With Wipeout XL, the Playstation had an incredible topgame. Not only did the player get superfast races, he also got a fantastic setting and finishing that completely fitted with the time. After that, the series never managed to convince anymore and the wait was for the PSP version. Now that it’s here, and carries the title Wipeout Pure, we put our critical eye on it to see whether the pureness from the title also is present in the game.
The concept of the newest Wipeout is as simple as ingenious. You choose from a series of futuristic racepods, get one of the many available tracks in front of you and try to get over the finishline first. You can’t only beat your opponents by going faster than them but thanks to the various pick-ups and speeding parts you can also blow them from the track or at least slow them down.
Such a simple setup doesn’t need a complex console and the PSP is perfect for this game. You can configure the controls yourself, but next to the shoot-, throttle, and left and right buttons you only have the airbreaks that allow you to make sharp corners. Ideal for flying like a madman through the surroundings.
As the game progresses and you get faster ships at your disposal you’ll get more of that typical feeling that’s so addictive: doing perfect rounds at an unbelieveable speed for a handheld. It’s truly spectacular at which pace the corners follow up on each other if you for instance start up the mode “The Zone”. There you have to finish as many laps as possible until your ship breaks down.
As if making perfect rounds doesn’t require enough concentration, you’ve also got those previously mentioned pick-ups. You can get mines, rockets and speedboosts amongst others. These can be used to have your opponents eat metal or to have them transferred into energy for your shield so that you can bounce against the sides a couple of times again or swallow another rocket.
Now and then I had the feeling that this stood in the way of the pure racing but thanks to the other modes and the good balance of it all this pick-up part never started to bother me. The perfect combination of the race and arcade gameplay with the accompanying need to get to know the tracks better (so that you can go even faster) add up to a high addiction factor.
I already spoke abouth the fantastic “The Zone” mode (my favorite) but next to that you’ve also got the more classic possibilities like single races, tournament races, free play and time trials. These all speak for themselves and very fun is the fact that about all scores and times are being kept. “Breaking the record” with your family and friends will again be one of your favorite occupations. That you can unlock a lot of things like new tracks, ships and tons of artwork is a nice extra on top.
Through the download option you can get new stuff like skins, tracks and ships from the website. Also Wi-Fi multiplayer for up to 8 players is present. More than enough content and fun on this UMD disk! The only downpoint I could think of is that some more variation and surprises could have been put in the tracks and ships but wit the often new and free content we’ve got a hard time to complain.
In my humble opinion this is one of those rare games where the visuals add to the overall gameplay experience. Not only on a technical side this is one of the best-looking PSP-games (3D lighting effects, models, details in the tracks, explosions,…) but also in the artwork and design this game rises above 90% of all other games. From the menus to the ships and the tracks; everything breathes a very futuristic, tight and streamlined look that I loved enormously and which at the same time manages to create a true Wipeout world.
This all is perfectly added with a fantastic soundtrack that will most definitely be appreciated by people who love Drum’n Bass and consorts. Also the sound effects are great by the way.
Wipeout Pure is up to now the best PSP-game I got in my hands. Not only does it offer incredibly fast and challenging gameplay, the graphics are both on a technical and artistical field unseen for a handheld. Add to that the free new content and the many game modes and you know what kind of pearl you’ve got in your hands. And then I’m not even talking about The Zone!