The father of all futuristic racers makes its hyper velocity debut on the PS4 and boy, does it do it in style.
Omega Collection is stuffed like a fat hamster let loose in a nut factory full of Wipeout goodies that’s going to keep you busy for months. There is a huge 26 tracks to select and.. (slaps hands on face and gasps) they’re all reversible and mirrorable… Is that even a word? And over 50 ships to play around with.
It’s a conglomeration of Wipeout HD, Wipeout HD Fury and Wipeout 2048 from the awesome Playstation Vita. Omega wants to liberate you from your boring life and send you back to a time when people were encouraged, never mind allowed, to take glow sticks and lasers into night clubs without getting a cavity search… Yes I know from unfortunate experience.
There is a library of dagger like Wipeout ships: 50 of the flying nails in total, including all time favourites such as FEISAR, (Sorry it can only be written in caps.) Assegai, and AG Systems.
A seething mass of game modes will greet you on arriving at the menu, threatening to pull you down into club-land techno bliss. That’s 8 game modes for dressed up bunnies that love numbers.
And of course, lets not forget there’s a meaty selection of weapons to vaporise both ship and pilot. Good thing that in futuristic racers, health and safety doesn’t exist!
So, rip open the box, tear out the Blue-Ray disk and slap it in your PS4. It’s time let Wipeout melt your face with SPEED!
But First… Something New.
In a change for my reviews, I now offer a short Pro/Cons section at the end. Why? Because, admittedly, sometimes I’m lazy and like to skip the reading part. So I thought there must be others out like me.
‘Just tell me if the game is any good!’ I hear you scream.
Lets slice right into the meat of the issue and take a look at how the muscle of the mighty PS4 – flex it baby! – makes a stunning racer into even more stunning racer!
Wipeout has always pushed the technical limits of every system it’s been released on and this new Omega collection holds tightly to that tradition.
But now things have changed. Omega has, from a graphical point of view, transcended beyond any other racer on Sony’s system. Hell, on any system. On first stepping into the game, my jaw slackened and fell like a lead brick to the floor. Ouch! Thats gonna bruise in the morning!
The graphics are a frankly sumptuous double chocolate mix of 60 fps and 1080p. And it gets even better. Upgrade to the PS4 Pro and you, like I did, will weep at the glory of native 4k. And it’s still – round of applause for the developers – delivered at a slippery 60 frames a second.
In motion, at 4k, every crip texture, every glinting light will clamour for your attention.
Sony has increased the detail of every aspect of the game across the board. On sliding into the cockpit of your gravity defying needle ship you’ll be greeted with textures so sharp they’ll threaten to cut your eyeballs.
And that’s just the beginning. Particle density has increased to volcanic ash cloud levels. Sparks and debris erupt forth from every grind and bump, filling the screen with shrapnel fuelled firework displays that will dance giddy, desperate to light up your gaming room in a way that Guy Fawkes would be proud of.
Realistic shaders and lighting make every surface dance to a techno tune. At 4k the game almost bleeds a desperation to shatter out into the real world. It’s as 3D as any of those archaic 3D TV’s could ever muster. If not more. I sit here happy to pronounce that no game has ever looked this alive, this motion-full, this brain bending, lightning outrunningly quick.
It’s just a shame your eyes are never going to see all this glory when playing. You see, when at the controls of a ship that is travelling at super sonic speeds one meter away from death, you tend to focus really hard on where your going. Not on, ‘look, a shinny texture!’ And where you look is about 10 square inches dead centre of your TV. Your slaloming along so fast, your reacting to track that is 200 meters ahead, so you have no time to take in the blissful surroundings.
Thanks God for replays then ay?
And the games impressive re-mastering continues on into the sound mix.
With 28 base filled tracks cramming the innards of the disk, you’ll be zoning out to pumping beats from chemical brothers and other trance favourites.
On starting a race, my surround sound system rumbled to life and maximum base earthquaked through my room. I swear, books started spasming themselves off shelves.
The sound was phenomenal! I thought Swedish House Mafia had started an impromptu gig in the middle of my house.
As the base grew louder, the countdown dropped. 3, 2, 1… And off I rocketed.
The music kicking in, timed perfectly with the beginning of the race.
This is Wipeout. That amalgamation of techno and technology, the futuristic racer come cluber’s guide. Turn the lights off in your room, turn the sound up and you have your own laser light show glowing out the TV. All that’s missing is some hot girls dancing in the corner ignoring me and it would be like I was back in a teen filled night club. Ahhh, Good times.
And this music isn’t just a nostalgia trip. Ow no, it helps one fall into… ‘The zone.’
When your flying at meteor speeds, the music helps you focus. Its melodic beats help time turns and avoid obstacles. You fall into a trance. Thats why they call it trance I suppose. And it works as perfect now as it did way back on the Playstation 1 all those years ago.
Wipeout: Omega Collection returns with the ever popular RaceBox mode that lets you create any kind of race or tournament combination in any order you could desire.
On top of this there’s 8 different game modes for you to select. From the basic time trial to ‘Your gonna get your ass kicked’ eliminator mode, there’s something here for both the beginner and hardened hover racer.
After selecting your track there are over 50 ships to select from. All the old teams you know and love reassembled to deliver their ships to the Omega collection. FEISAR (Again, sorry for the caps.) and Assegai are present along with loads of others.
Each ship has there own set of characteristics for you to pour over. Faster acceleration or top speed. Better cornering. I’m not going to bore you with the list. Suffice to say there are more than enough vehicle options for any lover of Wipeout or racers. What matters is, each vehicle feels unique to use, meaning you will have to take a little bit of time to discover what suits your style of play.
Me, I like to jump in the fastest ship I can find. And punch to light speed like I’m sat in the Millennium Falcon. Yeah!
However there is one problem. All this content, though great and welcome, is old. There is nothing new here. This is literally a re-mastering. Like taking a classic film like Jurassic Park on video then touching it up for Blue-ray. The content hasn’t changed, but the way it’s presented has. And I for one am happy with that.
Weapons in games are cool, it’s a simple as that. If you don’t like weapons in your racing games, then please, make your way in an orderly fashion to the exit of this review. Let me save you time: Wipeout has explosions, guns, and lots of them. Every ship comes with an arsenal that grins ready to deal death.
There are loads of weapons to turn your opponents into slag, or be slagged by. From puny machines guns that couldn’t wast a aardvark to explosives that could put an end to the ‘North Korea’ problem in instant, there’s a weapon for every occasion.
At your disposal you have tri rockets that send out a 3 pointed wave of destruction. Or maybe your prefer homing missiles that hunt your prey down only to miss at the last second for unexplained reasons.
And of course, no racing game would be complete without a few ‘weapons of mass destruction’ such as the black hole generator. After all, those mirco black holes created by LHC had to be used for something right?
Together all the weapons are well balanced and let you lay the smack down on the other ships that dare be on the same track as you. And that’s good enough for me.
There is nothing quite like getting a power-up missile in second place and unleashing it to watch its yellow tracer streak off into the distance to turn first place into hot shrapnel to give you a last second win.
Faster Than Light…Almost
And of course, most importantly, the game play is present and completely correct. The anti grave floaty driving physics is back and is harder than galvanised coffin nails.
From the start, the stationary pause before accelerate, the charm before the FTL storm, Omega collection oozes ‘Wipeout.’
I could not help, as the timer counted to zero, to raise a right hand in true Captain Picard fashion, and announce ‘engage.’ Then punch it up to warp 9!
Finger on, the right trigger, from 0 to 600mph in 3 seconds. It never gets old.
The track goes from a beautiful collection of geometry and texture to and elongated tunnel where edges become a blurred mash of colour, caused by sheer speed and and my little brains inability to comprehend the mega velocity that objects are throwing themselves past me.
My metal needle, swings around corners as lazily or as forcefully as I like. The deftness of handling from Wipeout games of yore still here, holding you tight like a reassuringly familiar hug from a slobbering St Burnard.
In true Wipeout fashion, it feels just as much akin to flying a plane as a wheeled vehicle.
There is no traction to slow you down, no wheels to coax the last drip of friction from.
No, instead you have a bunch of flaps which feel totally inadequate for the job at hand. Think F1 car, with bicycle brakes on it. It’s never gonna end well.
Smash into a barrier to hard and tuff shit, your dead. Fire and explody bits left where your pointy ship once floated happily along.
However, help is at hand. Delve into the options and you will find ‘I’m crap mode!’ OK, maybe not I’m crap mode. But there is an option to automatically steer your futuristic hover dart away from barriers. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about track edges. When the walls of concrete are selfishly absent, you can fly off the edge. You will quickly find these plane like racers definitely can’t fly.
Once your ship has been torn apart by miss used g-forces, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking it’s all over. But you would be wrong. This is the future after all. And the future brings with it many amazing things. It’s not all Terminators and time travel. Ow no. We have the POWER of rapid mass production on our side. Fling your ship like an unwanted Frisbee into the abyss and a new one is created in the blink of an eye. But what about pilots? Thankfully, the future also offers a constant influx of suicidal peoples who want nothing more than to fly their ship to firey death.
Who wouldn’t want that? Sign me up fellas! Sign me up!
Split screen gaming. Why isn’t there more of this? Honestly, I’m gonna have to ask the editor if I can write an article – in other words: Have a long rant – about the fact that split screen gaming seems to be dieing a death.
Thankfully, Sony & Co have given the finger to the ‘internets’ and has included split screen for beautiful couch co-op gaming glory.
Split screen can be used in any game mode you like, and sweet, sweeeeet 60 fps is maintained throughout. Your probably wondering why I drone on about 60fps. It’s simple; Like breathing, 60 fps is just as important.
No, no what am I saying… It MORE important!
30fps is as unacceptable as a frog slapping you in the face. 60 a must when it comes to racers and Wipeout delivers a constant unstoppable wave of frames and never falters. And believe me, I tried to faultier it. I stuck out the digital foot to trip it up, but no, it just kept on gliding along. Round of applause to Sony & co (clap, clap).
And when your are bored of decimating your friends for the hundredth time, and they de-friend you on Facebook, and stop popping around, you can always rely on the constant stream of randoms from the Internet to provide people to beat down.
Brave the dark void that is online gaming and you will find epic races for up to 8 pilots to partake in. No mode is off limits and its 3 laps of fire, hypersonic melted plastic, and ‘ you will not survive’ mayhem.
If you want a realistic racing experience, be boring, go play Forza. If you want something that is going to shake your soul, your wits and reflexes to the bones then get Omega and get online.
I struggled to find any negatives about Omega. I really did. Perhaps the one issue I found was there wasn’t a huge amount of new content here. But that doesn’t really matter. The original 3 versions of Wipeout Omega is based on, were near enough perfect anyway. Taking the original content and sprucing it up with the extra power the PS4 is all that’s needed. Just like a classic trance track on tape. No need to redo it. Just re-sample in digital and release on CD. If your a lover of the franchise then stop reading now. Go buy it.
But for the rest of us, should we indulge our futuristic racing fantasy in this collection? The answer is a resounding Yes, Yes we should.
For me, Wipeout Omega collection is the pinnacle of the series. The Jupiter sized increase to 4k is worth the upgrade alone. At such extreme G-force inducing speeds, the bump in resolution gives a tangible advantage. When splitting atmospheric atoms at 800mph in a ship that can skim a wall an disintegrate in heart beat, you want all the clarity you can get. You will see details off in the distance that old hat 1080p just could not offer. 4k will help you make better decisions earlier which will lead to faster times. Every racers dream.
Yes Omega might be a rehash of old material. But so what? The game, the franchise, has never looked this good. And I for one am thrilled they made this remake. And you will be too.
-Stunning looking game
-Presentation completely remade
-Handing is as gorgeous as it ever has been
-Wipeout in 4k and HDR!
-Loads of tracks
-Tons of ships
-Three games in one
-Fantastic multi player
-No new material
-No new tracks or ships
-Each game isn’t connected in a meaningful way.
I recommend this as a must buy for all fans of racers, especially Wipeout.