Thursday, 08 June 2017 16:05

REVIEW: WipEout Omega Collection (Playstation 4)

Written by Brett Hale
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Sony’s Playstation 4 slogan is “Greatness Awaits” and i’ve been sitting here thinking well Sony when will this greatness finally arrive? Sure Horizon: Zero Dawn was awesome, but I want more content that supports my PS4 Pro. With the release of WipEout Omega Collection finally here, holy crap, this game is the bee’s knees.

Right away I was hooked and it instantly relived childhood memories of when I once owned some of the older WipEout games on my PS1, PS2 and Nintendo 64, but playing on PS4 Pro in 4K resolution was the best experience yet for any WipEout game. If you want to see what your PS4 Pro can do, WipEout Omega Collection will do just that. The WipEout franchise is 22 years old this year, and has spanned across several console generations. Firstly in 1995 on Sony’s first console, then eventually on the PS2, PS3, PSP, PSVITA, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn and now finally an epic trilogy remaster on the Playstation 4.

How can gamers play WipEout on their PS4? In three ways, single player which is packed full of enjoyment, two player split screen, though while fun, I just disagree with sharing half the television screen, then lastly online multiplayer. WipEout Omega Collection is a trilogy remaster, and a damn good remaster. It includes three classic WipEout games, WipEout HD, WipEout Fury and WipEout 2048. Thre is so much content that will have you racing till you’re old and grey. There are 26 tracks, which are also reversible, 46 ships to race in, though most are locked right from the start but you’ll unlock more as you race. There are new versions of them as well as the old school versions from the older games, some even have liveries you can change.

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WipEout doesn’t thrive on stats but there are stat’s for fast times etc. Ships even have their own stats for health, speed, handling and firepower in the forms of bars. There are plenty of modes you can race on across SP, MP and 2 player, from single races, speed laps, zones, time trials, elimination races and more. They're all great modes that have you flying around tracks super fast. Tracks come in all sizes with some unique turns, some more challenging than others. You’ll turn average tight corners to hairpin turns, and then there are the up and down parts that might cause you a tad bit of motion sickness. I really thought Sony may have made the game VR compatible but they didn’t, maybe that's for a good reason. Besides yourself and other racers battling it out on the tracks, there is a bit that goes on in the skies and backgrounds of the tracks that makes it that much more fun and interesting. With how detailed the tracks are with the fast paced action, loading times are freaking quick.

If you’re not up to playing the campaign, which i'll get into soon, the arcade mode aka Racebox is for both single player and the place to go if you want to play two player. You choose between WipEout HD or WipEout 2048, along with  a track, race type, speed class then if you want weapons on or off, as well as AI difficulty, then it’s game on. It’s a good section if you just want to play with a friend to jump into a quick race, though the quick race option is also selectable in the campaign. Now onto the campaign, it’s broken into three sections, 2048, HD & Fury. What’s great is the game doesn’t restrict you, you're able to play any of the three in any order jumping from one to the other at anytime.

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Each campaign has several sections in itself, 2048 having just three whilst HD and Fury have eight. 2048’s campaign also has its own rank system which isn’t present in HD or Fury. Other small difference with gameplay between both HD, Fury and 2048 is the winning systems. In 2048 you’ll need to come in the Top 5 to pass, or 1st to earn an elite pass. In HD and Fury you’ll need to place 1st, 2nd or 3rd to earn gold silver or bronze medals. Not all modes will involve weapons, but they all involve using speed boosts which are placed in certain parts of the tracks. In HD and Fury speed arrows are blue, and you’ll also see red crosses which are weapons, such as missiles, cannons and bombs. They’ll also offer items for your own ship like shields, turbos etc. 2048 has blue arrows for speed boosts, green crosses for shields and turbos, and yellow crosses for missiles and other weapons. You can only have one pick up at one time, and once you use it all, you’ll then be able to pick up another one that’s highlighted. It all comes together even when you are flying through tracks at a ridiculous speed, but once you've master the controls, it’s nothing short of fun times.

When it comes to the controls, there pretty bare boned. You use the sticks to maneuver your ship, L2 and R2 act as air brakes to help turn tight hairpins and just general movement. X is your accelerator, Square is for using pick ups. Motion that occurs in game may have you feeling ill, but you are able to change anything motion related in the games settings.

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Online multiplayer consists of up to eight other players around the world. Playing alone is extremely challenging and fun, but add more players into the mix and the fun increases to max velocity. Online multiplayer has its own rank/level system and includes many racing modes to battle out against others. You’re able to change regions around the world, but for best connection matches you should always choose the country you live in or the closest to you. And remember, Playstation Plus is required for online play. (Note at the time of my review I had issues with locals only ever seeming to find lobbies in the US and EU.)

I was fully aware that the WipEout Omega Collection would have PS4 Pro enhancements, those being 4K resolution and HDR support, though you do not need to own a PS4 Pro to have the HDR support as the base PS4 also has this option as long as you still own a 4KTV. 1080p television owners aren’t forgotten as the game will look pretty glorious on the base PS4, but the game will shine it’s best on the Pro console. Both consoles support 60fps. When talking more about the games resolutions, this is the first time any WipEout game has even being able to hit true 1080p. The WipEout HD on the PS3 had a resolution of 1280x1080, if you side by side any of the versions included in the Omega Collection against their much older counterparts you can see how the PS4 version has the utmost smoothness and beautiful clarity that hasn’t ever being achieved for a WipEout game before. To think it can even be played in 4K is something magnificent to set your eyes upon. Colours pop in such a way with HDR that I was gobsmacked on everything I was seeing whilst racing. There are two 4K modes in the settings, if motion blur is turned on you'll get 4K checkerboard 2160p, however turn motion blur off and you’ll get native 4K.

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The games menu is pretty poor in it’s design, a white background, with black writing for the options. I found it bland but that’s just a menu that you’ll see for minimal time, because once you start racing you'll be doing one after the other till your brain explodes with awesomeness.

To match the ultra fast gameplay, there is a much needed fast pace soundtrack of songs, and the Omega Collection didn’t slack off on this aspect either. Featured artists include 
The Chemical Brothers, Swedish House Mafia and The Prodigy. It's a good mix of clubbing and dance music tunes that I couldn’t help but sit on the edge of my seat tapping my foot and bobbing my head to the music whilst I raced. There is 28 tracks to listen to and you can choose the order of play. Besides music you’ll hear sounds if you crash your ship into the walls, when you use your weapons, the sound the ships make themselves are like the sound of a hovership out of Star Wars.

You can’t go wrong with this purchase, the fact it’s cheap no matter where you go, and the quality of the game is a steal. PS4 Pro owners have a reason to be over the moon, everyone else too, base PS4 owners will have just as good of a game, it’s a game hard to put down. If you were a fan of any of the older games, this remaster brings nostalgia with it, and it would be a shame not to play this game.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 5.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PS4
  • Developer: Psygnosis, The Designers Republic
  • Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Genre: Multiplayer, Racing