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The concept behind WipeOut is a racing game in which you must be the first driver to cross the finish line. There would be nothing very original about it if you could not shoot at the other drivers while driving. There were however, similar games that were released in the past such as Crash'n Burn on the 3DO and Megarace on the PC, but if you compare them to WipeOut for the PlayStation, none can pretend to come close.
As you can guess, the PC version does not compare at all with the PlayStation version. The difference consists essentially in the speed at which the graphics are displayed on the screen. With a Pentium, the game is certainly more playable than with a 486 processor, but it is still not the same excitement you can experience with the console version. This does not mean the game is not worth playing, but don't expect the same gameplay!
The splendid introduction of the game gives you an idea of what kind of vehicle you will drive: a futuristic car which levitates on the road with a high maniability. When beginning a new game, you will be given the choice between two different classes: Venom and Rapier. Only the first will be selectable as you must reach a certain level of expertise before moving on to the second class. Before starting a race, you must select the competition you will enter. There are the Championship, the time trial and a single race. In the time trial, your goal is to beat the existing lap record, thus training your driving skills for the Championship. The single race takes place on the track of your choice with seven opponents, with you starting in the last position. You will then have to choose one of the four available teams, and select one pilot among the two present in each team. After these selections, you will finally start the race. Six huge 3D tracks await you in WipeOut with tunnels, bridges, twisting segments and more, over several landscapes remarkably designed. Unlike certain games on consoles, the landscape will not pop up suddenly piece by piece as you approach it, because it was taken into consideration during the design of the tracks.
The 3D graphics of WipeOut are not pre-rendered like Megarace, but instead generated in real time, following, of course, the 3D design of the track itself. This involves a great freedom of moment only limited by the barriers along the track. If you feel like you want to drive the wrong way, don't hesitate and go for it, but, of course, this is not how you will win the Championship! The controls at first will be quite time consuming to master as your car is floating on air at high speed, inertia won't allow you to go exactly where you want to. That's why your car is equipped with directional brakes on each side to help you correct the trajectory. I tried really hard to avoid using them, but the result was catastrophic. My car was always bouncing from one side of the road to another, and I always finished last in every race. So believe me, it is wise to use the side brakes!
The game can only be played by a single player, and while the network & serial add-on is being done by the company, you can only race against yourself in the time trial or against the artificial opponents in the Championship. The game supports keyboard, mouse and joystick controls and you can also configure the keys on the keyboard and choose the sensibility for the mouse. You will have no less than six keys to choose on your keyboard, so make sure they are all centered if you don't want to cross your fingers.
WipeOut's soundtrack matches the feeling of speed that comes from the game with a techno-style music playing directly from the CD. The fans will be delighted, but for those who don't like the music, the options will let you select the proportion between sound effects and music.
The gameplay as mentionned above is not fast enough on a 486 and unless you play on a Pentium, you won't enjoy what you will see. There are however several options to let a 486 user play with the game. I don't really appreciate all these options that deteriorate the graphics quality, reduce the size of the screen, etc... to make the game run at a descent speed. If it is to play with bad graphics with a ridiculous screen size, then I would prefer to buy a console and play with the console version!
Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster Pro, Sound Blaster 16, Sound Blaster AWE32 and compatible sound cards supported.
Technical Support: +44-(0)151-282-3000
919 East Hillsdale Blvd., 2nd floor,
Foster City, CA 94404.
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