Wipeout Omega Collection review: Wipeout VR is now a thing and it’s coming as a free update in 2018
Anyone who was a fan of Wipeout HD Fury‘s 3D mode will love the new addition coming to Wipeout Omega Collection in early 2018.
Announced at PlayStation Experience, the annual fan-fest Sony throws for PlayStation players in America, Wipeout Omega Collection is finally getting a VR mode. Virtual reality racing was something that players had hoped would come to Omega Collection from day one but, due to the actual logistics of making it work, it’s been in production behind the scenes for some time.
It’s still not dated beyond early 2018, but Sony has stated that every mode and track will be playable in VR, with new ships and interiors to make it even more immersive in VR. Wipeout VR is a free update too, so you won’t have to fork out anything more to play.
You can watch the short reveal trailer below. It’s evident it’s not as pretty as Omega Collection was, but it certainly seems to be running smoothly and should, hopefully, not be anywhere near as nauseating as anti-gravity racing initially looks.
You can read our original Wipeout Omega Collection review below.
Wipeout Omega Collection review:
Wipeout Omega Collection is like putting on that pair of your favourite, well-worn and comfortable shoes. It’s the feeling of pure bliss rippling from your feet and up your spine, tickling the warm places of your mind as you reminisce about all the adventures you and your footwear have been on. The only difference with this analogy is that Wipeout Omega Collection is – unlike a pair of worn shoes – utterly beautiful to look at and as close as you’re we’re going to get to a brand-new Wipeout game for some time.
On the surface this may look like nothing more than a bundled collection of remastered games in the ilk of the PS3 era’s many HD remake trilogies. But Wipeout Omega Collection is so much more than that. Not only is it a thoughtful 4K HDR remake of Wipeout HD Fury, it’s also the first time the PlayStation Vita-exclusive Wipeout 2048 has made its way to a home console. This isn’t just a “best of” compendium, either: it’s a piece of Wipeout history, with all three of the game’s campaigns and modes left intact for you to play though. This means 26 reversible tracks and 46 different crafts along with well over 100 campaign levels for the meagre asking price of £25 (or £30 on PSN).
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Wipeout HD Fury and Wipeout 2048 haven’t aged all that well since their initial releases in 2008 and 2012 respectively but, in testament to the skill of the now shuttered Studio Liverpool, they’re both still perfect. The optional barrier assist of HD Fury remains, but this is just as brutal as it’s always been. It takes genuine skill with air brakes, boosts and subtle course corrections to win in the higher-speed classes.
Wipeout 4K HDR Fury
In terms of gameplay, Wipeout Omega Collection is practically the same as before. Sony XDev, the studio responsible for the remastering in place of former series developer Studio Liverpool, may have tweaked how the DualShock 4 analogue stick handles compared to the DualShock 3’s, but any Wipeout pro will instantly feel comfortable piloting any craft in Wipeout Omega Collection.
So, if nothing has really changed on the gameplay front, you may be wondering what the point of Omega Collection really is. To put it bluntly, if you have a PS4 Pro and a 4K HDR TV, Wipeout has literally never looked so good. Running on our Samsung KS9000, Fury’s neon-soaked cityscapes, HD’s clean and crisp floating courses and 2048’s lush urban tracks look absolutely stunning in native 4K. HDR makes weapon explosions, snow particles and even jet-exhaust flares look spectacular. And, before you start whining “but PS4 Pro doesn’t do 4K”, Wipeout Omega Collection runs in native 4K when Motion Blur is switched off, otherwise it’s 2160 Checker Board upscaling.
For those without a 4K TV – and who have played Wipeout HD Fury and 2048 before – Omega Collection offers a whole host of benefits beyond 4K. At 1080p it still runs at a silky smooth 60fps and looks a far sight better than the PS3 and PS Vita versions. That should be a no-brainer for a title released in 2017 but, as any Wipeout HD Fury fan can attest, it’s stood the test of time better than any game released during the PS3’s lifetime. It’s likely that, until Sony decide to release another Wipeout game, Omega Collection will take up the same mantle on the PS4. I can’t state enough just how gorgeous it is in motion.
The Alpha and the Omega
Hopefully the “Omega” in Omega Collection doesn’t mean this is the ultimate compendium of Wipeout games, because I’d very much like Sony to keep making more. However, this is one heck of a package. It’s the perfect entry point for the many PS4 players who have never had the chance to play one of the best ever racing games, and it’s a lovingly remastered version of the series’ best entries. Even for die-hard Wipeout fans, the inclusion of Vita-only Wipeout 2048 is a massive draw as it plays reasonably differently from other entries in the series without compromising its core.
A big part of Wipeout’s appeal has always been the music that accompanies its high-octane anti-gravity races. Due to a number of licensing issues around the soundtrack of Wipeout HD Fury and 2048, most of the music in Omega Collection consists of tracks and remixes from Wipeout stalwarts and newcomers such as Boys Noize, Deadmau5, Memtrix and Swanky Tunes. Before you start to worry, it works perfectly, encapsulating everything there is to love about Wipeout and giving it a fresh, contemporary sound. If electro and drum and bass isn’t your thing, you can just make use of PlayStation Music’s Spotify support and play whatever you like instead.[gallery:17]
For a series that launched almost 22 years ago, every entry has always felt completely on point for the age it was launched in. When Wipeout was first conceived in a Merseyside pub in the early 90s, it’s unlikely that anybody would have imagined it becoming the cult title that it is today. Wipeout Omega Collection represents the culmination of its superb design and execution, its timeless appeal and obscene difficulty curve and it’s desire to stand out from everything else on the market.
After shuttering Studio Liverpool and mothballing the Wipeout franchise, a braver Sony – the same one that commissioned the remastering of PS1 curio PaRappa the Rapper – has taken a chance. It’s low-risk, but if it works then perhaps we’ll get to see what a fully fledged PS4 Wipeout game could be like. For now, this glimpse at what could have been is more than delicious enough.