wipEout PULSE hits North America today

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Hello people of America, I’m Paul Tweedle, the Producer of wipEout Pulse, blogging at you from Liverpool in the UK. You have probably heard of Liverpool as the home of The Beatles, but we like to think of it as the home of anti-gravity racing. We’ve been knocking out wipEout games for years now and I truly and honestly believe that wipEout PULSE is the best yet.

Thanks in the main to the guys and gals over on the forums at fansite WipeoutZone, we know what they liked and disliked about our previous offering, wipEout Pure. With Pure we wanted the racing back at the forefront and we wanted it to be the best, purest racing yet, while striking a balance with the combat elements. We think we largely achieved our goals.

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With wipEout PULSE, we wanted to take that even further. We completely overhauled the AI such that each and every race is now competitive from beginning to end. There are no crude catch-up techniques going on this time, we’ve worked and worked on it to ensure that each race is as tightly contested as possible. We developed a system whereby the AI would “learn” the circuits. We’d set the AI off and running at the end of each day, doing lap after lap after lap (literally hundreds per night); all the while they would make tiny adjustments to their racing line until they knew the circuits very well indeed. Truly it almost feels like you’re racing against human beings at times.

One of the main complaints of the series as a whole has been the lack of any sense of progression through the games. We thought long and hard about this and completely threw out the old notion of making the player play through the tracks systematically speed class by speed class. The design team came up with Race Campaign which throws a staggering variety of races at the player from the very start. We think you’ll really get a bang out of it.

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We tried really hard to get infrastructure (online) racing into wipEout Pure but, being a PSP launch title, we just ran out of time and it became unfeasible so this was one area we wanted to get sorted right away for wipEout PULSE. Not only that but we were the first title (in Europe at least) to support the new PlayStation Network login system which means that you can now use the same login that you use for your PS3 on your PSP. You’ll be racing against someone on the other side of the world within 10 minutes of booting the game up for the first time which is just awesome.

Coupled with this, we’re fostering an online community over at www.wipeout-game.com where you can upload, directly from the game, all of your records which will be added to the global tables. There are some European players who are already better than most members of the development team. Good luck, you’ll need it ;-)

We dedicated a lot of time and effort to give you, the player, a way to stamp your personality on the game. You can log onto the site and give your favorite ship a bespoke paint-job with our Ship Customization Tool which allows you to paint directly onto a 3D model. Some of the results the European players have achieved are breathtaking. We can’t wait to see what you guys come up with. Along with this is the ability for the player to create his or her own custom Race Campaign. You choose the events and the targets, and then you can send it to a friend directly via Wi-Fi from your PSP to theirs.

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I think I’ve rattled on long enough, but it would be remiss of me not to mention the fact that we also have some great download packs coming your way very soon indeed. More teams, more tracks, more Race Campaign, more fun! The folks at GameVideos.com go into a lot of details about many of the things I’ve mentioned here – it’s definitely worth a viewing.

Thanks for reading and, most of all, for playing.

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