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Wipeout 2097 (or Wipeout XL in the USA; styled wipE'out" 2097) is a 1996/1997 racing video game. It is the second game released in the Wipeout series by developers Psygnosis, and a year after the original game in the series.
Whereas the original game introduced the F3600 anti-gravity racing league in the year 2052, Wipeout 2097 is set over four decades later and introduces the player to the much faster, more competitive, and more dangerous F5000 AG racing league. The game is set exactly 100 years after the actual release year of the game.
Gameplay did not differ much from the previous title. Aside from the different circuits and new weapons, the fundamental aspects were kept. Pilots would race each other or computer controlled A.I. opponents, in order to finish in the highest position possible. In order to help them achieve this end, weapons were provided (see below).
Aside from the usual tactical aspects of racing, Wipeout 2097, (unlike its predecessor) offered the chance to eliminate competition (or at least subdue them temporarily) by the use of weapons. Each craft had a shield energy quota, and when this quota reached zero—either from damage sustained from weapon attacks, or impact from other craft or the edges of the circuit—the craft would blow up. The craft would also blow up if a certain time limit was not reached, though this only applied to human players.
The aim of the game was simple: Complete various and increasingly difficult challenges in order to move onto the next one. Changing the difficulty level was simply that of upping the top speed of the craft, through four different levels (Vector, Venom, Rapier, Phantom). The number of laps needed to complete a race also increased with each new level.
Certain tracks, speed classes and vehicles were only available through completion of the challenges in the game.
Wipeout 2097 moved the franchise forward, introducing vastly improved graphics over the original, many more tracks and more innovative track designs, and new teams and craft. The game also featured the new ability to actually damage your opponent's racing craft instead of merely stalling them as in the original game, and even potentially blowing them up and therefore removing them from the race and lessening the number of opponents. The player can also take on damage from enemy fire and be blown up, but the ship can be "recharged" to health at the pitstop in exchange for a precious few seconds of the race. Added to this new tactical combat element is an array of new weapons in addition to the ones established in the first game, such as the Quake Disruptor (which sent a ripple down the track) that became instant fan favourites. To cater for the increase in Wipeout players, an easier learning curve was introduced whilst keeping the difficulty at top end for the experienced gamers.
The Designers Republic returned to work on the visual style and artwork, as they did in the previous game. Music artists contributing to the in-game soundtrack included The Prodigy, The Future Sound of London, Chemical Brothers, Fluke and Underworld. There was also a popular soundtrack album. An entire nightclub tour was also initiated in conjunction with Red Bull Energy Drink, which was featured prominently throughout the game, before the drink actually gained popularity in the American market.
The songs of the PlayStation, Sega Saturn and the Windows versions could also be listened to by inserting the CD into a CD player (and skipping the first track). The soundtrack was also released as a music-only CD, though with a different artist and track listing.
- Track listing PlayStation version
|2.||"We Have Explosive" (from Dead Cities, 1996)||Garry Cobain, Brian Dougans||The Future Sound of London||5:53|
|3.||"Landmass"||Garry Cobain, Brian Dougans||The Future Sound of London||4:29|
|4.||"Atom Bomb (Straight 6 Instrumental Mix)"||Fluke||Fluke||5:33|
|6.||"Dust up Beats"||Ed Simons, Tom Rowlands||The Chemical Brothers||6:07|
|7.||"Loops of Fury" (from Loops of Fury, 1996)||Ed Simons, Tom Rowlands||The Chemical Brothers||4:41|
|8.||"The Third Sequence" (from The Third Sequence / Titan, 1996)||Rupert Parkes||Photek||4:48|
|9.||"Tin There (Underworld Edit)" (from Pearl's Girl, 1996)||Darren Emerson, Rick Smith||Underworld||6:08|
|10.||"Firestarter (Instrumental)" (from Firestarter, 1996)||Liam Howlett, Keith Flint||The Prodigy||4:39|
|11.||"Canada"||Tim Wright||Cold Storage||6:14|
|12.||"Body in Motion"||Tim Wright||Cold Storage||5:14|
Track listing Saturn/Windows versions (with different track order)
- CoLD SToRAGE: "Canada"
- CoLD SToRAGE: "Body in Motion"
- CoLD SToRAGE: "Kinkong"
- CoLD SToRAGE: "Plasticity"
- CoLD SToRAGE: "Messij Xtnd"
- CoLD SToRAGE: "Tenation"
- CoLD SToRAGE: "Surgeon"
- CoLD SToRAGE: "Hakapik Murder"
- CoLD SToRAGE: "Messij Received"
- CoLD SToRAGE: "Body Plus" (Saturn exclusive)
A lack of a split screen two player option on the PlayStation version was seen as a serious flaw by many gamers. Mirroring the trend of many PlayStation games early in the console's life, Wipeout 2097 offered only a console link-up section requiring players to have access to a link cable, two television sets, two PlayStation consoles, and two copies of the game.
- Official PlayStation Magazine UK: 9 out of 10 (90%)
- IGN: 9.0 out of 10 (90%) (PlayStation version reviewed)
- GameSpot: 8.5 out of 10 (85%) (PlayStation version reviewed)
- GameSpot: 7.1 out of 10 (71%) (PC version reviewed)
- Edge (magazine): 8 out of 10 (80%) (PlayStation version reviewed)