Review of Wipeout Fusion
It's time to enter a new century with new hardware, new techniques and a fresh approach to the tasks ahead. It is 2150 AD and the Federation has unveiled the new Wipeout F9000 league. The next generation of anti-gravity race craft displays the speed and subtlety with unprecedented levels of maneuverability.
Okay speed freaks; strap in tight for a game that lets you race insanely fast hover-craft around a selection of ‘Hot Wheels’ tracks against up to 15 other competitors. With the aid of amazing weapons and super turbo pads, your aim is to win as many races as possible, while obliterating anything in your path.
It may only seem a short while ago, but in a few months time Wipeout celebrates its 7th anniversary. It was certainly ‘THE’ launch title that helped Sony quickly sell over a million consoles and more importantly bring the over 20’s back into the fold of home computer gaming. Wipeout Fusion may be the forth in the racing series, but will it turn as many heads towards the PS2 as the original did for the Playstation 1? Let’s see…
Gran Turismo was not only a fine looking game, but also it forced developers into rethinking the content of the racing genre. Simply rewarding the player with a bonus mirror track was no longer good enough for the avid racing fanatic. Sony Liverpool have thankfully taken heed and crammed a multitude of playable racing scenarios into Fusion. Apart from the usual arcade, split-screen 2 player and time-trial modes there is a riveting AG League, a gripping Challenge mode and a real tough test in Zone mode.
All the crafts handle superbly and can even be individually upgraded by using credits earned from competitive racing, while the computer controlled AI makes for a sensible but testing challenge. All your favorite weapons (Earthquake rulez!) remain intact with a few tasty extras (use the flamethrower to set the crafts in front alight) that will blow your mind away and probably everything else in its path. Advancing further into the game the craft actually leave the track taking to dust paths, rivers and even upside down ala Rollcage.
Wipeout wouldn’t be Wipeout without awesome sounds and that’s precisely what you get within Fusion. I guarantee that the Dolby Digital Pro Logic II effects and stomping music will make you ‘Public Enemy Number One’ with your neighbors, so take heed.
I’m not quite sure what conclusion to make of Wipeout Fusion’s graphical prowess. Everything is wonderful and rosy in the garden during early sessions of play. Controls are simple and with only a few circuits initially opened up there’s ample time to glance around and admire the pleasing scenery. “Oh, look at those futuristic craft patrolling the skies…” and… “WOW!… the moving industrial scenery can be viewed on the horizon…” Impressive? I’ll say. True to form as time moves on, action on the track begins to heat up and so does the pace of the game until eventually Wipeout Fusion moves like a bitch on heat. Surely someone should patent a g-force mask that clamps your cheeks tightly and then pulls them back behind your ears. Maybe just for this game… maybe not!
Unfortunately all the awesome dust effects, realistic smoking, blinding explosions and sheer pace of the game are lost by annoying slowdown and some of the most awful glitches seen on PS2. On a couple of occasions the picture froze for about four seconds before firing back to life, while a heavy collision often pushes both craft and camera right through the scenery. Unforgivable considering how addictive the gameplay is!
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Wipeout Fusion' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Martin © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 9 Wipeout Fusion in-game screenshot slideshow
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