Wipeout 3 Review
The Wipeout series is one of the most popular racing franchise. And there was no doubt in anybody's mind that after releasing Wipeout XL (the second Wipeout) that Psygnosis would release another Wipeout title. It took a while for them to do so, but after all the wait the game was announced around March '99. Wipeout 3 was scheduled for an October release and fans were kind of disappointed that they had to wait so long, but Psygnosis filled the gap and released a game called RollCage. RollCage sold pretty well but it was still no Wipeout. Never the less fans of the series were delighted to hear that another sequel to Psygnosis' hit franchise was soon to be a reality. Finally Wipeout 3 arrives, but does it live up to it's expectations?
This is truly the games shining point, the graphics. A very nice 3D engine with an excellent frame rate that manages to stay perfect at all times (even in 2 player mode). The games 3D engine is very very nice. The ships look very detailed and smooth, and the backgrounds are great. The ships move very nice to they are never jerky thanks to the frame rate. Also the lighting effects look pretty good but the explosions are another story. Wipeout 3 has very puny explosions, when I play a game that has some sort of weapons involved in it, I expect to see a nuclear explosion, but Wipeout 3 fails to deliver that. And finally let's not forget the CGs, which look very nice and are on a high quality based level.
Gameplay is the most important thing in any game especially in a racing game. When a gamer plays a futuristic racer he expects intense speed. And that is what Wipeout 3 delivers, vain popping, break neck, insane speed. The game features three classes of speed, Vector (slow, easy) Venom (medium, normal) Rapier (fast, hard). I suggest playing with the Venom level it's good for all around performance. Wipeout 3 consists of a pretty good list of modes. It features 6 modes, single race, time trial, challenge, eliminator, 2 player, and tournament. All are pretty self explanatory so I don't think I have to explain any of the modes. Wipeout 3 also features an arsenal of weapons everything from missiles to a mine bomb to an earthquake. I like the idea of weapons in Wipeout games, I think they give the gamer a better sense of the action. Not only does Wipeout feature a good amount of weapons but it also has a good amount of tracks. There are 8 tracks in total, you start out with 4. Like most racing games, at the beginning of any race in Wipeout 3 you can turbo boost your way through. The interface is on of the worst interfaces I have ever seen. The text is to small to read sometimes and the futuristic look just doesn't cut it. And last but not least WO 3 features 8 hover crafts to choose from.
Like any other racing game these days Wipeout 3 features an excellent soundtrack with some heavy beats. The soundtrack consists of 14 tunes, and the bands who made them are Paul Van Dyk (1 song) Sasha (6 songs!) The Chemical Brothers (1 song) MKL (3 songs), Orbital and the Propeller Heads (each 1 song). What sort of disappointed me about the sound was that I couldn't hear the engine of my hover craft. Usually if futuristic games such as Jet Moto 3 the engine sounds like a bull loud and fierce, but in Wipeout 3 it has a little kitty an engine, never the less the soundtrack still manages to top all of that.
The control is fairly simple, and complication is not the issue in this category. The button layout is pretty good and re-configuration it is a bad idea. The only thing I had to get used to was the handling. Since I'm driving a hovercraft I have to realize that. So for a while I was hitting the rails but after I got the hang of everything, I never hit the walls again. The analog is an easier way to play the game and I do prefer it, because you have a better feel of turning. When I mentioned the turbo boost earlier in the review I also didn't mention that you have to hold the acceleration meter at a certain rate. To those who have a dual shock your in luck, but to those who don't you need help. If you have a dual shock press X and hold it till your reach a point of your acceleration when the dual shock tilts, that is your cue to keep holding the bar at that point until the race starts.
Wipeout 3 should last you a pretty long time. It features great variety as well as great an array of modes, such as Single Race, Time Trail, Challenge, Eliminator, and Tournament. And don't forget the 2 player mode, which still manages to run at a great frame rate. All in all Wipeout 3 is a worthy sequel and deserves your purchase.