Sony has announced a new Wipeout game, but before you go out on an all-night bender in celebration, let’s tell you a little bit more about Wipeout Rush. This is a game coming to iOS and Android this year, but instead of being a pulse-pounding arcade racer that tests your reflexes, this is a more cerebral experience, a card-based racer.
An overview of the Wipeout Rush from developer Rogue Games:
wipEout Rush takes the classic anti-gravity racing experience first launched in 1995 for the original PlayStation and turns the series on its head, thrusting players into the role of the team manager where winning is determined by decisions rather than reflexes. Players are in charge of selecting the right ships, as well as ensuring they are properly upgraded and equipped to win each race. Crafted for the best mobile experience, wipEout Rush incorporates fluid merge gameplay for the first time, allowing players to merge anti-gravity ships to unlock new, more capable vehicles. As players move up in the league, they earn currency to unlock new challenges, weapons, and upgrades.
For fans of the series, wipEout Rush is bringing loads of new lore through collectables and story. Players will be able to unlock collectable cards to learn more about the ships, teams, pilots, and tracks of the wipEout world as they progress through an engaging single-player campaign told through exciting animated comics. wipEout Rush will include both Quick Race and Championship Cup game modes complete with five different tracks, 60 iconic wipEout ships, a wide range of familiar weapons, 12 Championship Cups each with their own boss, and bundles of collectables.
Rogue Games CEO Matt Casamassina said in the press release, “I was raised on the console wipEout games—and those will continue to live on PlayStation hardware—but we wanted to reinvent the breakneck speed and gorgeous presentation of the series for a new breed of players on mobile devices.”
He also said to IGN, “We hope fans will come to it with an open mind because—although different—we’re proud to bring the WipEout franchise back into focus with a fresh take on the formula.
“And we’ve poured a lot of love into the presentation, which includes loads of iconic ships and tracks, a new comic book-inspired narrative, a fitting electronica soundtrack, and gorgeous visuals that run at 60 frames per second on modern hardware.”
It sounds like this could be a fun new twist on the anti-grav racing theme, spinning the franchise in a very different direction to what fans have been used to. I think the main problem here is the assertion that the Wipeout series will “continue to live on PlayStation hardware”.
Having once been practically synonymous with PlayStation gaming, the Wipeout has faded over the last decade and a half. Wipeout Pure and Pulse were great new entries in the series for the PSP, with much of their content turned into the technical showcase that was Wipeout HD for PlayStation 3. That was followed by the original game Wipeout 2048 for the launch of the PlayStation Vita in 2012, but then Sony took the decision to shut down Studio Liverpool. The last we saw of the series was Wipeout Omega Collection in 2017, which remastered Wipeout HD and 2048 in a new PS4 bundle.
It’s good to see that there’s still some interest in the Wipeout series at Sony, and Wipeout Rush could be a sign that they’re going to try and bring the series back to home consoles as well. Certainly there’s a few quiet rumours floating around, especially given Sony’s relationship with Destruction All Stars developer Lucid Games (founded by Bizarre Creations alumni), and now having acquired Firesprite (which was founded by Studio Liverpool alumni).
As ever, Wipeout fans can just cross their fingers and hope.