Today we are going to be taking a look at one of the most unique racers you can play out there, the futuristic anti-gravity racer Wipeout Omega Collection. So, lets plough into this game and see if it’s worth buying.
Wipeout Omega Collection is a remaster of previous games in the series like Wipeout HD and its expansion Wipeout HD Fury and Wipeout 2048. The game has no story but has challenges in the form of races and other events that you take part in.
Both the HD portion and 2048 section differ when it comes to events and their differences are both good and bad in certain aspects. For example, in HD mode you can set your difficulty but in 2048 the further you progress, the harder it gets, which incidentally is my preferred style between the two.
Both games have very similar modes, however, the HD segment has a greater amount of options to choose from, like having to hit targets on the track.
However, the main sort of races and events you’ll be taking part in will be single races, championship events, time trials and the never-ending acid trip, Zone, which requires you to get as far as possible with the speed increasing over time until it simply becomes impossible not to be attracted to walls until you tear yourself apart.
The one thing about the Zone mode in 2048 is that the colours can be so intense that it’s easy enough to not see where you’re going, though it was only a small inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.
The control of the vehicles varies as well, with your anti-gravity supercars being more loose and free when racing in the HD section of the game. While on the 2048 side of things the controls are tighter and more responsive.
The gameplay definitely gives off an incredible sense of speed, especially when you begin to race at higher tiers, which are ranked differently in both games. While I can appreciate the differences with the driving mechanics which can offer up more options when playing as the little tweaks between the two does lead to big enough changes, leading you to explore which one you prefer.
The sheer lack of any semblance between the two with all these changes can be distracting to begin with and makes the game feel somewhat disorganized.
I feel like the games could have been played around with to offer a more cohesive system between the two. Simple changes like making all pads the same for both games and using the same names for their speed class system, the division between the two games is just a little surreal for me. There is a VR option to play the game and I can only imagine what it is like.
There are assault weapons, support weapons and boost pads, that make the game feel like it’s a hybrid between arcade racer and kart racer at points. You have your standard assault weapons such as rockets, plasma cannons and also have the weird ones like leech beams which latch onto the closet vehicle in front of you and begins to suck the life out of them.
Then you have the earthquake weapon that sends an earthquake throughout the track hitting everyone, and in typical fashion like kart racers, the further back you are, the more likely you’ll get better items and weapons to help you out, while up front you will find yourself with less useful items.
The support weapons include shields to protect you and an auto-drive item that drives the vehicle for you for a certain amount of time. Whether you pick up assault or support weapons, you have the option to sacrifice them in order to regain some of your ship’s life, altogether it creates a rather intriguing system that is easy to understand, yet has enough options to keep it fresh depending on how well you do in races.
Now to talk about online, oh boy!
This is where the biggest divergence comes from within the game. The HD and 2048 the two are essentially so different that they’re separate. You eventually might end up setting up your own race lobby but will then have to wait a horrendous amount of time for someone to join you.
If the HD and 2048 had been more coherent and had the same controls it wouldn’t have been so bad, but with how wide the range of options are, it can lead to it simply not letting you race the way you might want.
There is a big difference in tracks between 2048 and HD. HD has straightforward tracks for you to follow with one or two options to take marginally different routes, however, with 2048 it’s a completely different ball game altogether.
The tracks in 2048 have a multitude of divergent routes that make a distinctive difference, it feels so much more inventive over HD, it gives you a reason to try and master those tracks in order to get the best time, a reason to come back and simply explore to find and master routes so that you can show off to your friends.
Oh, did I mention this game has a local two-player? Because it does!
So you can sit down with friends and battle it out to prove who is the best, thus extending the life and replayability of Wipeout!
Graphics wise this game looks really bloody good, it captures the aesthetic of a futuristic racing world impeccably, from the design of the tracks to the neat looking areas the races take place in. It’s vibrant and full of colour yet looks as realistic as anti-gravity racing would look if it was actually a thing.
This is what the future of racing looks like to me now, whether it is possible or not I do not know, but if the future looks this clean then count me in because right now the world feels like it’s in a chaotic state and is spiralling into its own destruction with no hope on the horizon for a better tomorrow. But that’s a topic for a different day!
Now onto the tunes! Wipeout Omega has a bopping soundtrack, that consists of techno and electronic dance music, with tracks from the likes of Swedish house mafia. These types of songs have been a staple of the series.
It works amazingly well, melding with the incredible speed you reach in the game to give you that rush! One little touch that I liked was when you get hurled into some air the music would become lower and more echo-like, creating a false sense of adrenaline, and when you land back onto the track the music kicks back into gear.
Overall Wipeout Omega is an incredibly fun racer.
The game handles like a dream, bringing to life the fantasy of futuristic driving. It’s visually stunning to behold, and the music sets the scene for the races nicely.
However, the clear lack of cohesion between HD and 2048 does stick out like a sore thumb and is more of a detriment to the game than a positive in my opinion.
As at the end of the day, I was always more inclined to play the 2048 segment over the HD, and with a game like this, my favouritism for 2048 made me neglect the HD side of the game. Though with that said, it’s a fun challenging racer that is a tight experience that offers something no other game like it has seemed to capture!
Wipeout Omega collection gets a recommendation of Must Buy!