Wipeout Fusion
Game Info
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Publisher
bam! Entertainment
Developer
Studio Liverpool
Genre
Racing
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Great looking courses
• Lots to unlock
• Great soundtrack
• High-speed racing at its finest

The Bad

• To much focus on combat
• Collisions will often bring you to a halt

 
Grade
B+

The Wipeout series has always had a strong fan base from it's successful Playstation editions. The high speed futuristic racer has always been about insane speed, techno soundtracks and a fine mixture of racing and power-up usage to get yourself into first place. In each race, you're launched through turns, loops and futuristic slaloms, while working your way through the field with a strategy of course recollection and efficient power-up usage.

The game starts with a variety of modes with more to unlock, including Practice, AG League, Zone, Challenge and Multiplayer. Practice Mode is actually quite essential as it allows you to grow familiar with the turns in courses before you try your hand at the main portion of the game: the AG League. In the league, you compete in a handful of races, battling through numerous competitors in hopes of taking a medal and unlocking further circuits. Challenge mode gives players a series of challenges to complete to unlock their selected team's super weapon. The Zone mode is a great addition. In it, you're placed by yourself on a track in a ship that keeps going faster and faster until your shields run out. By the time the fourth or fifth lap rolls around, you're going to need sharp reflexes to keep alive. In the game, there are tons of things to unlock, including new racing teams, new pilots, new racing tracks and even alternative courses for previous tracks you've played. In fact, the addition of multiple courses for one track is a nice feature that adds more depth to an already wide range of courses.

Graphics: Wipeout Fusion looks great. The basic design of the game and the courses are done wonderfully and work well as a single solid design concept. The HUD screens are placed well on the screen, so as to be both useful and to keep from interfering with the on-screen action. The tracks and the surrounding environments all show a great deal of detail. And, when you watching it all zoom by at top speed, you're not reminded of the high level of detail and structure by unsightly slowdown. Well used lighting and particle effects add to the crisp detail of the tracks.

Audio: Both the sound effects and music are excellent. While Wipeout Fusion doesn't have the big names in the soundtrack like on Wipeout XL, the songs present are quite excellent on their own. If you've ever played any of the series, you'll know what to expect - high energy electonica/techno. And Fusion delivers with both barrels.

The Bad: Unlike previous editions, Fusion's races tend to spend a lot more time focusing on using weapons, which turns the race more into a vehicular combat game. Because of this, you'll find yourself making very often stops in the pit to refill your gauge. And, even then, you may not finish the race. Also, when you manage to come across something on the course, like a stopped competitor, if you hit them, you'll come to a complete stop, killing your momentum. Between these two issues, finishing racers can be frustratingly hard. But, to be honest, without those two elements, the races might actually be a little easy. There doesn't seem to be any insanely harsh hairpin turns as in previous titles. And, on rare occasion, the game seems to just throw your ship off the course for no reason at all.

Wipeout Fusion is everything that the Wipeout series has always been about, even if the focus is a little combat-heavy. With such a well-pieced package of sound and visuals and with so many things to unlock, future racing fans will be playing this game for some time to come.

- - Kinderfeld

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