Excuse the photo. That’s just how I remember the Wipeout series. An eerie, anti gravity racing game with an incredible soundtrack. That I didn’t really play.
Not that its something I couldn’t get into. I played the original to death but dancing to the amazing soundtrack rather than fully focusing on the race, is not how to win in Wipeout. No the original Wipeout had me feeling like the couple in the above photo; dazed, confused and not quite if they enjoyed the experience or not. So with the subsequent Wipeouts never crossing my radar bar a brief flirtation with the Vita version. Me and Wipeout went our separate ways
Fast forward 15 years or so and I find myself again flirting with the idea of revisiting the series, this time on the PS4. I must admit that I held back at first initially disappointed that the game didn’t expand upon anything new, yes the games on the package were repackaged spruced up the visuals now in 4K and in 60 fps but I still felt a little disappointed that a new PS4 game, even a small one alluding to something yet to come hadn’t been included in the package but as I hadn’t played either of the PS3 games I thought I would eventually give it a shot and wait for a sale.
Then I heard about the VR update,.
Now the tables were turned. I love PSVR. In fact I love any and all the VR headsets I have used, they are an incredible way to play games, giving racing games, shooting games a whole new sense of depth and a sense of immersion that you just can’t get using a traditional TV and even the change to really feel like a super hero . Batman VR.
I had to get it, as soon as I heard the update was out I rushed to my local shop to try and grab a copy. As I walked to shop I started scanning the first reviews, All were positive, I read more trying to find a review not full of praise but, I couldn’t I started to panic what if the shop had run out of copies? After all wasn’t I warned on the web page that there were only 5 copies left. I hurried on cursing myself as I went, Imagining a rugby like scrum everybody trying to fight over the last remaining copy. I shouldn’t have worried of course when I got to the shop there were still the five copies left in the shop and better yet they were on SALE. Yes I told myself I had to have it, the sale was a sign for how much I would enjoy the game and not just in the literal sense.
I ran home.
The queue to the pay felt like an eternity, what were these people buying it wasn’t Wipeout? What did I do while I queued? Read more reviews of course. On and on I read, each review trying to find new superlatives to try and explain just how good the game was. I got home, unpacked the game from its cellophane prison and panicked. The last review I had watched ( I found a negative one) had said while the game play itself was excellent the VR emersion was a little on the extreme side so I decided to take it slowly to play the game in the traditional mode and work my way up to what I imagined to be the very headache inducing VR mode.
That lasted about half an hour, Initially I was wowed by the beauty of the game, it really does pop on the screen even on my non 4K display. The game truly is a thing of beauty, the soundtrack is still as incredible as I remembered it from my PS1 days but, I still couldn’t shake the felling of just, how much better it could look with the headset on. Imagine how fast it would feel with the headset strapped to my eye balls? I really would be one part of the couple in the photo.
So I took the plunge.
Strapped the beautiful headset to my head, took it off cleaned the lense as they were too foggy to see through. Strapped it back on and off we went. Straight away my jaw dropped to the floor in VR this beautiful game is an incredible work of art. It feels different, almost alive to your presence. I can’t shake the feeling that the Wipeout in VR is the ultimate realization of the developers initial concept. it is an incredible achievement and one that I am finally reasonably good at. For now with the ships only ships only inches from my face, the racing grabs hold of my attention and doesn’t let go. I look where it wants me to look and its always making me look at something beautiful, its a new way to play the game. It feels like a new game. With the slightly raised perspective you can almost feel the corners, the tight bends before they happen, its harder to crash and the soundtrack now filters through my headphones into my brain and takes me not into a dancing mania but almost a Zen like trance.
Its truly an experience to behold.
Have you tried Wipeout VR?
Next on the list is Rez