Welcome back to the 4-One Retro Corner. Today’s featured game is the legendary Wipeout 2097 on PlayStation 1 or known as Wipeout XL in the States. Wipeout is a personal favourite game series of mine and is sorely missed one at that. Wipeout 2097 was originally released on PC, Sega Saturn and PlayStation 1 over various different dates. The game would eventually arrive on Amiga and Mac at later dates.
Wipeout 2097 is set four decades after the original game and introduced the much faster, more competitive, and more dangerous F5000 AG Racing League. I can’t start without mentioning how many hours I sunk into this game as a youngster. The fast and frantic gameplay was so addictive, the graphics at the time were sublime and the track variety was superb. Some of the track settings were Chile, Canada, Germany, France and even The Black Sea.
Wipeout is notorious for its teams and 2097 is no exception. AG Systems, Auricorn, FEISAR, Qirex and the secret team Piranha we’re the teams and their ships in the game. I always used FEISAR as their ship was the best all rounder but AG Systems ship was also a beast.
Another major attraction to Wipeout was its vehicular combat which added a ton of tension to the already frantic races. Weapons ranged from boosts, mines, missiles and my personal favourite, the auto pilot which gave you a couple of precious seconds to get your bearings together before you regained control of the ship.
One last mention for Wipeout 2097 is the soundtrack. The soundtrack for the game was one of the best and with tracks from Chemical Brothers, Prodigy and various other EBM artists and the soundtrack matched the frantic gameplay. Nothing was better than having a very successful race with The Prodigy’s Firestarter pumping in the background.
Hopefully one day we’ll see a new Wipeput but until then, Wipeout 2097 holds a special place in my heart.