Review: Wipeout HD Fury
There’s a thing to be said for SCE Studio Liverpool. For one, they are relentless perfectionists. At the beginning of Wipeout HD’s development, the plan was to just take the psp games, “Pure” and “Pulse”, re-render them in HD, and slap them on the playstation network at a bargain price. But of course, the studio formerly known as Psygnosis decided that the old models and textures didn’t quite cut the mustard when played back in 1080p. Hence, the game suffered delay after delay (though at least one delay can be attributed to its failing of epilepsy tests), and though it was released on the PSN last September (25th to be exact), it then gained the “Fury” expansion last year, followed by a full retail release.
Wipeout has, to me, symbolized futuristic racing in its purest form, free of the rather odd looking anime characters that the f-zero franchise seems to have such a fascination with. This is replaced with an atmosphere that is either serene, or sterile (depending on your outlook on life), but this soon takes a backseat to the racing. At its heart, Wipeout HD is an arcade racer, complete with weapons that have a satisfying oomph to them, and make stunningly gorgeous explosions, (some of which are so impressive to look at that I intentionally would set off my weapons in certain areas, just to see how the stunning they would look.) It doesn’t exactly help my cause when the game comes with a built in photo mode, with fully featured control of things such as contrast and shutter speed, so that all those preoccupied with getting “the perfect shot” can snap pictures to their heart’s content. But all these features would be for naught if the racing was sub-standard. Suffice to say, it most certainly is not. Studio Liverpool have added a feature known as “pilot assist”, to aid those who can’t airbrake to save their lives (myself included), which makes the racing a complete and utter time sink. I cannot count the number of times I’ve found myself saying “just one more”, before starting up a new race, when, before I know it, its 4 in the morning, I’m still in my suit from the previous day, and I’ve consumed 2 liters of soda water.
If that isn’t a testament to how addictive and amazing Wipeout HD Fury is, then I don’t know what is.