Developer: Studio Liverpool |
Publisher: SCEA
Players: 1+ Player Game |
Genre: Driving

Release Date: 03/16/05

One of the original PlayStation titles is making its comeback on the newest Sony platform–the PSP. Wipeout Pure is a futuristic racing title that drew some comparisons to F-Zero when it was first released. However, the title quickly slipped in quality and the franchise hasn’t been very good until now.

Visually, Wipeout Pure is stunning. Even as a First Generation title, this game looks beautiful on the crystal clear PSP screen. Using the power of the unit, the Developers over at Studio Liverpool have taken advantage of small details on the tracks, on the different ships, and utilized several different lighting and shading effects. There are numerous tracks in Wipeout Pure and the developer has gone to great lengths to ensure that each has a unique feel and look to it. This great attention to detail helped keep my interest in the game and is arguably the best title on the new platform.

Besides the pretty graphics, Wipeout Pure sounds really good. Of course, if you are playing the game without headphones, it is sometimes easy to overlook the sound and music in the game. That is not saying the PSP speakers don’t pump out good sound. You will just get a better experience with headphones. Once you do plug them in, you will experience the sounds of futuristic flying machines racing past you, weapons blasting, and great music. Wipeout Pure is just a visual and audio treat.

The gameplay in Wipeout Pure is fast and furious arcade action. Players have a health bar and shield. The health bar will slowly rise but if you hit a wall, another racer, or get attacked by any of the weapons in the game, you will lose health. If you lose all your health you will then start to lose your shields. Lose all of your shields and it is game over. To help replenish your shields, players can convert any weapons they pick up to their shields but they will sacrifice the use of the weapon or power-up. It is a small price to pay if you are running low though.

While watching your shields is important, players will have to work on their tight turning abilities to stay towards the front of the pack. A lot of the tracks used are updates to classic tracks. However, it has been so long sine anyone has played the original Wipeout that players probably won’t even notice.

There are several different racing machines to pick from. Each one has been fine-tuned to have its own strengths and weaknesses. I have found success in racing every one of them but your personal preference in how you want your racer to perform will help you decide what you should race in.

Once a decision has been made and you are ready to play, you will need to select from one of several different game modes: Tournament, Single Race, Time Trial, Free Style, or Multiplayer. Unfortunately, there is no online play through the Internet in Wipeout Pure. Players will only be able to race against other players in the nearby area over the 802.11b WiFi connection. There is a Content Update option that should provide all sorts of updates in the future. These could include, new racers, music, tracks, music, etc. While no word from Sony on when this content will be available, I hope this is a feature that most PSP titles take advantage of in the future. Although it could require PSP owners to purchase a larger-capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo card to save the data they download.

Overall, Wipeout Pure is one of my favorite launch titles thus far. While I haven’t had the chance to play all of them yet, it is going to take an awful lot to top this title. If you are getting a PSP and like racing titles, Wipeout Pure is a must have for your new system. I only wish they would have added an online multiplayer feature.

By Kaleb Rutherford – 03/23/05
ESRB Details: Fantasy Violence

Screenshots for Wipeout Pure