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Wipeout HD
Wipe out hd.png
Wipeout HD PlayStation Store logo
Developer(s) SCE Studio Liverpool
Publisher(s) SCEE
Version 2.10(EU) 2.10(US) 2.10(JP)
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Release date(s) NA 25 September 2008[1]
EU 25 September 2008
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player
Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Media Download, Blu-Ray
Input methods Gamepad

Wipeout HD, trademarked and stylised as WipEout HD,[2][3] is the eighth title in the Wipeout racing video game series, developed by Sony Liverpool for the PlayStation 3 console. The game marks the Wipeout franchise's debut on PlayStation 3 and was available exclusively as a downloadable title from the PlayStation Store; it is now available on Blu-ray disc packaged with the Fury expansion as of 16 December 2009. While the game borrows its tracks and teams from the PlayStation Portable games Wipeout Pure and Wipeout Pulse, the content has been upgraded for the game to render up to 1080p[4] and at 60 frames per second with a Dolby 5.1 surround soundtrack.[5][6]

The game was released in September 2008 in EU and US territories, and in Japan in October 2008. Wipeout HD and its expansion were released on Blu-ray on 16 October in the UK.

Contents

Gameplay

A screenshot of a race in progress at the Chengou Project track in Wipeout HD.

Gameplay is largely similar to that of previous Wipeout titles.[7] The player pilots an anti-gravity craft, selected from one of several teams and, depending on the game mode, competes using speed and weaponry in an attempt to beat the competition.

There are five main race types in Wipeout HD: Single Race, Tournament, Speed Lap, Time Trial, and Zone mode.[7] Single Race is a straight-forward start-to-finish race against seven other competitors, while Tournament is a series of consecutive races won by having the highest aggregate score.[8] In the Speed Lap and Time Trial modes, the player races alone in an attempt to beat the clock.[9] Finally, the unique Zone mode, first introduced in Wipeout Fusion,[7] automates the player's acceleration control, progressively moving the craft at higher speeds. As the player's craft automatically passes through higher "zones", or categories of speed, the player must continue to navigate the course until their energy runs out and the ship explodes.[7] The audio/visual atmosphere during Zone mode differs greatly from regular play. The environments are stripped of texture and are replaced by simple colour palettes that change as the player reaches new zones. Graphic equalizers appear on the race course and in the surrounding scenery, displaying waveforms for the currently playing audio track.[5][8]

Each race type can be found in the single-player Campaign mode, which is a series of 87 different race scenarios.[10] As the player progresses from easier events to harder ones, tracks and teams are unlocked for use in the separate Racebox mode, in which players can play one-off arcade-style races, either in single-player or two player split-screen modes. Whereas gameplay settings in Campaign mode are predetermined, they are completely customizable to the player in Racebox mode.[11][12]

In addition to offline play, Wipeout HD offers an eight-player online mode.[11] A lobby system allows players to search for and join either Single Races or Tournament races.[11] Should a player's ship explode in an online race, the player's craft will reappear on the track moments later (as opposed to forcing the player to drop out of the race as in offline play).[11] Voice chat is also supported.[11]

A new introduction to the series is the Pilot Assist feature. Intended for players who are new to the series, it is a passive auto-piloting feature that assists players by nudging them away from the edges of the track or from the walls, though its effects at higher speed settings are less desirable.[10] Wipeout HD allows players to control their craft by using the motion-sensitive features of the Sixaxis controller. Motion control comes in two variants; pitch and steering, or pitch only.[10] The former allows the craft to be totally controlled by moving the controller, whilst the latter only allows the nose of the craft to be raised or lowered by motion control with the steering either controlled by analog stick or D-pad.[10]

Also, carried on from Wipeout Pulse, is Photo Mode, which allows the player to take screenshots of the game and save them to the PlayStation 3 hard drive as full 1920x1080 resolution images.[10] These photos can be manipulated before being saved, with editing functions for exposure, saturation, lens focus, depth of field and motion blur parameters.[10] Accessed under the Photo folder in the XrossMediaBar, these images can then be transferred to PC, used as wallpaper, sent to friends, and so on.[12]

Wipeout HD features 38 Trophies, which range from the simple – such as merely using the Photo Mode[13] – to the difficult, such as reaching the high-speed Zone 75 in Zone Mode.[7] Twelve of the trophies are hidden, with no description on how to obtain them visible to the player, whilst the final of the thirty-eight trophies is a Platinum Trophy entitled "Transcendence", obtained when all other trophies have been collected (excluding additional content trophies).[14]

Tracks and teams

There are eight available tracks in Wipeout HD, all of which are remastered versions of tracks from the two previous PlayStation Portable Wipeout games; six of the tracks are from Wipeout Pure, and two are from Wipeout Pulse. All tracks can be played forward and backwards, much akin to the "black" and "white" modes of Wipeout Pulse, as well as in Zone mode.[5] Tracks included from Wipeout Pure are Anulpha Pass, Chenghou Project, Übermall, Sebenco Climb, Sol 2, and Vineta K; the two tracks from Wipeout Pulse are Metropia and Moa Therma.[10]

Twelve race teams are featured in Wipeout HD including AG Systems, Assegai Developments, Auricom Research Industries, EG-X Technologies, Feisar, Goteki 45, Harimau International, Icaras, Mirage, Piranha Advancements, Qirex Research and Development, and Triakis. Their ship designs are inspired by those featured in Wipeout Pulse, with battered, dirty versions of the ships that served as inspiration available alongside the new models. Two unreleased race teams (firstly introduced in Wipeout Fusion and later in Wipeout Pure), such as Tigron Enterprises and Van-Uber Racing Developments are seen as billboards, with Tigron seen in Metropia, and Van-Uber in both Vineta K and Sebenco Climb.

Weapons

When the player drives over X-shaped item pads on tracks, they are given a random pickup that can either be activated so the player can receive its benefits, or 'absorbed' into the ship to restore hull energy. The rarer the pickup is, the more energy it will restore when absorbed, forcing the player to make quick decisions over whether item benefit or emergency repair is the current priority.

The Repulsor and Shuriken weapons from WipEout Pulse have been omitted.

Items are divided into three groups:

Primary Offensive

Primary Offensive weapons are controllable, destructive weapons launched from the front of the ship.

  • Missiles: Fires a spinning trio of missiles which can either be fired blind, causing them to bounce across the track for a few seconds, or locked on to enemy ships to provide a greater chance of impact.
  • Rockets: Fires a trio of rockets that spread out as they travel, exploding on impact with the track sides or enemy ships.
  • Cannon: Provides the player with thirty rounds of energy machine gun ammunition that can be used to slow enemy ships and wear down their energy.
  • Plasma: After a short charge period, fires a large burst of dark energy that travels in a straight line, causing massive damage to enemy ships if it makes contact.
  • Quake: One of the strongest weapons in the game, the Quake fires a shock wave across the track in front of the player, heavily damaging and slowing down all ships in front of the player unless they are shielded. The Quake can also rip through Mines and Bombs deployed by opponents.
  • Leech beam: Once locked on, the Leech beam slowly drains an enemy ship's energy while transferring it to the player. While useful for restoring energy in an emergency, the Leech beam is impractical as an offensive weapon as it does not drain a large amount of energy in a short amount of time, giving the opponent time to restore their own energy, escape from the beam or for the power up to expire altogether.

Secondary Offensive

Secondary Offensive weapons are stationary explosive weapons dropped from the rear of the ship.

  • Mines: Fires five mines from behind the ship which will explode after a short period or if impacted by enemy players.
  • Bomb: Drops a bomb from behind the ship that heavily damages any ship it contacts while also creating a shock wave that blows nearby ships away, but without damaging them.

Defensive

Defensive items provide a short-lived effect that aids the player in one of three ways, but do not directly impede the progress of other ships.

  • Shield: Temporarily protects the player's ship from enemy weapons and damage upon contact with the track sides. Other items can be picked up and used while the shield is active.
  • Autopilot: Overrides the player's ability to steer with that of an artificial intelligence, useful for going around tight turns and hairpins. However, the autopilot does not always follow the racing line, doesn't avoid traps laid by other players and may ignore speed pads.
  • Turbo: Temporarily provides an increase in speed equal to the top speed of the next highest speed class, before returning the ship to the maximum high speed of the event's speed class. One Turbo pickup per lap is provided free to contenders in Speed Lap and Time Trial events, which players must use strategically to shave seconds off their time.

Wipeout HD Fury

An expansion pack for Wipeout HD entitled Wipeout HD Fury was released on the PlayStation Store worldwide on 23 July, 2009.[15] The pack consists of eight new tracks, 13 new ship models (note this does not include actual teams just different models for ships), and three new game modes including Eliminator, Zone Battle, and Detonator. The add-on also includes a new 80-event campaign mode, a redesigned menu interface, and several new Trophies.[16] It also includes some new tracks to the game which are shown below in the soundtrack section.

Four of the new tracks included in the Fury pack are from the PlayStation Portable Wipeout games (The Amphiseum, Talon's Junction, and Tech De Ra from Wipeout Pulse; Modesto Heights from Wipeout Pure) and include accompanying "reverse" tracks. The remaining four tracks in the expansion pack are tracks that can be used only in Zone or Zone Battle and are taken from Wipeout Pure, and are playable exclusively for Zone, Zone Battle, and Detonator events. These tracks are Pro Tozo, Mallavol, Corridon 12 and Syncopia.

Development

Wipeout HD's Zone Mode, largely devoid of environment textures.

Wipeout HD was first officially announced during E3 2007, where it was explained that it would be a downloadable title, available on the PlayStation Network, that would feature high-definition versions of old tracks.[17] Later in the year at the Tokyo Game Show, Sony revealed to journalists that the game would be available before the end of 2007,[18] and would include two further game modes that were ultimately not included for the final release: Elimination and Head 2 Head.[19] However, a 2007 release was not forthcoming; development continued through 2008, and a shifting release date (initially believed to be Summer, 2008[20]) was eventually finalised in the middle of September 2008, for release later that month.[21]

The delay from the initial summer time frame was widely reported as being due to a technical issue in development.[22] Explaining the problem, David Reeves, CEO of Sony Europe, remarked that it was "a specific technical problem with Wipeout that we have to solve", and that while he could not expand upon the point, "it is a really, really tricky technical problem that no region has been able to solve at the moment. [...] I think it will come out before the end of the year but it is something that was just very difficult to get to grips with".[22] Reports soon emerged that the game had failed epilepsy testing, and that the game would have to be re-engineered before it could be released.[23] These reports were addressed by an SCEE representative, who stated that the delay was due to numerous improvements and added features, which included the reverse tracks, four extra ships, two new heads-up displays, the addition of two-player offline split screen mode, and Trophy support.[24] Addressing the reports of health issues, they affirmed that they "take consumer safety very seriously and monitor it very carefully".[24] A comparison video between the preview and final builds later showed greatly toned-down equalizer visuals in Zone Mode.[25] The issues were confirmed when the game's director, Tony Buckley, spoke about the tests, saying that although he felt the tests were subjective and the exact issues "difficult to pinpoint", they took them seriously and that the game has "come out the other end alright, with a lot more content", despite their initial fears that the game would "look poorer as a result".[26]

A new feature from update 1.4, called "badges" which will promote players whenever they can finish the race in time or in first. Players will begin as a "Trainee" to the latest rank from reaching the highest badge. The host can set up configurations before the start of the race, such as toggling Pilot Assist On/Off, and even disable/enable Barrel Rolls.

The game has now been confirmed to be released on October, 16th in Blu-Ray Optical Media. The Blu-Ray edition will bring both Wipeout HD and its expansion, Fury. Also, on the same day, it will be released a bundle on the Playstation Network.

In-game Advertising

The same update that was released alongside the Fury downloadable content introduced in-game advertisements from Double Fusion, found in the loading screens before a race.[27] This move was met with criticism from gaming news outlets,[28] particularly as the advertisements significantly extended the loading time between levels; while the game content loads at the same speed, the advert must finish playing before the race can begin.[27] The advert was removed soon afterwards.[29] As well as discussion surrounding the increase in load times, there has been consternation about advertising being retrospectively added into a game that had already been paid for.[30] In software update 2.10 for wipeout HD ads were reintroduced into the game's loading screens. However, they have been patched so that loading times were not increased due to any ads that may appear.

Home Support

In a blog post on the official European Playstation Blog it was confirmed by Studio Liverpool that they would be "looking into adding Home Game Launching" sometime in the future. [31]

Music

The soundtrack comprises nine tracks, presented in Dolby 5.1 surround sound.[6] The game also allows use of custom soundtracks, so that any music stored on the PlayStation 3 hard drive can be selected during gameplay for use in races.[6]

The Fury expansion pack also added the following additional music tracks:

  • Noisia: Machine Gun
  • Gingy: Swagger
  • The Crystal Method: Acetone
  • The Touch: Le Night Dominator
  • Spector: Just Hiss
  • Two Fingers: Marmite

On 14 October 2008, Tim Wright, also known as Cold Storage, who has worked on the soundtrack for previous Wipeout games in the series, released an unofficial six track album entitled Cold Storage HD, to complement the game.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 88%[32]
Metacritic 87/100[33]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[12]
Eurogamer 9/10[10]
GameSpot 7.5/10[11]
IGN 9/10[9]
VideoGamer 9/10[5]
TVG 8/10[34]
IGN UK 9.2/10[7]

Critical reception to Wipeout HD has been positive, with a Metacritic aggregate score of 87 out of 100, based on 51 reviews,[33] and an 88% aggregate score at Game Rankings, based on 43 reviews.[32]

Universal praise from reviews has been placed on the presentation and visuals of the game, with "sharp detail"[5], "breathtaking lighting"[8], and "strikingly artistic visuals that are gorgeous to see in motion"[11]; Zone mode was also praised in this regard, being "nothing short of stunning" and ultimately creating an "immensely immersive experience".[7] The audio and soundtrack were also well-received[5], being "perfectly put to practice".[7] In the 12th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards Finalists Wipeout HD achieved a nomination under 'Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design.'

The low price of the game was also cited as a positive factor.[7][8]

Criticism mostly stems from the game's porting of tracks and vehicles, as well as soundtrack, directly from the previous two PlayStation Portable games, with "little new for fans of the series to sink their teeth into".[11] Some disappointment was also expressed at the "slightly undercooked"[10] online mode, and that some competitive modes, such as Eliminator, were not initially carried over from the PlayStation Portable versions.[10]

References

  1. ^ Daimion Pinnock (2008-09-15). "WipEout HD Officially Dated, Priced". SCEA. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2008/09/15/wipeout-hd-officially-dated-priced/. Retrieved 2008-09-15.  
  2. ^ "Wipeout HD: Official Site". http://wipeouthd.com/. Retrieved 2008-09-27.  
  3. ^ "PlayStation Games & Media - WipEout HD". http://uk.playstation.com/games-media/games/detail/item75516/WipEout%E2%84%A2-HD/. Retrieved 2008-09-27.  
  4. ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-wipeout-hd-fury-interview?page=2
  5. ^ a b c d e f Orry, Tom (2008-09-16). "WipEout HD Review for PS3". VideoGamer. http://www.videogamer.com/ps3/wipeout_hd/review.html. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  6. ^ a b c "Three Speech » WipEout HD Soundtrack Announced". Three Speech. 2008-02-26. http://threespeech.com/blog/?p=905. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Robinson, Martin (2008-09-16). "IGN: WipEout HD Review". IGN UK. http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/910/910419p1.html. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  8. ^ a b c d Evans-Thirlwell, Edwin (2008-09-22). "PS3 Review: WipEout HD". Kikizo. http://games.kikizo.com/reviews/ps3/wipeout-hd-p1.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-23.  
  9. ^ a b Roper, Chris (2008-09-23). "IGN: WipEout HD Review". IGN. http://ps3.ign.com/articles/912/912822p1.html. Retrieved 2008-09-24.  
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Whitehead, Dan (2008-09-16). "WipEout HD Review - Page 1". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=238638. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Cocker, Guy (2008-09-19). "Wipeout HD for PlayStation 3 Review". Gamespot. http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/driving/wipeout/review.html. Retrieved 2008-09-23.  
  12. ^ a b c Mielke, James (2008-09-26). "Wipeout HD Review". 1UP.com. http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3170202&p=37. Retrieved 2008-09-26.  
  13. ^ Nelson, Randy (2008-09-12). "Joystiq hands-on: WipEout HD race-ready at last". http://www.joystiq.com/2008/09/12/joystiq-hands-on-wipeout-hd-race-ready-at-last/. Retrieved 2008-09-12.  
  14. ^ Alexander, Jem (2008-09-17). "Trophies: WipEout HD". PS3 Fanboy. http://www.ps3fanboy.com/2008/09/17/trophies-wipeout-hd/. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  15. ^ http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2009/07/17/wipeout-fury-developer-diary-new-game-modes/
  16. ^ Buckley, Tony (2009-06-01). "WipEout HD Fury Expansion Pack Details". PlayStation.Blog. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/06/01/wipeout-hd-fury-expansion-pack-details/. Retrieved 2009-06-01.  
  17. ^ Hatfield, Daemon (2007-07-11). "IGN: E3 2007: Wipeout HD PS3 Download". IGN. http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/803/803446p1.html. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  18. ^ Kolan, Patrick. "IGN: WipEout HD Preview". IGN. http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/821/821816p1.html. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  19. ^ Orry, James (2007-08-27). "WipEout HD on PlayStation Store later this year". VideoGamer. http://www.videogamer.com/ps3/wipeout_hd/news-6303.html. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  20. ^ Magrino, Tom (2008-05-16). "Sony lays out '08, early '09 lineup". GameSpot. http://uk.gamespot.com/ps3/driving/wipeout/news.html?sid=6191129&om_act=convert&om_clk=newsfeatures&tag=newsfeatures;title;3. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  21. ^ Anderson, Luke (2008-09-16). "Wipeout HD takes off Sept 25". GameSpot. http://uk.gamespot.com/ps3/driving/wipeout/news.html?sid=6197763&om_act=convert&om_clk=newsfeatures&tag=newsfeatures;title;1. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  22. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (2008-07-17). "WipEout HD delayed due to technical issue". EuroGamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=191929. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  23. ^ Ogden, Gavin (2008-07-22). "WipEout HD delayed due to epilepsy test failure". CVG. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=193765. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  24. ^ a b Leyton, Chris (2008-07-24). "Wipeout HD Delay Response Confirms Trophies & Splitscreen News". TVG. http://www.totalvideogames.com/news/Wipeout_HD_Delay_-_Official_Response_13555_6787_0.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  25. ^ Scammell, David (2008-09-11). "How Sony changed WipEout HD to pass health tests". D+PAD Magazine. http://www.dpadmagazine.com/2008/09/11/how-sony-changed-wipeout-hd-to-pass-health-tests/. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  26. ^ Minkley, Johnny (2008-09-17). "Videogame epilepsy tests "subjective", says WipEout developer". gamesindustry.biz. http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/videogame-epilepsy-tests-subjective-says-wipeout-developer. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  27. ^ a b http://www.joystiq.com/2009/08/03/double-fusion-slows-down-wipeout-hd-with-ads/
  28. ^ http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/101/1010113p1.html
  29. ^ http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/sony-removes-in-game-advert-that-increased-load-times
  30. ^ "Post-launch WipeOut HD ads a scary look at possible future". ArsTechnica. http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2009/08/yanked-wipeout-hd-ads-offer-scary-look-at-possible-future.ars.  
  31. ^ http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2009/07/08/wipeout-fury-developer-diary-environment-design//
  32. ^ a b "Wipeout HD Reviews". GameRankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/938148.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  33. ^ a b "WipEout HD (ps3: 2008): Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/wipeouthd. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
  34. ^ Leyton, Chris (2008-09-24). "TVG: Wipeout HD Review PlayStation Network". Total Video Games. http://www.totalvideogames.com/articles/Wipeout_HD_13798.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  

See also

External links








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