Sublime enough to make you forget this has its roots in a brace of PSP games that are over a decade old. WipEout Pure and Pulse laid the groundwork for WipEout HD, of which this an ostensibly a remake with content from 2012’s 2048 remastered and bundled in. In total that’s some 26 tracks, 46 ships and nine game modes. All of which adds up to a fair amount of WipEout.
The refit is enough to cover those roots up, too. The textures have been remade for circuits and ships, the poly count has been upped significantly and there’s a new level of detail that’s been layered in. Ships bear marks and scratches, while track surfaces have a tangible feel of smoothed concrete and brushed steel. It’s a remarkable looking game, and as good an advert for 4K gaming as anything else out there on the PlayStation 4 Pro.
With Studio Liverpool no more, who exactly is behind this new WipEout? XDev, Sony’s internal unit that works with independent studios – and is in the same building where Studio Liverpool once lived – is collaborating with developers Clever Beans and EPOS for WipEout Omega. The former studio, situated in Manchester, even contains a handful of ex-Studio Liverpool devs.
Studio Liverpool’s work provides the foundation, of course, and the developer hinted before its closure that it was working on bringing the tracks of the Vita version into HD. “We had access to archives, and we’ve got the 2048 game in there,” explains XDev producer Mark O’Connor. “That’s going to give us the biggest bang for buck – it was on the Vita, it looked great on there but having it on a TV like this…”