WipEout Omega Collection PS4 Review
WipEout is back, for one last adrenalin-inducing chaos-paced lap around your heart and through “Tech-Tokyo-Tron-Styled” race tracks with Epic Anti-Gravity Race-Ships. I was swooned. #NoShame
Originally released in 1995, the Developers, Studio Liverpool (Psygnosis Limited), stopped making games in August 2012, however, we got to see and enjoy the final WipEout game that they would make, namely WipEout 2048, which graced the screens of PS Vita. I am a longstanding fan of the WipEout Franchise, and I was particularly thrilled to receive a review copy of The WipEout Omega Collection, seeing as I did not play WipEout since the last PlayStation Console Version way back in 2008 (WipEout HD). This Collection is essencially a “port” of the last three WipEout titles, two being from the Console Generation, namely WipEout HD and Fury and the above mentioned PS Vita title. Slight changes have been made though, changes that I noticed quite soon into playing, visual upgrades and sadly, the loss of the Original Soundtrack artist CoLD SToRAGE. I owe a lot to WipEout actually, especially my love for Tech, Trance, Minimal and Drum & Bass Music to date.
Why Another WipEout Guys?
To put it bluntly, everyone wants their chance at getting their title onto our Next Generation Gaming Systems, but this release folks, is nothing more than a classy homage to the once proud Studio Liverpool, these guys brought us many titles that will hit you right in the feels if you are an 80’s baby like me, with special mention going to the ever popular Discworld released in 1995. WipEout has never looked better, as this collection sat in a celeb change room and received a mighty gentle makeover with emphasis on improved lighting, remastered textures and if you’re playing on a PlayStation 4 Pro, you get to enjoy the Next Generation 4K and HDR support.
All three games included in the Omega Collection are sectioned off from one another, making it easy to scroll over, view your progress within each or basically, just simply and easily switch between games at will. An awesome feature called “Racebox” allows you to immediately get going without the frustration of progression if you are in a hurry, because there are 26 Race Tracks and 46 Unique Ships to Unlock and Play with, and Racebox gives you access to it all, chop chop.
Worth mention is the Online and Splitscreen Multi-Player Modes, both offering their own specialized moments of hilarity, frustration and down-right jolly-good fun. At the time of this review, the servers are packed! This is very encouraging, not just for the reception of this Omega Collection, but that the Franchise still has a very soft spot in the hearts of players around the world, long after it being put to rest along with it’s Developer. Sadly, I must admit, that WipEout Omega Collection may well prove to be an acquired taste, as the Legacy of WipEout depends on the original fans’ ability to spark that flame of interest in new players, convincing them to delve into the genre with Omega. It is very easy to quickly either accept or reject the “floaty and frictionless” racing style which detaches (pardon the bad pun) you from the conventional racing “ground rules”. This frustrated one or two of my spectators, one of which being my 7 year old son, who did not get the concept, you would think to a youngster, it would not really matter right?
On the otherside of the coin, I for one find a sense of excitement in the complex, narrow and visually busy track design, forcing you to focus on the task at hand, step away from reality and just get lost in a futuristic world of make-believe weaponized and Iconic Space Races.
The Omega Collection
With the WipEout Omega Collection, each one of the three included games have their own distinct “personalities” that set them apart from within their network. Even though it is the most recent in the Franchise, the biggest and most notable improvement would naturally be with WipEout 2048, previously being a PS Vita Exclusive. With now being able to enjoy WipEout 2048 on any size TV Screen (or in my case, a Projector) and a jump to 60fps, I honestly feel that WipEout 2048 now gains the spotlight it deserved in 2012, showcasing it’s very unique “style” with Race Tracks lined by brownstone buildings and World Famous sights like The Brooklyn Bridge. If you have a fear of heights, hold onto your socks or strap yourself down in your seat, because the sky-and-dip-limit really gets pushed way-way out of it’s limits when considering the Stupidly-Unrealistic Pattern of the Empire Climb Race Track that sends you racing up and down the sides of a Futuristic Skyscraper or with the Razor Edge Track Width of the Sol Race Track that soars into the Heavens (and beyond) and lastly the return of the most popular WipEout HD Racer Track, Sol 2.
WipEout HD, was available for download via the PlayStation Network late 2007 and early 2008 after being confined to the PSP for slightly over 10 Years. WipEout Pure and WipEout Pulse were both fantastic releases, transforming WipEout into something mean and powerful especially when they introduced the Mutated Version of Zone Mode, where your speed is gradually increased from an Aggressively Slow Crawl to Lightspeed Travel through a Wormhole as you attempt to thread your way through Psychedelic Copies of Existing Tracks (My personal best in Omega is Mach 1.2). Now this is what I would say sets WipEout apart from the other Zero Gravity titles out there!
The last of the three games part of Omega, WipEout Fury, is aggressive by nature, introducing addictive New Game Modes like Detonator and Eliminator. Detonator pretty-much-kinda mods WipEout into a Fast-Paced-Track-Confined Shooter, and Eliminator turns each race into a match of “I need to do as much damage as possible while keeping my shields intact”. These modes have unlimited lap restrictions, where in Eliminator the match only ends once one of the 8 racers reach a Damage value of 2000 Points. It is tricky… really. I really loved the Camera Mode, which allowed you to Rotate, Zoom, set Lighting, Focus and Aperture settings to take snapshots of your ship while Racing on the Track!
A very interesting note, is that there was a massive delay in the release of WipEout 3, as a result of Epilepsy Test Failure. The game had to go back to the drawing board because of the Neon Flashes, Rapid Objects and Swirly Race Tracks. With seriously impressive OST artists like The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers and Orbital, you can choose to replace the playlist with your own Spotify playlists on PlayStation 4. Something that would have rocked to make this an unforgettable addition to any library is if it was WipEout VR, but sadly there is no VR Support. Studio Liverpool could clearly not develop The Omega Collection, but has been craftily done by Series Veterans at Clever Beans and Sony XDev, who work out of the same office as the former WipEout creator! (Small World?)
WipEout Omega Collection was Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, and was Developed by Clever Beans, Sony Xdev and EPOS. The WipEout Omega Collection launched today, 7 June 2017 and at the time of this review, is available through BT Games for R555.00 on PlayStation 4. The Omega Collection is an epic reminder of the days back when games were simple, to the point and a niche presentation that appealed to every gamer at heart. There is nothing else like it, and with the loss of Studio Liverpool, it is quite likely that there will never be anything like it again. Yes, there are better futuristic race titles out there, but none can match WipEout. If you were a fan of any of the previous WipEout games, you will love this, potentially even keep it at the top of your game pile. If you are new to the series, it is easy to pick up and play, and at the current price, it is worth the fun it brings into your home and the tongue biting frustration it brings to your heart.