In a surprise move, Sony have released a free patch for Wipeout: Omega Collection, a collection of its three most popular titles remastered for PlayStation 4. This free update went above and beyond and now allows for the whole game to be playable on Sony’s PlayStation VR. You heard me right, for free. It contains all the modes, races, vehicles and features along with head-tracking and 3D audio for you to sink hours upon hours into. Furthermore, this isn’t just some lazy port. The game transitions beautifully, as if it had were with VR in mind (despite these games being remastered versions of games that have been out for years). It brings an entirely new dimension to each title, with the added immersion and brilliant execution being to the point that it is one of the must-play titles on PSVR. I won’t go too much into the ins and outs of the game itself (you can check out our review of the base game here, where we gave it a 9 out of 10), but I thought given how much the VR integration has breathed fresh air into these games, that this update is worth commending.
Wipeout makes perfect sense for VR; the futuristic anti-gravity racer with beautiful colours and accessible controls makes this a dream come true. While other similar racers such as Redout and Radial-G have attempted to take advantage of this recipe for greatness, all have fallen short and made everyone’s wish for a proper Wipeout VR to come to the device even more desperate. Sony listened by not giving us one, but three proven titles (HD, Fury and 2048) in the futuristic racing series, and they are all a virtual sight to behold.
A match made in heaven
The development team have gone a step beyond simply making the game playable in VR and offer a multitude of camera and comfort settings tailored to each player’s threshold, while also kindly providing motion sickness warnings prior to certain races. I chose the defaults, which locks the camera to the cockpit, and while I thought swinging left and right and turning upside down would make me sick, I am surprisingly excited to report that I didn’t even feel queasy; in fact, it felt exhilarating. Zipping around bends had me feeling like a pro as the 3D space allowed me to judge turns easier. It just felt like it was made for the device somehow. Everything worked perfectly and even when I switched to a third-person camera setting, everything still looked and felt fantastic.
This is one VR port where the visuals are barely compromised. The overall presentation looks as good as its PS4 counterpart and the supersampling implementation ensures an almost crystal-clear image with little aliasing unless you’re looking into the far distance. But since you are predominately focused on the track, this doesn’t interfere with the look of the game at all. That is in part owed to the fantastic yet simplistic art design. In other words, hardly anything is lost due to the lower resolution of the screen. While it is clear Wipeout 2048 looks slightly better than HD and Fury, they share a very close aesthetic design to give an overall consistent feel. Looking around the cock-pit at the simple, yet beautiful vistas had me in awe with each new racetrack I unlocked. Looking over my head to see a massive blimp fly over really demonstrated the impressive scale of the world I was in, more so than with a traditional controller setup.
XDEV ensured nothing was compromised and everything else is enhanced with VR
The menus transition especially well, where instead of a 2D screen it is wrapped around your head. It uses a lot of white with colourful yet large fonts and icons making things very easy to read. The strong uses of reds, blues and oranges are especially attractive and gives the whole experience a polished feel.
The other noticeable enhancement is the integration of 3D audio. Hearing your opponents come up on your side or a flurry of rockets zip past your cockpit is incredibly immersive. Not to mention the excellent soundtrack blending head-bumping dance tracks with futuristic sounds, which constantly put a smile on my face whenever I was racing or navigating the menus. There were times where I would just sit in the menus or slow down on a race track just to hear more of a particular song. The voice queues to warn me of incoming attacks or informing me of the ability I just acquired was also a clever and appreciated feature improved by 3D audio. This was mainly due to my eyes being solely focused on the track and racers ahead of me, the audio queues were able to inform me adequately while still allowing me to enjoy the soundtrack.
The rush in the cockpit view feels like a roller coaster from the future
If you’re sick of VR games lacking content, Omega Collection contains three full games filled to the brim with tracks, modes and vehicles. If you think VR games look bad, the simple yet mesmorising aesthetics of the menus, vehicles and tracks makes it one of the cleanest and most beautiful looking VR games to date. If you’re sick of games not offering many modes, Wipeout offers single player and multiplayer so you can race your friends, even those who just have a regular PS4. If you’re a little disheartened by how some franchises and genres don’t translate well to the new tech, Omega Collection feels like it was made for Sony’s device without any compromises being made along the way. That’s without mentioning how VR shifts the beloved series to a new gear. Did I mention it’s all part of a free update? This is a huge success for Sony and as someone who didn’t adore Wipeout (or any racing game for that matter) to begin with, Omega Collection is an absolute must-play for PlayStation VR.
Reviewed on PSVR using a PlayStation 4 Pro