A ball bounces. A pin drops. A man falls. Gravity was the glue that bound us to our planet, but in 1995 PlayStation applied the solvent that freed our species forever. The fresh, anti-grav racing of Wipeout turned a genre on its head, literally. Our primitive minds were blown away by its corkscrewing rollercoaster tracks. Wipeout’s vehicular combat, infectious soundtrack, and an ever-expanding garage of drivable-missilecraft kept us hopelessly locked on. Even today, the remastered contents of this time capsule have the power to make modern, wheel-based racers feel old and tired.
Wipeout Omega Collection certainly isn’t the first time this series has seen a fresh coat of paint, but in 4K on a PS4 Pro, it’s by far the prettiest and most definitive version available. Heck, even in 1080p at 60fps this jazzed up remix of Wipeout HD, Wipeout Fury and Wipeout 2048 looks resplendent. Previously washed out track details now pop with razor sharpness. The improved lighting drenches these futurescapes in God-rays by day, and everything goes neongasmic by night. You’d gawk if you weren’t racing a velocity somewhere between Ludicrous Speed and Plaid.The assault on your senses continues with an electronica soundtrack which is every bit as integral to the Wipeout experience. It perfectly complements the wild, undulating utopia you’re slingshotting across, and even in the mid-race menus you’ll dawdle, just to snatch a few more bars of whatever’s playing. Throttling into a speed boost or unleashing a weapon that causes some mega-highway to Mexican Wave will cause troughs and apexes in this ear candy. With a decent sound system, these new beats and club culture treats from the heady days of the ’90s will deliver nothing short of aural sex.
Gameplay-wise, Omega Collection doesn’t radically tamper with the already pure formula. There’s a powerful create-any-event Racebox option, but your bread and butter will be the three rather extensive career modes divided into 2048, HD and Fury. These are primarily lapped races, but you’ll also be tackling Time Trials, Speed Laps, Eliminators, Detonators, and psychedelic Zone Events (a faux-VR affair that increases your speed until cornering becomes impossible and you explode into Tron triangles). Speaking of, it’s disappointing PS VR isn’t supported. Omega wears its futurism on its sleeve, making it the perfect vehicle for Sony’s fandangle headgear. I’m guessing these sorts of blistering speeds and banking turns are too much for some of the general public. Hopefully it’ll appear in a later update, if only to start a new trend of live-stream pukings.