One of the original "wow" titles for the PS One upon its release was Psygnosis' "Wipeout." Its use of 3-D was unparalled and it set the tone for the rest of the series. Now developed by Studio Liverpool, a spin-off of Sony, "Wipeout Pure" does for the PSP was the first game in the series did for the PS One. This is one of the best futuristic racers of all time, establishing the series once again to its original luster.
From a gameplay perspective, not much has changed. Players careen down elegantly designed tracks at ridiculous speeds, each one more deadly than the last. There are pitfalls to be had and your shield needs to constantly be watched as opponents bombard you with firepower. Weapon pick-ups are of course available to fight back, but if your shields are low, you may need to absorb it to gain some protection. Also laid on the track are speed boosts, sometimes where you want them, other times they may send you right into a corner. It adds another layer of challenge and fun to an already deceptively simple racer.
It may seem odd at first that the game lacks a true career mode, especially if this is your first experience with the series. There's no money to be earned, no new vehicles to purchase, and you don't need to become part of any team. You simply enter into a variety of tournaments, pick whatever vehicles are available, and race. This is simplicity at its finest and it's far deeper than it initially appears to be. Once you start unlocking different brackets, things really branch out to show you just how much there is to do.
The most unique feature in the game is the "zone" mode. Here you head onto any of specially designed tracks as your ship slowly but surely begins to gain speed. It's simply a matter of staying alive as long as you can, fighting against an ever growing and usually unwanted speed boost. There are no weapons here so you're the only one in control of your destiny. Winning here unlocks more bonuses, adding more replay value.
One of the main complaints of the game is the weapon system. Picking one up, a small symbol appears in the top part of the screen. These are impossible to decipher unless you've spent some time (a lot, actually) with the manual or in gameplay. You'll waste countless shots or use a boost right into a wall while you adjust and learn what they stand for. The symbols are fine to give it a futuristic feel, but we don't live in 2197. We need text from 2005.