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Wipeout 3
"High-speed futuristic racing in the most extreme sense" Image Loading...
Developer: Psygnosis
Distributor: Sony
Game Type: Racing
Review Date: Sept 99
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      Wipeout 3 includes the usual selection of single player and time trial modes, but offering much more interest are the range of tournaments and challenges.

Image Loading...The main Tournament involves a group of four races against 11 CPU controlled opponents. Points are awarded dependant on finishing position, similar to a Formula 1 championship. Finish at the top of the league and a new racing class is opened. There are three racing classes, which (for the uninitiated) are Vector, Venom and Rapier.

The Eliminator is basically a Deathmatch mode and is a good reason alone for buying this game. Choose your preferred class, track and racing team. Then decide on how many kills will decide the winner (from a measly one, to an almighty ninety-nine). All 12 competitors then scrap it out blasting, bombing and zapping each other all around the circuit. When a shield has been totally maxed out the craft is destroyed and reappears back on the starting line. This system allows for an infinite number of targets. Surviving a full lap counts as 'one kill', but it's much more fun trailing the back markers and then putting an earthquake up their arses when least expecting it (taking four out together). The player who eliminates the pre-selected number of opponents first is declared the winner. As a multi-player game (1-4 spilt/link up) this is tops.

Image Loading... Challenges are divided into three categories; race, time and weapon. To complete a racing challenge the player must finish in the top three positions on a pre-selected track. Gold, silver and bronze awards are presented after each race. Gaining a medal opens up the next challenge (similar to Gran Turismo)... and so it goes on. The time challenge is worth playing just to experience Wipeout in stunning high-resolution mode.

Once again medals are awarded for completing the circuit in a given set of times. Weapon challenge is great fun, as a target number of kills must be completed before the end of each race. The first few challenges are fairly easy but once the racing class moves up to Rapier then most players will be hard pushed to make the check points, let alone take out five enemy craft in the process.

Image Loading...If there's one thing that makes Wipeout stand out from the rest of the racing crowd it is surely the inclusion of weapons. Although they may be switched off at the main options menu leaving them on hugely increases the enjoyment of playing. Thankfully Psygnosis have not tampered too much with the classic fire power from Wipeout XL (2097), but there are some tasty additions.

Standing proudly alongside favorites such as rockets, mines and the wonderful earthquake bomb are new editions Energy Drain (sucks an enemies shield away for your own use) and Forcewall (raises an electronic wall that enemies cannot pass through). Power-ups include shield, auto-pilot, cloak (disappearing act... remember the Klingons) and a reflection shield.

The debate rages on about which two player mode is the best... split-screen or link-up. Wipeout 3 includes a split-screen mode. Hooray!
There is no difference in speed and very little of the scenery has been sacrificed. Yippee!
Image Loading...Furthermore up to TWELVE CPU opponents can take part in a race. Whoopee!
Also, should you own a Widescreen TV then Wipeout 3 has a screen mode to take advantage of this, particularly when it comes down to vertically split two player races. Yeee..Haa!
Finally, don't shed a tear if you (like me) prefer linking up racing games. A cheat mode is available which opens up a two to four player split-screen link-up mode (simply insert the name 'LINK' as the name of the second player). Amazing!

Making its debut in the Wipeout series is the Dual Shock control. Every bump, grind and explosion can be relayed through the pad, while the analog control is fantastic and handles like a dream.
Game Options:
      This is a single disk game for 1-2 Players. The two player game is split screen, while a four player link-up can be gained by using a cheat code. It is compatible with the standard (digital) joypad and the dual shock (analog) joypad. Games can be saved via memory card (1 block per save).

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Staff Opinions  
Martin: "My first impression was that this was very similar to Wipeout XL (2097). Then I played them both together and I must have been blind not to notice the vast improvements.

The inclusion of challenge and Deathmatch modes greatly enhance the gameplay, while the two player spilt-screen mode is sheer class. Add to this the hidden four player Split-screen-Link-up mode and.... well, what are you waiting for? Go get some!"
Graphics: 19/20
Playability: 49/50
Sound: 9/10
Lastability: 18/20
Overall: 95%
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