For me, this was a buy due to a friends suggestion. I've never played a "wipeout" series game before, but I'd definately say that if they are anything like this I wouldn't be opposed to trying them either.
Starting it up everything was interesting and new, There are lots of vehicles to choose with standard handling/thrust/topspeed/sheilding being different for each. I was was off to the races, so to speak.
At first I was unimpressed with the speed of the game playing in my first tournament (4 races). As well, the controls were difficult at first, but that was more due to the placement of the analog nub, I love the D-pad for this game, and once i learned about the airbrakes and sidestraffing (click the airbrake direction twice ) it became much easier to control and felt sort of like F-Zero. The best analogy is if F-Zero is the Forumla 1, then Wipeout is Nascar.
After I beat the first tournament I tried the Zone play. WOW This is the speed racer I was expecting. In this mode of play you are continually increasing in speed around a massive track and getting points as you go certain distances only dying by destroying your ship, you increase in zones which basically means you're topspeed increases. I hope you can turn well, because this mode relies on reflexes. To unlock more Zone races you must recieve a silver rating. The rating system is based off of the zone level you make it to.
I played around in Timetrial and the ghost racer of your last lap, beside you was expected and there, a good thing.
At this point I decided I was the shit at Pure and stepped up a class in tournament mode. Holy crap! The speed increase is great and it felt exactly like a bump and grind F-zero, hitting walls left and right I barely pulled out a 2nd place finish.
Wipeout is a racer that has exactly what a racer needs. Lots of unlockables. The tracks appear again and again, but at different speeds they are are a whole different monster. There are still tons to play as well, so you shouldnt get bored. I've tried playing with different vehicles as well and that is keeping me entertained. The promise of lots of downloadable content is a major plus to my overall score of this game. If you can only get a couple games (like me, I wouldn't expect you to regret this purchase.)
The Graphics are excellent, especially considering that this is a first gen title. The level design is cool and the ships are all well thought out and balanced. I was incredibly impressed with the weapon effects. Although, The Zone's explision isn't exactly what I would have liked, it fits. (The intro is ridiculusly cool as well). I have yet to notice any framerate loss either, which is a very nice change from the ordinary.
It fits the game great, and its very clear and crisp. I'm not a big electronic music fan, but I really do like it. I think it could only be improved if you had the ability to pick your own tracks you've loaded on to your memory car., I know I wouldn't mind racing to Yakety Sax every once and a while.
There are enough modes to keep anyone busy. Single Races, tournaments, time attack are standard to any racing game, but I really appriciated freeplay mode. This is a no time, notlap limit, just check out the level as much as you'd like, ability that you don't always see included. Lastly, my favourite, The Zone is a hell of a challenge and is what really sold this to me as a top notch game. It is also incredibly challenging and very replayable.
Overall: With the inclusion of downloadable content and the ability to surf the net as well. I'd give Wipeout: Pure a 5/5