With all the fuss over high development costs associated with high definition gaming, it’s quite difficult to find a game which focuses solely on providing a super refined and well executed high definition experience. It’s even more difficult to find a game like this and have it debut at $19.99 CAD. Well, the search is over since Sony Computer Entertainment’s WipEout HD is finally here! It falls in line with everything I mentioned and could be my personal downloadable title of 2008.
Very few games live up to the promise of ‘true’ high definition gaming — 1920×1080 resolution. WipEout HD runs at an incredible 60 frames per second and with the use of some incredible tech from the folks at Studio Liverpool, this game comes extremely close to delivering that true 1080p experience. Of course, that’s only half of what makes WipEout HD a high definition showpiece.
The minds over at Studio Liverpool must have seen the race tracks and backdrops of tomorrow. Set in the middle of the concrete jungles and other locales of the future, these antigravity race tracks are brilliantly decorated by billboards, lights and enough hues to make a bag of Skittles seem dull. You wonder how they make sense of it all, but once experience it – it just clicks.
Speed laps, time trials and single races are amazing to behold, but Zone mode is WipEout HD’s gem. As the speed of the track gradually increases, you’re treated to a track turned visualizer which pulsates and reacts to every beat of WipEout HD’s electronic soundtrack or better yet, any custom soundtrack you throw at it.
I also cannot understate the quality of the sound work. The low hum of a rival ship’s anti-gravity unit or the static noise of a hologram “ghost ship” makes for fantastic audio cues for how you’re doing. And that muffled music effect while in mid-air is a nice very touch.