«

»

WIPEOUT OMEGA COLLECTION REVIEW: “A FEROCIOUS BLUR OF SUMPTUOUS, SEARING SIGHTS”

When the first Wipeout came out on the original PlayStation back in late 1995, I was but a freckled faced, ten-year-old whippersnapper. 22 years on, if Future Me could hop in a DeLorean and travel back to show that kid even 30 seconds of Wipeout Omega Collection running at 4K/60 frames per second on PS4 Pro, I think his eyes would implode. This blisteringly rapid, gorgeously smooth anti-grav racer isn’t just one of the sexiest remasters of the current generation, it’s damn near the best looking game on PS4. 

At full throttle, Wipeout Omega Collection is a ferocious blur of sumptuous, searing sights. It moves like a cheetah in heat (albeit one that hovers in the air and weighs six tonnes) while it handles with such forceful, fluid grace, it’s impossible to take your eyes off the zero-G action. Sony’s prettied up racer is also a somewhat confusing cluster of three old games. Wipeout HD is probably the meatiest title in this package, yet even when it first came out on PS3 in 2008, it was already an amalgamation of jumbled together tracks from PSP’s Wipeout Pure, and its sequel Wipeout Pulse. Next, there’s Wipeout HD Fury, which is really just glorified DLC, featuring a few more courses once again cribbed from the PSP games, and three additional modes focusing on combat. Rounding off the trio is Wipeout 2048: a remaster of a PS Vita racer that hit Sony’s handheld five years ago. In essence, Wipeout Omega Collection is a remaster of a remaster. Talk about the speedster snake eating its own tail.

The content may be recycled, but considering the budget price and the polish that’s clearly been poured into these ports, it’s hard to overly grumble at déjà vu when the bundle is so generous. Indeed, there’s so much content here, you could be racing for weeks and still not tick off every event. 26 tracks, all of which have mirror versions; 46 crazy quick anti-grav ships; eight player online races; nine modes that span vanilla fare like time trials and tournaments, to more high concept contests, such as rounds of Detonator where you clear courses of neon mines with your craft’s laser weapons.

Of course, the real selling point of the Omega Collection is how it looks and runs. The quantity of content is impressive, but it’s the quality of the racing that makes the deepest impression. Even after spending two decades mastering hard banking air brakes (double tap L2 or R2 to shift your ship’s momentum in extra snappy style) I can’t think of another game that’s quite as slickly savage as Wipeout in full flow. Controlling the series’ iconic craft as they aggressively torpedo each other with rockets and fancy futuristic mines is a constant dance of death – lose concentration even for a split second, and speed of sound wrecks await. Turns out, you kinda have to concentrate when driving at 573 km/h.