Wipeout Pure

I can't believe it was already ten years ago that SCEA first introduced us to the dazzling high-speed world of Wipeout. Courtesy of a small company called Psygnosis (previously known for their Lemmings efforts), Wipeout mixed glossy next-generation visuals with stunningly smooth control to create a futuristic racing experience like no other. Let's face it, if any game really defined the original PlayStation at the time of its release, it was Wipeout. Now, years later, following a couple of great sequels and a neat little PS2 upgrade in Wipeout Fusion, the series is about to make its debut all over again on a new Sony platform - PSP.

Wipeout Pure brings back all the fun hover-engine racing action that we've grown accustomed to, and adds some fresh new ideas that will make it amongst the PSP elite for the system's launch next month. The design is being handled by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Liverpool division, made up of previous members of the Psygnosis team, so you can bet that everything that made the first game so good will be back this time around.

The first thing you'll notice is the game's blazing graphics engine, which really sticks to its roots. Neon signs and futuristic designs are the name of the game, and the game moves along at a blistering pace through its twists and turns. As you zip through the tracks, you'll notice glowing arrows pointing the way and some impressive jumps that'll have you feeling the rush of anti-gravity. The game moves at a rapid pace even in multiplayer, and it looks pretty dazzling on the small screen.

There's also the gameplay to consider, and it's just as fun as it's always been over the past several years. You can get precision handling no matter which vehicle you choose, and there's also air braking to give you the best timing when it comes to handling your corners. Weapons and other power-ups will allow you to show your opponents that you mean business. Everything from rockets and mines to turbo boosts has been thrown back in, as well as the fun little "quake" weapon that sends ripples all the way up the track to shake up your foes.

There are sixteen tracks in all waiting to challenge you. Some are favorites from previous Wipeout games, while a fresh batch of new tracks are bound to leave you twisting and turning to the point you'll think you were on a Tilt-A-Whirl. Tracks like the island locale mixed with the futuristic design add a stylish touch to the decor, and they're all loaded with details.