It's been a year since we first went hands on with Wipeout HD, the (eventual) PlayStation Network release that acts as a sort of remastered greatest hits comp from the series' past decade. The SCEE developed racer may have looked pretty sharp the last time we saw it, but it looks light years beyond that now. So, happy anniversary Wipeout HD! We got you the traditional gift — hands-on impressions!The presentation has received a noticeable amount of polish over the past year, with a more informative heads up display, slick new menus, a feature rich photo mode and additional graphical effects. Lighting and shadows look softer and more realistic, with ships more layered in sci-fi eye-candy than before. When we played Wipeout HD at the previous Games Convention, we were limited to just a few racing teams and tracks. This year, we had access to the first portion of the campaign mode, with a broader selection of vehicles and paint jobs. The campaign is stuffed with opportunities to win medals, with challenges based on lonely time trials — full race or a single lap — and competitive races against a line-up of CPU opponents. Splitscreen is also in, with both horizontal and vertical layouts that should make every Wipeout fan happy. Gameplay was largely the same, given that the Wipeout HD is a remake. That said, the game feels like more of a full-fledged release, now that it's been given additional time in the incubator. It's looking like it's going to be worth the wait.
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I'm beginning to believe this game doesn't exist, that its a government experiment designed to cause great psychological torment.