Flashback – Wipeout 2097 (1996)

We’re looking back today at a racing great, with Wipeout 2097. While it’s not the first game in the series, 2097 stole out hearts. Of course we’ve gone back to play the others since, but being the first one we played, as well as the physics changes and extras which it added to its predecessor’s already solid repertoire, 2097 will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Set a few decades after the first Wipeout, this installment into one of gaming’s greatest series is still both challenging and entertaining to play today. It drops down a little from our release score for a few reasons, but graphically, while we don’t normally mind being able to pick out pixels, 2097 drops a little too far which can at times obscure turns in the track. It adds a little something to the challenge to play today, but when comparing the visuals and online features of the older generation the gap is quite large.

With a few great tracks over varying difficulties, and a number of different racing teams to choose from, we’ve always loved Wipeout since we first sat down and had serious time with it nearly 20 years ago. The series as a whole has remained consistently excellent over many platforms and many years, and it’s a testament to what could be accomplished at Psygnosis, or Studio Liverpool.

Our Pixel Bandits score on release is a solid 10. A great game of the time, even with some quite obvious product placement. Fast and furious gameplay, a great competitive edge and some wonderful music graced out little grey machine in 96, and we loved every minute of it.

Our Retroscape score today drops to a 7. We still love Wipeout, both new and old, and it’s a title which still pops down off our shelves, but it’s also one we’d love to share more with friends and get some great leagues together. Luckily, we can do that with it’s successors, but it leaves 2097 a little in the lurch. Still it’s one we’re not sure we’ll ever forget.

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