Wipeout Fusion (stylised as WipEout Fusion) is the fifth installment in the Wipeout series, and the only one to be exclusively released on the PlayStation 2 (Wipeout Pulse for the PlayStation Portable was ported to the system in 2009). It was the first game made after Psygnosis' name change to SCE Studio Liverpool, and published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (BAM! Entertainment in North America).
GameplayEditThe game introduces the player to the F9000 Anti-Gravity Race League in the year 2160; 4 years later after its "opening" in 2156. From that time, Anti-Gravity Racing was given mostly mixed reactions despite getting more aggressive. Tracks are changed somewhat from previous Wipeout games. Each track in Fusion is now a group of 3 tracks, each of which can be run in forward or reverse mode. Many tracks also contain a "trackless" section, generally a wide tree or boulder-strewn field which offers several paths for pilots, making navigation tricky. Several tracks feature split sections, in which there are multiple paths for players to follow. A few tracks also contain shortcuts, which are hidden behind false walls, or require a turbo boost power-up to successfully navigate.
The basic single-race and league modes are still the core of the game, and the two-player split screen mode is continued from Wipeout 3. The single race mode, called Arcade mode, is used to unlock new tracks. When a player wins a gold on a given track, either another course in that same track group, or another group of tracks, is unlocked. AG League mode has had some changes to it from previous Wipeout titles: instead of having league challenges which encompass the entire set of tracks in sequence, there is a progression of leagues, each with a selection of between 3 and 7 tracks. The outcome of each race is scored by points, which are awarded for both finish order and eliminations. Total points determine the winner of the league. A win on a given league challenge unlocks the next (more difficult) league, or in some cases, a personal challenge against one of the pilots of a new team. Beating a pilot's challenge unlocks the team for which that pilot flies.
Challenge mode, which was introduced in Wipeout 64, has been enhanced in Fusion. Each team has its own set of 6 challenges, selected from race, time, or elimination. Each challenge must be completed with a medal to unlock the next challenge in the sequence, and the final challenge for a team must be unlocked with a gold medal in each of the other challenges. Zone mode makes its debut appearance in Fusion, although it is locked until 30% of the game is completed.
Fusion features an increase in the use of weapons; weapon pads are more plentiful, and the AI pilots seem considerably more aggressive with weaponry than in previous Wipeout incarnations. New weapons have been added to the game, including the proton cannon, grav stinger, flamethrower, and gravity bomb, as well as super weapons. Each team possess their own super weapon, which becomes available for that team's pilots when player obtains special super weapon licence, awarded by completing that team specific challenges in the Challenge mode. Some of the weapons have also been modified (the 5 mines can be dropped individually, instead of in a single-fire sequence), and many weapons which normally fire forward may now be fired backward; in particular, the quake disruptor, a weapon that previously could only be fired forward, may be fired backward.
Another fairly large change from previous Wipeout titles is the addition of craft upgrades. AG League races, in addition to points, also net the player credits based on performance in race (finishing order), damage (to other craft), skill, and time. These credits are used to upgrade the top speed, thrust (acceleration), lateral stability (handling), brake force, weapon power, and shield strength of a single craft. The upgraded craft is available in Arcade mode as well, but is only available to the pilot whose craft has been upgraded; the other pilot, even on the same team, must have his/her craft upgraded separately. Upgraded crafts are not used in Challenge mode; each challenge is played with the basic, unmodified craft.
The in-game branding and menus were designed by Good Technology rather than The Designers Republic, who had worked on all previous titles.
Out of the eight teams that appeared in Wipeout 3, only three make a return in Fusion. Each team now has a Super Weapon Licence, which unlocks the team's respective Super Weapon. Also, each team is represented by two pilots (as per the original Wipeout). Craft upgrading is also introduced, and allows the players to tune the craft. The 8 teams included in Fusion, as well as their pilots are as follows:
Unlike the previous games, each track takes on a Ridge Racer-esque style by grouping each track into 3 different courses, these can be driven forwards or backwards.
- Florion Height (Nevada, United States)
- Mandrashee (China)
- Cubiss Float (Switzerland)
- Alca Vexus (Mexico)
- Vohl Square (Russia)
- Temtesh Bay (Australia)
- Katmoda 12 (Moon)
- Devilia (planet Novon; Challenge mode only)
- Main article: AG League
As outlined, the core AG League mode features a progressive set of leagues. Completion of all ten unlocks a custom league feature. The ten leagues are named as follows:
- Chronos League
- Rhea League
- Oceanus League
- Thethys League
- Hyperion League
- Themis League
- Lapetus League
- Cruis League
- Thea League
- Metis League
- Nightmares on Wax - "Bleu My Mind" (Game Menu)
- Amethyst - "Blue Funk"
- Blades & Naughty G - "Beats Defective"
- Bob Brazil - "Big Ten"
- Braniac - "Neuro"
- BT - "SmartBomb (Plump DJs remix)"
- Cut La Roc - "Bassheads"
- Elite Force - "Krushyn"
- Elite Force & Nick Ryan - "Switchback"
- The Future Sound of London - "Papua New Guinea (Hybrid Mix)"
- Hong Kong Crash - "Down The River (HKT 2001 extreme remix)"
- Humanoid - "Stakker Humanoid 2001 (Plump DJs 2001 Retouch)"
- Intuative - "Wav Seeker"
- JDS - "Punk Funk"
- Luke Slater - "Bolt Up"
- MKL - "Synthaesia"
- Orbital - "Funny Break"
- Plump DJs - "Big Groovy Funker"
- Timo Maas - "Old School Vibes"
- Utah Saints - "Sick"
- Official PlayStation 2 Magazine UK: 9 out of 10 (90%)
- IGN: 9.0 out of 10 (90%)
- GameSpot: 7.3 out of 10 (73%)
- Edge (magazine): 5 out of 10 (50%)
- This game is the only game in the entire series to show visual damage to ships. This is most apparent on the Zone ship and the Piranha Swiftkiller.
- This game also features the largest number of ships starting on the grid at once: 16.
|PS1: WipEout • 2097/XL • 64 • Wip3out|
|PS2/PSP: Fusion • Pure • Pulse|
|PS3/Vita: HD (Fury) • 2048|
|PS4: Omega Collection|