Yes, I know, I’m super late to the WipEout party. Whatever. I actually picked the game up for cheap during the recent UK/EU PSN Summer sale, so for £20 it was worth waiting a bit. Plus, if I’m being honest, I’m not really a massive fan of the franchise. Whoa, before you bolt down to the comments to call me all manner of names, hear me out.
The only WipEout (that spelling does my head in) that I’ve really sunk any time into is WipEout 2048 for the PS Vita. It was one of the very first games I owned for the system, and it was my introduction to the series that made British developer Sony Liverpool famous. Yep, I managed to go all the way through my childhood and most of my adult life without touching WipEout. What can I say? I liked F-Zero…
Alright, I reckon I’m done poking the die-hard fanboys, now let’s get into the review. If you’re still here after my sacrilegious remarks, you’ll be pleased to know that I actually really, really, really like WipEout Omega Collection on PS4. Of course I’m a little bit perplexed by the cult-like following the franchise has, but I can appreciate the pure gamey fun that comes with racing a hover-ship at the speed of sound.
The Omega Collection doesn’t include every WipEout game ever made. So you can forget about the PS One, PS2 and PSP releases. What you get in this compilation is a three-pack of the latest entries. You’ve got WipEout 2048, WipEout HD, and WipEout Fury at your disposal. While I’ve played all three intensely – and turned the air blue in the process – the one that keeps me coming back is the former PS Vita exclusive. It’s actually a little sad, really, because playing 2048 is the closest I’ll ever come to playing a Vita game again; I sold my system a few months ago, and I’ve no intention of ever getting another.
From what I can tell, it’s essentially the exact same game but with a fresh lick of paint. Visuals have been spruced up, as has the frame-rate and resolution, which results in a really crisp and clear image on the screen. It looks great in motion, though I can’t say it didn’t on the Vita. I’m actually a little resentful towards Sony for this port. Why? Because I’ve actually played WipEout 2048 on my TV before using the PSTV (another failed Sony product…) and a sneaky trick to get all Vita games running on the system. There was no reason for 2048 (and HD and Fury, which were DLC) to not run on the PSTV, but Sony blocked it off. I guess now we know why. Enjoy my money, you shits.
Back on point… It looks great, it plays great, and it even sounds great, though I’m not talking about the music. People love to pour their hearts out over WipEout’s signature music. Personally, I can’t see why. I don’t like it one bit. I mute the music and slap The Killers on, and away I go. Each to their own.
If you’re a total newcomer to WipEout (I’m starting a fan club for all three of us!) then I’ll give you a quick rundown of what WipEout is all about. You race anti-gravity vehicles around winding, bendy, death-defying tracks at breakneck speed. That’s the gist of it but there’s a little more under the hood. Within the compilation is a career mode from 2048, as well as battles (think Mario Kart, but deadly) and a mode where you need to survive for as long as possible as you pick up speed in a trippy ‘Zone’ mode that bends colours every which way.
There’s a decent amount of content on offer and, for twenty quid, no less, I reckon I’d have been satisfied with just 2048. That’s not the case, though, as you’ll have three fully realised games to plough through – even more bang for your precious buck, then. For lovers of multiplayer there’s a generous suite to get stuck into with online and local split-screen action. Hey, maybe you could re-create the glory days of old?
While the entire package as a whole works well, I can understand that it won’t be for every controller-wielding human. It’s a difficult game to play if you’re a little slow off the mark, with tracks bending around buildings, under cities, and everything else, it’s sometimes hard to maintain control of the floaty airships with their lack of friction. If you’re more into traditional racers that involve cars that adhere to the laws of gravity, you’ll have a hard time adjusting to the fantastical gameplay offered by WipEout. That being said, if you can get to grips and find your flow, there’s plenty of fun to be had with games that kinda don’t really deserve to be looking and playing as well as they do; these games are all older than my son, and some pre-date the PS4, so bear that in mind when you marvel at how bloody well they’ve turned out.
WipEout Omega Collection PS4 Review
If you're a veteran airship racer then you'll have no qualms with this collection. It's decently priced, it looks bloody amazing, and it plays like a dream. If you're a newbie coming in fresh as a daisy, take the time to learn WipEout's intricacies and style before you resign it to the bin.
What you're getting is effectively three great games at one great price. They're a little old, and at times their clunky, but it's a decent release no less.
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Reviewed using PS4 Slim.