View Full Version : My Wip3out 'Sample Review'

Chris OTR
26th February 2008, 09:20 AM

I just discovered this 'Sample Review' I wrote about Wip3out. I wrote it years ago (not long after Wip3out launched, I guess!), and posted it to EDGE magazine, hoping for a job! The style was supposed to be similar to EDGE's editorial style at the time.

I know it's not the best review ever written, so no brutal comments necessary thanks ;) Just thought I might as well put it up here!


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Sample Review – Wip3out

It’s a great shame, but not a great surprise. Wip3out doesn’t revolutionise the futuristic racing genre in the way that the first Wipeout did. When it was released on Playstation launch day, the game’s incredible speed, depth, sumptuous visuals and excellent big beat soundtrack ensured it would become an instant Playstation classic. There was little on the console to compare with the sensation of racing hugely overpowered ships around tracks rarely wider than a country lane, battling not only the barriers but seven other opponents. Unfortunately, instead of attempting to radically improve the Wipeout experience, Psygnosis have simply updated Wip3out, adding new tracks, teams, and gameplay modes. If all the great attributes of the earlier games had remained, complemented by a few exciting new features, Psygnosis would have had a winner on their hands. Unfortunately, it’s in areas where the Wipeout series previously excelled that problems now arise.

The appeal of Wipeout 2097 came in part from the convincing portrayal of physics in the environment. In car racing games, it’s a common problem to find that the cars give the impression of floating above the track, rather that driving on it. Wip3out turns that problem on its head – the ships should give the impression of hurtling above the track, and the sensation is not nearly as clear as it was in the first game. The problem stems from two changes to the game. The first is the new high-resolution screen mode. To achieve the improved graphics, the previous game’s incredible frame rate has been sacrificed, and the lower frame rate ruins the sensations of immersion and speed on which the Wipeout series depends. The second disappointing change is the in game sound effects. Wipeout once sounded like a revolutionary game; the sound of air rushing past your ship and dragging on your airbrakes enhanced the feeling of movement provided by the then-revolutionary graphics. Now a peculiar overbearing droning noise accompanies the on-screen action.

Despite its problems, Wip3out remains an impressive racing game. Support for the analogue dual-shock controller is well implemented, although the quicker movements possible with the digital pad seem to allow faster lap times. Most of the new improvements are impressive; in particular, the new tracks are varied and challenging, and the new two-player mode is excellent - if you have a friend who is around the same skill level as you, you can expect to lose a few evenings if you buy this game. Visually, the Designers Republic influence still prevails, with bold corporate logos littering the scenery, but this time around the soundtrack has changed to keep up with the times, focusing on current trance classics.

As it stands, any Playstation owner who doesn’t already own a Wipeout game should buy one straight away. Less clear is why they should buy Wip3out when the other two games are just as good and available cheaper. Seasoned Wipeout players should sit tight – it won’t be long until the inevitable Playstation 2 Wipeout is announced, and it could be revolutionary rather than evolutionary.

RJ O'Connell
26th February 2008, 10:21 PM
Great job - how long has that one been lying around the computer, Chris? ;)

Though, the prediction at the end - um, well...it was a revolutionary game. Kind of in the sense that New Coke and the Nintendo Virtual Boy were "revolutions" in what they did.

Chris OTR
27th February 2008, 08:27 AM

Heh, yeah, I laughed when I read my comment about Fusion as well. Oh well, never mind!

I checked the "document creation" date - 29/11/1999 - a couple of months after Wip3out came out.

27th February 2008, 05:40 PM
Tsk tsk. I thought W3O was very necessary to own. Still do. :D

Rapier Racer
27th February 2008, 06:08 PM
I have to agree with Lance, it's where Assegai were born after all 8) Aside from that the look and feel of the game easily make it my favourite of the classic era. (SE)

27th February 2008, 06:21 PM
Not to mention Icaras, the sleek and difficult.

To me, W3O's feel is exactly right.

27th February 2008, 09:37 PM
Agreed... very much so... if I could, I'd request the next PS3 Wipeout or whatever to be built off from the base of Wipeout 3 all over again... Just that the wall-scraping speed-up physics were a little wrong, but other than that, it was a beautiful game... even the scraping, even though didn't make sense, gave you more of a rush than the now very-popular BR...

27th February 2008, 09:48 PM
I find the turboscrape to be a unique and interesting challenge. 8)

RJ O'Connell
27th February 2008, 10:43 PM
Here's my own opinion on WO3.

It's the most graphically impressive Wipeout to date, given the hardware it was released on. The soundtrack has high points (Xpander) and some music tracks that just feel dull. Analog Control is a nice addition but I'd just stick with the D-Pad or NeGcon. The tracks offer their own unique challenge, and they range from the thrilling (Mega Mall, Manortop) to the downright frustrating (P-Mar Project.) The ships are very well-balanced, but it's easy to find that Icaras is by far the ship of choice (I still stand by the WO3 AG Systems though!)

But it can't replace WO1 as my personal favourite. And the menu screens look too sterile and the original has a rather annoying method of unlocking tracks/ships/prototypes. But this is still a damn good PS1 game. Certainly not just a good Wipeout installment, and not just a good racing title.

Chris OTR
1st March 2008, 04:15 AM
It's been so long now since I've played Wip3out that I might have different opinions about it, but all I can say is I know that what I wrote then came from the heart, and I definitely believed what I was saying.

Perspectives change though, so who knows what I'd think if I played it now. I know when I tried the original WipEout again recently, I was shocked just how brutally unforgiving it is. I remember loving that aspect at the time! (Elitism!)