October 9, 2008

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Wipeout HD (PS3)
SCE Studio Liverpool, Sept. 25, E 10+

By Glenn "creepy female voice" Given production@hippopress.com

I propose we divert all research grants for disease curing into a large fund set up to develop and market anti-gravity racing.

Wipeout HD found an easy mark with me. I was an enormous fan of the original PS 1 racer and each successive iteration has only grown more polished and enjoyable. While some have balked at Wipeout HD's recycling of tracks and racers from the Playstation Portable's  foray's into the franchise their 1080p 60 frames per second presentation here is really amazing to behold. Studio Liverpool has once again managed to up the skin peeling speed and split-second maneuvers of the franchise while streamlining the user interface so as not to require more than a saccade flick of eyeball to ascertain one's position, weapon load and speed. Races, multi stage tournaments, speed trials, speed lap and the break neck Zone mode where pilots lose acceleration control and must steer their craft at ever greater speeds through a course. Placing in any event unlocks further trials in one's class and awards points used to open up higher classes of play. Repeated use of certain racers earns loyalty to a team name and rewards the player with optional skins for their craft. Hardcore players can accumulate the games 38 trophies and a photo mode has been included to take amazingly detailed shots of race action. All tracks can be run backwards and forwards and in Zone mode and one off arcade races are set up in the games Racebox mode. Online play allows up to 8 racers from across the globe to compete in single races or twelve race tournaments with little to no lag evident. Wipeout HD is one of the, few, must own titles for the PS3 and an absolute steal at $20 downloaded direct from the Playstation Network. A+ — Glenn Given