Thanks to our continuing grant from the National Foundation for the Preservation of Old Videogames, our “Help Wanted” program is now in its second week. This week, we’re revisiting a Playstation 3 exclusive that was made available free as part of Sony’s apology for the Playstation Network being closed for so long. You did get your copy of Wipeout HD and the Fury add-on, didn’t you?
Wipeout in general, and HD’s Fury add-on in specific, is some of the most thrilling sexysleek sci-fi combat racing you will ever do. In multiplayer, it basically comes down to who knows the track best. But there are Mario Kart style power-ups that help level the playing field. We’ll play some regular races on the more forgiving speed classes, but we’ll also try Fury’s Eliminator and Zone Battle modes. Eliminator is scored based on damage and kills against other ships and Zone Battle is a trippy cyberrific risk/reward calculation about who can build up the most speed while dropping barricades on the field to mess up the other races. I’ll briefly explain the modes from the lobby, but the guide you can access from the main screen features a description in the “Race Types” section. While you’re there, look over the icons for the different pick-ups. There are only ten, and you’ll want to get a sense for what each one does before jumping into a race.
The controls might feel weirdly floaty depending on which ship you take. Wipeout is a game about maglev hovercraft thingies, after all. Consider enabling the pilot assist mode to help you from hitting walls, which is the exact thing you don’t want to do in this game.
The races will begin on Wednesday, October 5th at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern and will last for at least two hours. Just add tomchick to your friends list on the Playstation Network before the starting time on Wednesday. Then I’ll host races limited to friends only. Go to “Online”, then “Join Game”, then check the races on the list to find the one hosted by “tomchick”. If a race is in progress, you’ll have to spectate until the next race, but the races are short and few games make for spectating as sexy as Wipeout HD. And if you have a Bluetooth headset, it’s pretty painless to get it to work on the PSN if you want to chat.