The future is a heck of a place to race, and Wipeout Fusion certainly gives you an impression on how fast things can go.
Wipeout Fusion is the 5th game in the series if you count Wipeout Special Edition for PSOne and the first of the games for PS2. The developers have done their best to create a futuristic racer that takes the most out of the PS2 and it shows.
The graphics are really astounding and even with 16 racers on screen everything still runs smoothly. It’s only too bad that sometimes when you crash, the screen starts to shiver. They might have been able to get that problem out of the game but the developers must have thought that being already 1 year late is more than enough. Luckily for us these moments are really not often and don’t bother the overall game.
The 45 locations are very nice and ranging from a tropical rain forest to the moon and the fun thing is that next to the loopings and curves you also sometimes are able to fly upside down or on the top of a circuit instead of on the floor.
Something new to the series is weather conditions. While you normally race around with constantly having the same grip on the circuit, now you can have rain or snow making it really difficult for you but not too difficult.
Of course you’re not the only one on the track and except staying on the circuit you have to make sure your competitors don’t stay ahead of you. To help you with this there are several weapons at your disposal and more than enough powerups available including speed boosts, rockets, mines, etc.
It’s even so that without getting a podium place on a race you can still win the AG League championship by eliminating your enemies
The other interesting playmode is the Challenge mode where you have to succeed in several specific missions which can be winning a race, time trials, or again killing your adversaries in a certain amount of time. After having 5 wins in this mode, you get a Gold trial with which you can unlock some new extra-heavy weapons which can come handy for other races.
The Zone-mode can get unlocked and is fun as hell. In an ever-fastening ship you have to try and keep on the track for 30 rounds which is not really that simple. Most of the time you’re speed will go up so high that you’ll end up crashing.
Some more fun is when you start playing against a friend. You’ll have 5 extra weapons at your disposal which do not appear in the single player part and there’s nothing more funny that looking at his face when your friend suddenly finds out you’ve reversed all his controls (speed up becomes brake, right becomes left, etc) or when you activate his turbo right when he’s about to take a curve.
The speed of the game is at all times extremely fast and accompanied by some great music created by heavy weights as Timo Maas and Orbital to just name a few.
All in all I have to say that Wipeout Fusion impressed me alot and it cannot be compared to f.i. the PC versions we’re used to in the past. If you’ve got a PS2 and are looking for a fast-paced race game where you can do some serious shooting, this is the number 1 game for you.