Review: WipEout Omega Collection (PS4)

Review: WipEout Omega Collection (PS4)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4

Original Releases:

  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation Vita

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: WipEout Omega Collection
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (24.30 GB)
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Original PS3/Vita Release Dates:

  • WipEout HD (PS3) September 25, 2008
  • WipEout Fury (PS3 DLC) July 23, 2009
  • WipEout 2048 (PSV) February 22, 2012

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Sony XDev Europe / Clever Beans / EPOS Game Studios
Original MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
The WipEout franchise has been synonymous with the PlayStation brand since the original PlayStation so it was only a matter of time before fans would expect there to be a new game in the series on the PlayStation 4.

Sadly, Psygnosis/Studio Liverpool was closed in 2012 and the chances of having a new game seemed low until it was announced that Sony would be putting together a remaster.

Dubbed the Omega Collection, it brings the PlayStation Vita’s WipEout 2048 and the PlayStation 3’s WipEout HD and its expansion Fury to the PlayStation 4 with enhanced visuals and new music.

The racing is still the racing you’ve come to expect from this franchise, the anti-gravity ships handle smoothly and nothing was changed to tweak how the vehicles handle or work.

The action is still fast with various types of modes from standard races to time trials and combat focused battles. With twenty-six tracks and forty-six different ship models across essentially three games, there’s a lot of content here.

WipEout HD and Fury are broken down into events with different modes available per event. The goal is to earn a certain number of points before unlocking the next event.

The level of difficulty to get through the whole campaign is not high. You can usually move to the next event without having to complete all the races if enough gold and silver medals are earned.

… Many of the maps have multiple paths or shortcuts …
New tracks and ship models are introduced gradually as you progress through the campaign allowing just enough time master a track before being introduced to a new one.

Fury is actually treated as a separate title in The Omega Collection with its own entry on the main menu, but it works essentially the same way as WipEout HD. The major difference is that the modes this expansion introduced have more of a focus on combat.

I was most interested in playing WipEout 2048 because I skipped it on the Vita. I actually found the level of difficulty to be slightly higher with the A.I. being more aggressive and the tracks being more complex than the ones found in the other two games in this collection.

Despite the difficulty curve, I loved 2048 because it features some of the coolest tracks I’ve played in a WipEout game. Many of the maps have multiple paths or shortcuts and determining the best route for a time trial or race becomes vital for success.

As for the single player campaign for 2048, there are three major events to play through each taking place in a different year – 2048, 2049, and 2050. So while it might be slightly shorter than the other games in the collection, the level of difficulty does help extend its play time.

2048 is actually the first option in the menu to play, but I would recommend newcomers try out the other two first due to the level of difficulty.

… They even added small things like weather to Sebenco Climb so now it features snowfall …
Visuals:
WipEout HD/Fury on the PlayStation 3 still looks good to this day despite being almost ten years old. The game always stood out as one of the better looking games on the PS3 and having it on the PlayStation 4 with enhanced visuals is fantastic.

WipEout 2048 also made a nice transition to the PS4. I couldn’t tell from looking at it that it was a Vita game as it stands well right alongside the other two. It looks sharp and and pops just as much if not more than the other games because it has some of the more interesting track designs out of the three games.

Everything from the backgrounds to the vehicles look phenomenal. I was constantly finding myself looking at the backgrounds and noticing details I had never noticed before.

They even added small things like weather to Sebenco Climb so now it features snowfall. It doesn’t have an actual effect on the gameplay, but it’s a nice visual touch.

There is a Photo Mode for those who want to create beautiful screenshots, but in its current state it is bugged when using the Easy Screenshots Share Button configuration.

When you tap Share in this configuration it does not fully remove the UI. The only way to remove all of the UI elements in Photo Mode currently is to use the Standard Share Button control type.

From a technical standpoint, I played the Omega Collection on a standard PS4 and I am happy to report that it ran smooth with no noticeable hitches in framerate.

The only issue I ever came across with the visuals was seeing the occasional building in the background flicker before a race started, but during the actual race everything worked fine.

I’m pleased with the game’s transition to the PS4. The work done makes them feel like brand new games.

… the music plays a part in the visuals with the race tracks pulsating to the beat of the song …
Audio:
The soundtracks for WipEout games have always felt special. The music has stuck with the future aesthetic by being mostly electronic. Featuring artists like The Prodigy and Deadmau5, providing original music or remixes, each track fits the look and vibe of the series perfectly.

I don’t think I heard one song from the twenty-eight song tracklist that I didn’t like as each one fit the style I’ve grown accustomed to hearing while playing these games.

Most tracks waver from intense to laid back and each song works well with whatever mode they are being used in, be it a fast paced race or a chilled Zone run. And just like in previous games the music plays a part in the visuals with the race tracks pulsating to the beat of the song.

The effect on the race track is something that will never stop being cool. Playing Zone mode and its variations introduced in Fury will always be personal favorites of mine and the music is a big factor in that.

Online/Multiplayer:
Online supports up to eight players and despite playing the game pre-release I was able to connect to a few people on the U.S. and EU servers with no issue.

The online is broken into servers by region, but switching to a different region is just a button prompt away.

The load times going from the lobby to a race were on the lengthy side, though that might have more to do with individual’s internet connectivity because the game will inform you who it’s waiting for. Once in a game though it was smooth sailing with no noticeable signs of lag or connectivity issues.

Online leaderboards are also present with individual leaderboards for pretty much every race type competed in during the three games. With global and friends leaderboards, shaving fractions of a second off a time was something I found highly addictive.

Conclusion:
As a longtime WipEout fan I’m happy to finally have the franchise on the PlayStation 4. Of course I would have preferred a completely new game, but I’ll take what I can get.

Having what are arguably the best entries in the series on the PS4 with enhanced visuals in one package is a nice way to treat the fans if we aren’t going to get a sequel anytime soon.

As someone who skipped 2048 on the Vita, I was really impressed and finally being able to play it on a console with a controller was worth the price of entry. Even as someone who has played dozens of hours of WipEout HD/Fury I had no problems returning to those games because the visual enhancements help make everything almost feel new.

The Omega Collection is a lot of game. There’s more than enough content here to keep both newcomers and longtime fans entertained for a while and we can only hope this is just the first step towards a full fledged sequel down the road.

Score:
9.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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