Wipeout XL

a game by Psygnosis
Genre: Racing
Platforms: PC, Playstation
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 4 reviews, 7 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: Wipeout Games
Wipeout XL
Wipeout XL
Wipeout XL
Wipeout XL

Hold onto your helmets, race fans--one of the year's top games is rocketing toward your PlayStation. Wipeout XL redefines racing excitement with electrifying gameplay, smokin' graphics, and silky-smooth controls.

Target Locked

Wipeout XL's antigravity mayhem goes down in time trial races against the clock or in an exhibition-style Arcade mode. Placing first on all six tracks unlocks hidden modes and tracks, and all the original weapons show up to help you battle past the field of 12 racers. The ships also bristle with new armaments like plasma bolts, autopilots, and thunder bombs.

But Wipeout pros will face more than just new tracks: All the ships now sport shields that take damage from firepower and collisions, and only a detour into the pit will keep you charged. There's time pressure as well--if you're late for the checkpoint, it's game over, man.

The original Wipeout troubled many gamers with its tough-to-master controls, so Psygnosis took pains to remedy that flaw in XL. The fluid steering handles smoothly, and collisions along the side happen more fairly and less frequently.

Gold Medals

Psygnosis enlisted top techno talent to keep the soundtrack thumpin'. Killer tunes by the likes of the Chemical Brothers and Prodigy maintain the intense pace, while the cool announcer updates you on the latest developments in a futuristic, computerlike voice. The unearthly weapons effects, such as the electric sizzle of the shields and the fiery rocket explosions, complete the sweet sounds.

Even better, XL's gorgeous graphics rivet your attention to the screen. Since the original game, the clarity and frame rate have been jacked through the roof, and that shows when you streak past lush rain forests and eerily decrepit train stations. The ships have been remodeled with a sweet new look, including the eye-catching engine flames, and the combat explodes with spectacular new effects like a quake dis-ruptor that buckles the track.

Instant Addiction

With such across-the-board innovations, XL is no mere sequel. The sheer joy of the absorbing racing and combat will glue you to the controller till dawn, and the depth of the gameplay promises many more similar nights. This one's worth saving up to buy the first day it's out.

ProTips:

  • Autopilots only disengage when your ship levels out, so use them on twisty sections that force them to last longer.
  • Skip the pit unless your shields are low or it makes a good shortcut around the regular track
  • Drop mines just as you pass an opponent.
  • The angle of your nose is crucial for tight steering on ascents and descents. Always match the angle of the tracks as tightly as possible.
  • To keep from being passed, fire as soon as you have a rear lock with a missile.
  • Max out your air on jumps by holding Down. You'll often pass a few ships with this tactic.
  • Use plasma bolts when in close--these powerful weapons instantly kill your opponent, but they're difficult to aim.
  • Fire rockets on straightaways because they hug terrain but can't take comers.
  • Fire quake disrupters from a distance to prevent the track from bucking underneath your craft and slowing you down.
  • Use the airbrakes to spin your craft into tight turns.
  • Save a good weapon, such as a rocket, to blast anyone in your path at the finish.
  • Maintain high speeds by hitting as many speed pads as possible.

Graphics

Wipeout XL raises the bar on PlayStation graphics with impressively smooth, detailed backgrounds and jaw-dropping weapons effects.

Sound

Kick-butt sound effects and a jammin' techno I soundtrack pace the race with futuristic, high-energy audio.

Control

Struggle no more. A little practice, and XL's controls will enable you past the pack.

Fun Factor

If XL's trappings don't engage you, the riveting edge-of-your-seat gameplay will. And with all the hidden tracks and modes, the thrills won't fade quickly.

Download Wipeout XL

PC Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Overview

Wipeout XL is the US and Canadian release of Psygnosis' much anticipated futuristic techno-racer. In the rest of the world it has been released as Wipeout 2097. Many of you may have first seen the racer in Fluke's Atom Bomb video, which months ago sparked my interest in this game. This video along with the hyped soundtrack for the game, which was supposed to include the works of the Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Future Sounds of London, Orbital and more prominent techno/trance artists, made this a hot item on my wish list. To my MAJOR disappointment, the soundtrack is not included in the US/Canadian release. More on this in the Audio section. Despite the support of major techno artists, Wipeout XL does stand its ground, and quite well at that. For those of you who do not know about Wipeout XL, take a look at the screen shots. Wipeout is the latest high-tech, futuristic racing sim. What makes this game stand out above the others is that everything is in true 3D and the game is 100% 3D accelerated. Forget about this game if you do not have the 3D support; it will not run.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

The gameplay, as in any racer, is quite simple. You pilot a futuristic, hovercraft racer against twelve others in a futuristic track. You can select from either a first person seated view or an external third person view. Your options include four hovercrafts, each with its own speed and maneuverability settings, three racing classes which increase in speed and difficulty, and whether you want to race against the clock in "Time Trial" or against twelve other components in "Arcade" mode. Wipeout by the way, is an arcade racer in its truest sense. No major plot line here, just pure, blistering fast gameplay. The controls will take a little getting used to in that you are racing a vehicle that is floating rather than rolling on the ground, but once you get the hang of it and once you learn your tracks, it is quite a blast. You get a total of six tracks to choose from. Once you have placed first in all six tracks, you are given access to a secret racing class, racer, and two additional tracks.

Graphics

The graphics in Wipeout XL will make your jaw drop. If you have seen the Fluke video Atom Bomb, the graphics are right on par. This game is simply beautiful. Part of the fun, and I mean this, is letting someone else play the game, and just watching everything fly by. There is absolutely no pixelation, the colors are rich and vibrant, and it all streams by as smooth as melting ice. Do know that this does come at a price. This game requires a 3D accelerated board and a P133 at the minimum. I ran Wipeout with the graphics maxed out on a P90 with 40M of RAM and a Rendition Verite based accelerator, and the game was impressively smooth, but I could tell it was beginning to push my machine. I then ran it on a PII 266 with a 3Dfx based accelerator and it was incredibly smooth.

Audio

The music I will get to in a sec. As far as sound effects, they are simply perfect. Your racer sounds like a futuristic jet, kind of like the sound of a jumbo jet starting to take off. All of your weapons have distinct crisp sounds to themselves. When you bump into other racers, crash, or scrape against the walls of the tracks, crisp digital sound effects add to the atmosphere and "realism" of the game. Now for the music, here is what Psygnosis says about Wipeout's soundtrack on their Web site:

From the Dolby Surround sound effects to the soundtrack featuring Chemical Brothers, Future Sound of London, Fluke, The Prodigy, Photek, Cold Storage and more - we have spared no effort to bring home the blazing futuristic thrills you've come to expect.

Sorry, this is NOT in the game I got.

Imagine how anxious I was ripping Wipeout XL out of its shrink-wrap, thinking "This going to be awesome. This is going to be the major breakthrough in gaming audio we gamers have been waiting for." Not just one piece of music accompanied by ambient effects as in Trent Reznor's soundtrack for Quake, but tons of tracks from the top techno artists around. What do I (you) get? Nine tracks from Cold Storage and their FSOL remix at the start of the game, which doesn't last more than a minute. Isn't this called false advertising? Nevertheless, I bit my disappointment and decided to give Cold Storage and the game a shot. In the end the music was not bad at all. This is decent techno, appropriate to the game and not annoying in the least bit. To be honest with you, I found the soundtrack good enough to stand on its own, and actually played it while writing this review. Although, I would have liked the promised soundtrack, what was included was still better than any other racing game out there.

Side Note: You can find the actual Wipeout 2097 audio CD with the promised artists like Fluke and Daft Punk at your local music store. Sorry, no game included.

Multiplayer

No multiplayer capabilities come with the released product, but you can get the multiplayer patch at: http://www.psygnosis.com/wipeout2/netpatch/index.html. Multiplayer capabilities include the following: multi-player support for up to 15 players per session (IPX and TCP/IP); multiplayer support for Direct Connect, Modem, other network protocols, and the Internet; unlimited access to tracks (don't know if this will include new tracks – it doesn't yet), weapons, and race vehicles; three types of races (Timed, Deathmatch, and Tournament); customization options for each race; race results screen ranks you according to race finish and number of kills.

System Requirements

Required: Windows 95 Using Direct3D, Pentium 133 with 3D accelerator card (Pentium 166 with 3D accelerator card recommended), 2X CD-ROM drive, 16 MB RAM, resolutions: 320 x 200, 320 x 240, 640 x 480, accelerator cards: native 3Dfx support, 3D Labs Permedia, Videologic PowerVR, Rendition Verite 4MB, Matrox Mystique 4MB, ATI 3D Rage/Expression 4MB

I had absolutely no trouble installing on a P90 with 40M of RAM and an Intergraph Intense 3D accelerator with the Rendition Verite chipset.

Documentation

Question: Do you really need any in a game like Wipeout? Everything you'd want to know is included in the handy dandy jewel case, including all options, and all music tracks on the CD.

Bottom Line

Despite one major disappointment, the lack of the promised soundtrack, I found Wipeout XL to be an excellent and refreshing arcade racer. The graphics are stunning to say the least. The sense of speed captured by this game surpasses that of any other game in the past or present as far as I'm concerned, and the sound effects are perfect. If you have the system with the guts to handle this game, and even a system with the minimum requirements, this game rocks. The only thing keeping this game from reaching even a higher score, despite the music issue, would be more tracks to race. Six is plenty, but I WANT MORE!!!

Wipeout rocked the PlayStation racing world last year, and the sequel's blazing your way with some impressive refinements. Wipeout XL offers three racing classes-the usual Viper and Rapier modes plus an easier level-and the 15 new courses are now packed with 15 opponents. Other hot additions include checkpoints, pit stops, new ships, and nine new weapons including plasma bolts, E-paks, and thunder bombs. Addressing complaints about the wicked challenge and tricky controls, Psygnosis has tuned the gameplay to deliver much smoother handling and more arcade-style action. Graphically, the even cooler hovercraft sport a sweet new engine flame and lock-on targeting cursor, and the spectacular courses pit you against even more fantastic jumps and turns.

Wipeout XL's streaking toward your PlayStation with a hefty haul of impressive refinements and new features. Steering these slick antigravity speed demons is much less difficult, relieving the need to lean on the brakes, and collisions along the rails are much more fair and realistic. But that doesn't mean this sequel got easy. Facing a field of 15 racers, you blast along eight new tracks at a much faster, cleaner clip, taking damage from crashes and enemy fire that only a detour into the pit can repair. Killer new weapons, like an earthquake that buckles the track, jack up the level of aggression, and the sizzling sound effects, excellent new explosions, and other sweet graphical touches scorch the screen.

The sequel to the critically acclaimed WipeOut will blast onto the PlayStation this fall, and continues the visually rich standards set by the original.

WipeOut XL has new tracks and new vehicles. The rollercoaster style tracks and finely tuned control mechanisms have proved extremely popular. Besides the addition of some new tracks, other game enhancements include checkpoints and pit stops. This time, an energy bar has been implemented and unlike the first game, ships will be destroyed after too much collision damage. Computer enemies can be destroyed using a number of spectacular weapons including an earthquake-style ripple that moves at high speed along the race track. The game is very different and there are new techniques and other talents for you to master with XL.

Do gamers remember the excitement when they first played WipeOut? EGM editors couldn't help but remember that excitement when WipeOut XL came to visit, except this time the level was raised even higher than before.

The beautiful thing is that WipeOut XL is a completely new game even though it keeps the feel of the first one. Gamers will see the flashy graphics and the techno soundtrack as they reach speeds in excess of 190 KM per hour-after all, it is a European game, isn't it? The graphics will whizz by even faster than before, but they're just as detailed-if not better-than before. How did Psygnosis do it? EGM plans on letting gamers know in the next three pages.

In the past, Team EGM has looked at WipeOut XL as a sports game. Since that sounded weird to many editors here, we re-examined the issue and decided that WipeOut XL has too much of a sci-if theme and a lot of greatness to only get half-or full-page coverage.

So what is it about the WipeOut series that is so darn neat? Maybe it's the speed...perhaps it's the music...could it be the graphics or control? Combine all of these things and the answer is obvious.

With all of the praise, is there anything wrong with WipeOut XL? Time will tell since it's in its beta stages, but as soon as the Review Crew gets a hold of a final copy, we'll find out and, as always, pass the info along to our loyal readers.

Players who aren't familiar with the WipeOut style of gaming should know that WO is a futuristic racing title that is ultrafast with hairpin turns and an array of weapons to knock out the enemy with. It's nothing like an Indy Car game as far as realism goes-the futuristic setting and unbelievable speeds tip gamers off about 10 seconds into the first race. From there, speed is the only thing that comes to mind.

WipeOut XL has four teams to choose from and three classes of racing. The three track classes each have two tracks to race on. Each of the ships has its own attributes. Check the Gamer's Edge on crafts for some inside info on them. Players must place in the tracks to advance and eventually beat the game. Bronze, silver and gold medals are awarded for players who come in third, second or first place. Some of this info may sound just like the original WipeOut because it is very similar. Since not everybody has played the first game, we figured that it would help to explain it again.

The graphics in the game are 3-D polygons but don't look for big blocky graphics here-WipeOut XL features tracks, environments and vehicles that aren't skimpy when it comes to polygon count or cool texture maps.

The power-ups range from mines to missiles and everything in between like a three-second Autopilot Mode and a three-way missile. Look at the sidebar on power-ups for more info. All of the weapons will show off what the programmers and designers worked for months on. For instance, when the missile travels down the track, the track underneath it lights up with a blue or red glow. Also, when gamers use the ripple power-up, the entire track ripples like a wave disrupting the enemy ships. Players will have to see these weapons in action to really appreciate them. The enemies will see what the weapons are all about but they probably won't appreciate them.

The game features a Link Option that allows players to race one-on-one. The same tracks that were filled with 15 racers before have two. Things get crazy when both players are trying to obtain first place but when one player laps the other, friends can quickly turn into enemies.

WipeOut XL features a pit stop of sorts. When an enemy or two continually fires missiles at the vehicle gamers control (which unfortunately make contact) and the energy level gets low, players can navigate through a pit that recharges the shields depending on how slow gamers control their ship through it. A cool electrical effect appears around the vehicle-this means it's working.

There are rumors that hidden tracks can be obtained if gold medals are awarded on all tracks. EGM is in the process of testing this trick, so nothing has been confirmed. We are sure that if the hidden tracks are any tougher than the tracks in the last class, players will have a fun but hectic time trying to get through them-they're filled with 90-degree turns and jump after jump after jump.

The soundtrack to WipeOut XL features artists from the underground/European techno scene, including big-name acts like Underworld and the Chemical Brothers (who were in a Microsoft commercial). This style of music (like the first WipeOut) is perfect for the game since the future is generally associated with a cybertechno environment.

After playing the original WipeOut, EGM thought it couldn't be beat. If the final version of WipeOut XL is the same or better than the beta, we were very, very wrong. Of course, being wrong isn't always bad when a game may be so good-and it's still in beta stages!

Gamer's EDGE

Like the first game. WipeOut XL has some cool-looking and very fast ships. Some have great thrust but a low top speed, while others have awesome shields but poor turning. The best way to test the ships is to play through each level with each ship. This may be time-consuming. but it's the perfect way to find out what ships work best. Players can change ships after finishing each level.

  • MANUFACTURER - Psygnosis
  • THEME - Racing
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2

Psygnosis is putting the final tweakage on its new generation of games.The two hottest titles are both sequels. WipeOut XL is looking even better than the first game, and Destruction Derby 2 looks like a Daytona-killer!

Both feature massively improved graphics (as if that were possible) and enhanced gameplay features. However, rumors abound that Psygnosis will be bought by Acclaim, making the latter the most formidable game software publisher on Earth.

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