WipEout HD is a futuristic racing game developed by Sony Studio Liverpool and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as a downloadable title in late September 2008 in Europe and North America, and late October of the same year in Japan. A retail version of the game with the Fury expansion was released in Europe on the 16th October 2009. It is available only on PlayStation 3.
It was later released along with the Fury expansion and WipEout 2048 together on PlayStation 4 as part of the WipEout Omega Collection.
Note: This page will only cover the PS3 version.
The game is a racing game that puts the player in control of one of various anti-gravity ships as part of the FX350 anti-gravity racing league. It features the same courses from the two PSP games, WipEout Pure and WipEout Pulse. Each team has ships with varying stats in Speed, Thrust, Shield, and Handling. Four speed settings are available to select from: Venom is the slowest setting, then Flash, Rapier, and Phantom, the fastest setting in a standard race. The game also includes combat elements by running over weapon pads scattered around each course; yellow pads provide strong offensive weapons like rockets, and green pads provide defensive options like turbo or shield. The Fury expansion adds new courses, three new modes, and 13 ship models with different stats.
Why It Rocks
- Super fast racing action! Especially on Phantom setting!
- On faster speed settings and higher difficulties, the action can get really intense, keeping the player on their toes.
- Stunning graphics bolstered by a screen resolution of 1080p native, running at a rock solid 60 frames per second.
- A lengthy campaign featuring 87 events spanning eight tournaments.
- The Fury expansion features a separate campaign with 80 events, adds tracks returning from Pure and Pulse, as well as three new game modes:
- Zone Battle: the same as Zone, but other racers are on the track; the objective is to hit the target score first by setting off Zone Boosts, which is filled by hitting boost pads.
- Detonator: similar to Zone, but your ship has a cannon that is used to destroy mines that litter the track. Destroying mines consecutively nets a chain bonus, and destroying bombs will detonate all surrounding mines. An E.M.P (charged with boost pads) is also used to destroy mines and bombs further along the track.
- Eliminator: a combat event in which points are earned by damaging your opponents; the more damage, the more points. Destroying opponents outright yields 20 points. The objective is to reach the target score first.
- Mastering the game takes time, but is also extremely rewarding.
- Zone mode is a lot fun; the ship is on autopilot, and gets faster and faster as the race goes, reaching speeds that are impossible to reach in a standard race. However, the faster the ship goes, the harder it gets to control... which is admittedly quite amusing one you start bouncing across the track like a ping pong ball!
- Has a pretty good Electronica soundtrack; the game also allows the player to use their own custom playlists on their PS3's XMB menu. As for the Fury expansion, it also adds Noisia's "Machine Gun", The Crystal Method's "Acetone" and The Touch's "Le Night Dominator".
- The game was subject to controversy when the loading screens were extended with intrusive in-game advertising. Loading was doubled and the race couldn't even start until the ad finished! Luckily, the ads were removed after widespread complaints.
- As previously mentioned, the game takes time to master, but the learning curve can be quite steep when it comes to playing the harder tracks (like Chenghau Project or Sebenco Climb) on the higher speed settings and Elite difficulty.
- Pilot Assist, while a useful tool to help newcomers, is not worth using as it is more of a liability than an asset. To put it simply, don't bother using it.
- Servers for the game were shutdown on March 29th 2018, this rendering the online unplayable and the platinum trophy unobtainable.
WipEout HD and its expansion, Fury, received very positive reviews, citing graphics, smooth frame rate, and soundtrack as the game's strongest aspects. It has an 87/100 on Metacritic (51 reviews), and 91% on GameRankings.
- After the PlayStation Network was hacked in 2011, Sony introduced a "Welcome Back" program, where they offered free games for a limited time; Wipeout HD (and its expansion) was one of the games offered.