the remaster part altogether! These games look gorgeous! With upgraded textures, lighting and models while everything runs smoothly at 60 FPS, these games’ graphics are absolutely holding up!
“At the highest speeds wipEout becomes blistering fast requiring almost inhuman reflexes and perhaps even a bottle of eye drops.”
But let’s talk about a downside first. My biggest problem with the game is how it is structured. The beginning of each campaign, which you’ll have to plow through to unlock all the ships, is painfully slow and feels almost boring. It’s only after grinding through the first races you’ll get to the speed that feels most comfortable … only for the game to become too quick after a while. At the highest speeds wipEout becomes blistering fast requiring almost inhuman reflexes and perhaps even a bottle of eye drops. You’ll feel the burn!
For that reason alone I spend most of the time in Racebox where I get to choose my favorite race type and speed before I hit the track. While for instance combat mode, where the emphasis is on doing damage, is a nice variation, I still prefer playing zone mode or standard races where the key is nailing the perfect racing line and hitting as many as speed pads as you possibly can.
“There’s a satisfying floatiness when shearing across the track that many other games in the genre seem to be lacking.”
It’s probably just a matter of preference, but to me the physics behind wipEout always felt spot on. Granted, the first one was rough around the edges and Fusion was a bit of a wrong direction in the series, but there’s a satisfying floatiness when shearing across the track, that many other games in the genre like Formula Fusion or Red Out seem to be lacking, To be fair though I haven’t tried the latter myself as it’s still on my to do list.
Like I already mentioned in my introduction, wipEout is also known for its exceptional soundtrack. Unfortunately due to copyrights I had to disable the music for this YouTube video. But if you want to check out some tracks yourself, there’s a link to the Spotify playlist in the video description below. Tastes differ, but even if you’re not a fan of the genre, I still believe it fits the game perfectly and only adds to the complete atmosphere.
“The Omega Collection is a perfect tribute to what wipEout was, and hopefully again could be.”
After all these years I’m still hoping Sony will do the series justice by expanding on it with a completely new game. However, with the closure of Studio Liverpool, this doesn’t seem likely in the near future. Still, I do want to emphasise the Omega Collection is a perfect tribute to what wipEout was, and hopefully again could be. Currently priced at around 35 €, biased as I am, this is an absolute steal. Whether you’re a long time veteran or completely new to the series. If you happen to be in for some high speed anti-gravity racing, be sure to give it a try and I guarantee you’ll be amazed!