Great Old Gaming Gems – Wipeout 2097

Wipeout 2097 (Wipeout XL in the US for some reason…)

Here’s where I enter an opinion against the norm. Everyone I have met who has played both games generally prefers the original, personally I love the sequel Wipeout 2097 waaaaay more.

If you’ve never played Wipeout, its essentially a racing game with hovercraft-like vehicles. What makes this more of a standout series is that it has pace, speed (though not the best I’ve ever experienced), wacky courses and weapons. The real things that made them a game worth playing are the weapons and the music, which even as a goth, I have to admit I really love and is from the band Future Sound of London.

One of the reasons I prefer the sequel to the original is due to the increase in weaponry. There’s nothing more satisfying than hearing the computerised voice stating “Contender Eliminated” after blasting the hell out of them. I spent an awful lot of time playing Wipeout 2097 and making sure that I had all the high scores on each and every track and making sure I unlocked hidden tracks. It seemed like a fitting reward that getting so great at a game allowed you to explore all the game had to offer, though I guess in today’s world its more likely that if this game had been released any extra tracks would be DLC (Boo!)

Wipeout 2097 though is fun for numerous reasons but I think one reason I love it and the original so much was that it took the idea of a standard racing game and truly innovated, they took a simple straightforward racing game and made it into something that people really wanted to play and the simple fact is that Wipeout sold consoles. It was a popular game for good reason, the biggest of which, that they could make it a game that was different and more importantly fun.