Wipeout Pulse is the second installment of the Wipeout franchise on the Sony PSP. Features include the ability to create and store your own customized race campaigns, infrastructure and ad-hoc multiplayer races with up to 8 competitiors, the ability to customize and create your own custom ship skins and use them in races, and a new campaign feature. The game takes place in the future, where players race around in anti-gravity ships along tracks that weave through cities. Weapons and speed-boosts are two main race features, adding shield management and effective attack usage to general strategies. As with other WipEout titles, the game focuses heavily on speed, reaching far beyond 750 kilometers per hour (in-game).
WipEout Pulse's campaign is comprised of 16 "grids", displayed in groups of four hexagons. Grids are completed by earning points in events located inside of them, known as "cells". Grids are graded in a fashion similar to sports competitions, with Bronze, Silver & Gold ratings. Grids have a minimum amount of points necessary to unlock the next grid with a bronze rating. Achieving a gold rating requires a gold rating in every Cell within the Grid. There are 12 numbered grids (Grid 1, Grid 2, etc.) and four final "Phantom" grids (Phantom Grid 1, Phantom Grid 2, etc.). Each Grid lays out Cells in a unique pattern.
Cells are events located inside of Grids. They are identified as hexagons, which are colored with bronze, silver, gold, or empty based on event completion. Cells are spread out in a pattern-like arrangement, with only 1-3 center cells unlocked. Each cell contains one event type and one map type. In order to unlock the other cells within the grid, the player must complete already unlocked cells. This causes every adjacent cell to be unlocked for use. Every cell awards points for completion based on performance. 1 point for a bronze rating, and 3 points for a gold rating. A grid is completed minimally when a sufficient number of points are garnered from cells.
There are 7 events known as Race Types in WipEout Pulse.
- Single Race- A standard race on a map with a full grid of opponents that usually includes weapons and pick-ups. Medals are awarded on a Place basis, 1st is Gold, 2nd is Silver, 3rd is Bronze.
- Head-to-Head- Head to Head races are against only one other opponent. They vary between speed competitions and weapon/pick-up based competitions. In the single player campaign, no weapons are allowed.
- Tournament- A multiple-race event against full grids of opponents. Points are awarded per race based on position, with 8 points going to the leader, and 1 point going to the ship in last place. Medals are awarded at the end based on point totals. There are generally 4, 6, or 12 races per grid in the single player campaign.
- Time Trial- A single-ship race against a timer on one map. Beat a race within a certain amount of time to win. A running ticker displaying what medal you are currently on track to receive is displayed in the bottom left corner throughout the event.
- Speed Lap- A single-ship race with 7 laps, in which you strive to complete a lap within the given time to receive a medal. Loyalty Points are awarded for all laps in this race, not just the winning laps.
- Zone- An event that uses special ships with maximum stats no matter what team you're affiliated with, your ship accelerates automatically as you complete each "zone", going from Sub-Venom to Super-Phantom speed levels. The objective of this event is to survive for as long as possible and complete a set number of zones before your ship is destroyed.
- Eliminator- A battle-type race with a full grid of opponents in which you vie not for position, but for the highest number of opponent eliminations before the race ends. This mode has several special super-weapons unlocked for it such as the disruptor and shiruken. In this game mode, you take damage at a much quicker rate and cannot absorb your weapons (pushing the corresponding button only gives you a brief shield). The object in the single player mode is to get ten kills.
Most events can be customized further in the Racebox, a game mode that allows you to create custom races and grids that can be exchanged with other players.
Multiplayer & Sharing
Infrastructure in WipEout Pulse allows for up to 8 players to connect via WipEout servers and play together. The servers require registration and subsequent logins for access. Options for creating a game, joining a game, reading the game's End User License Agreement (EULA) and quitting the game are available from the main menu.
Game Creation & Joining
Creating a game allows for the choice of Race Type (Single, Tournament, Eliminator, etc.), Speed Class (Venom, Flash, Rapier, Phantom), weapons (on/off) and AI difficulty (if AI is turned on). Joining a game allows you to choose a speed class before displaying a list of available lobbies. Players then join a lobby and choose a ship/skin combination, while waiting for the Host to begin.
Ad Hoc & Game Sharing
Ad Hoc games allow for multiple players to connect locally, and use the same menu system as Infrastructure Mode. Game Sharing works with up to 2 players, allowing one without a WipEout Pulse UMD to download data that temporarily allows them to race against the game's owner.
Data Sharing allows players with copies of WipEout Pulse to share data with other WipEout Pulse players over an Ad Hoc connection. Profiles, customized race Grids and tracks are shareable.
Origin: European Union
Motto: "Race For E-Unity", "The Future Is Euro"
Motto: "A Friend in Speed"
Motto: "High Speed Revolution"
Motto: "With Added BITE!"
Origin: United African Nations
Origin: Pacific Islands
Motto: "Future Proof"
Motto: "Three Times More Power"
Motto: "Linked Technology"
- Talon's Junction
- Moa Therma
- Arc Prime
- De Konstruct
- Tech De Ra
- The Amphiseum
- Fort Gale
- Platinum Rush
- Outpost 7
Tracks in WipEout Pulse come in two variations, referred to as "White" and "Black". These variations essentially determine whether you go around the track clockwise or counter-clockwise. Coloration also tends to vary for each map, as do certain pick-up or speed up bonuses along with Mag Strip placements. The track color is added as a suffix to the track name, such as "Moa Therma Black" or "Basilico White". Some debate may ensue on whether or not each track should be counted seperately, allowing for a 24-default-track listing for the game, or as the same map, which would limit it to 12 original maps. The official listing refers only to 12 tracks.
- Aphex Twin - Fenix Funk 5 (Wipeout Edit)
- Booka Shade - Steady Rush
- B-Phreak & Groove Allegiance - Break Ya Self (Wipeout Remix)
- DJ Fresh - X-Project (100% Pure Mix)
- Dopamine - Flat-Out
- Ed Rush, Optical & Matrix - Frontline
- Kraftwerk - Aero Dynamik
- Loco Dice - City Lights (Martin Buttich Remix)
- Mason - Exceeder (Special Mix)
- Mist - Smart Systems
- Move Ya! & Steve Lavers - Chemical
- Noisia- Seven Stitches
- Rennie Pilgrem & Blim - Slingshot (Wipeout Mix)
- Shlomi Aber & Guy Gerber - Sea of Sand (Wipeout Mix)
- Stanton Warriors - Tokyo
- Skream - Suspicious Thoughts
- Vostok Reef
- Gemini Dam
Currently, there are no plans to release the DLC outside of the UK, despite loading screens on the US version that advertise ships and tracks on sale at the download store. Relatively poor sales compared to that of Wipeout Pure may have been the reason for this, though no official statement has been released.
WipEout Pulse garnered a wide range of review scores, ranging from 100's to a 50. Comments ranged from "The visuals are terrific, with perfect lighting and great frame rates, and the music sticks to its pulsing electronica roots. Pulse, with its challenging gameplay and deep single-player campaign, is first and foremost a fan service to traditional WipEout fans, but newcomers will likely fall in love with the game, too, assuming they don't become too frustrated in the early going." from WorthPlaying
, to a quote from Hardcore Gamer Magazine
stating "The big question is whether or not you’ll have the patience to work through the initial frustration. Why would you choose to spend hours with a game you don’t like, after all, just so that you can someday begin to enjoy it? That sort of dedication shouldn’t be necessary, yet in this case, it is." The MetaCritic
average for the game is 82/100, and the bulk of the reviews gave scores in between 78 and 86.