WipeOut is, very quietly, one of the most important video game series to have ever lived, thanks to its role in selling the original PlayStation as something genuinely “cool.” But it’s a franchise that has fallen on hard times of late.
The things it excelled at—a clarity of visual design, futuristic racing action, quality licensed soundtracks—can now be had everywhere from Mario Kart to Madden, and it has been a very long time since we got a good, new game in the series.
So it was interesting this morning to see the announcement of WipEout Rush, a brand new WipeOut game due in 2022. Anyone hoping for a return to fast-paced, arcade racing action is shit out of luck here, though, because this is a...card-based title that’s coming out on phones.
Don’t say it. The publisher knows what you’re thinking, and is one step ahead of you in the product announcement. It told IGN, “If I want that visceral, immersive, intense racing experience, I’ll find it waiting on PlayStation. But at the same time, we’re delighted that we could rethink wipEout for mobile with some fun new play mechanics and gorgeous visuals.”
“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.”
Here’s the announcement trailer:
Hrm. Taking away everything that made the series great and turning its visuals into a cel-shaded comic using cards to do stuff is certainly a “fresh take on the formula,” and to be honest I’m interested in checking this out just to see how the card system actually works.
But I’m also bummed that, in a world where VR headsets exists on PlayStation consoles, this is the first new WipeOut game we’re getting in almost a decade. Ah well! If you really want to play WipeOut on a phone, I’m sure you’re smart enough to work out how to get one of the classics working.