Wipeout 3

Last updated

Wipeout 3
PAL region box art
Developer(s) Psygnosis
  • NA: Psygnosis
Designer(s) Psygnosis, The Designers Republic
Series Wipeout
Platform(s) PlayStation
ReleaseWipeout 3
  • EU: 8 September 1999
  • NA: 30 September 1999 [1]
  • JP: 3 February 2000
Special Edition
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Wipeout 3 [lower-alpha 1] is a futuristic racing video game developed by Psygnosis and published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for PlayStation. The title is the fourth game in the Wipeout series, and was released in Europe and North America in September 1999. Players control extremely fast anti-gravity ships and use weapons to force other contenders out of the race.


Psygnosis hired design studio The Designers Republic to create a simple colour scheme and design for in-game menus and race courses, to create what a Psygnosis staff member called "a believable future". [3] The game is one of the few PlayStation titles to run in high-resolution mode, offering crisper graphics and visuals. Wipeout 3's soundtrack is composed of electronica tracks selected by DJ Sasha and features contributions by Orbital and The Chemical Brothers. The game was re-released in Europe as Wipeout 3: Special Edition in August 2000, which contained additional tracks and content.

The game was positively received on release: critics lauded the graphics, music, and minimalist design elements. The high level of difficulty, perceived lack of new content and courses, and paucity of new game features were seen as the game's primary faults. Despite generally good press, the game was a financial disappointment. Wipeout 3 was the last title in the series to appear on the PlayStation; the next entry, Wipeout Fusion , was released exclusively for the PlayStation 2 platform in 2002.


Screenshot of Wipeout 3, showing the player's head-up display and racing craft Wipeout3 screen.png
Screenshot of Wipeout 3, showing the player's head-up display and racing craft

Wipeout 3 is a racing game that retains the same basic elements of its predecessors, and introduces players to the F7200 Anti-Gravity Race League. Set in 2116, players control futuristic anti-gravity ships owned by racing corporations and pilot them on eight circuits (plus four hidden prototype tracks). Each craft is equipped with an energy shield that absorbs damage sustained on the track; if the shield is disabled, the player's craft can be knocked out of the race. Shields are regenerated in a pit lane set apart from the main course. The less time is spent in the pit lane, the less the shield will regenerate. [4]

In addition to shields, each racing craft contains airbrakes for navigating tight corners, as well as a "Hyperthrust" option. Players can activate Hyperthrust to increase their speed, but using Hyperthrust drains energy from the shields, making the craft more vulnerable. [5]

Scattered across each raceway are weapon grids that bestow random power-ups or items. Wipeout 3 adds new weapons in addition to the five retained from previous games. [6] Several weapons are defensive: for example, the gravity shield protects the craft from attacks and collisions for a time period. Offensive weapons are also available: crafts can use rockets, Multi-Missiles and mines to disable competitors. Players can use an autopilot to coast through difficult turns safely. [5]

The single race mode awards medals to the top three finishing hovercraft. Each contestant must reach checkpoints on the course within a certain amount of time, or be ejected from the race. Winning consecutive gold medals unlocks new tracks and crafts. [4] Wipeout 3 features several other game modes, including challenges to complete courses in a set time. [5] In the "Eliminator" mode, players gain points for destroying competitors and finishing laps. The "Tournament" mode has players competing on several tracks, with points being awarded for placement in each race. [7] Players can engage in two-player racing via a split-screen option. [8]


In developing the next entry in the Wipeout series, developer Psygnosis retained many of the developers of the original game to preserve the distinctive racing experience of earlier games. [9] At the same time, Psygnosis sought to make the game more accessible to new players of the fast-paced racer, and kept early courses easier for these players; the difficulty was adjusted for later courses so that experts would still experience a challenge. [9] Wipeout 3 was the first Wipeout game to take advantage of PlayStation controllers with analogue sticks, used to offer smoother control of the player's craft. [5]

Psygnosis turned to the graphic design studio The Designers Republic to assist in development. The Designers Republic, known for its underground techno album covers, provided "visual candy" to Wipeout 3's graphics, designing the game's icons, billboards, colour schemes, and custom typefaces. [3] The look and feel of the futuristic courses was bounded by the desire to remain believable: Wipeout 3 lead artist Nicky Westcott said that "[Psygnosis] tried to make it look like a believable future, instead of making the sky toxic orange with 10 moons flying around and the world gone mad. It's very low-key [and] a lot more refined." [3]

A special edition of Wipeout 3 was released exclusively in Europe on 14 July 2000. [2] Wipeout 3 Special Edition featured many minor changes to gameplay, such as different craft physics, auto-loading of saves and AI bug fixes. In addition, eight courses from previous Wipeout titles (three from Wipeout and five from Wipeout XL ), plus two hidden prototype circuits previously only available in the Japanese version of Wipeout 3, were added giving a total of 22 tracks. [10] The Special Edition also allowed for four-person multiplayer, using two televisions and two PlayStation consoles. [11] Wipeout 3 was the last game in the series made for PlayStation. The next entry in the Wipeout series, entitled Wipeout Fusion , was released in 2002 exclusively for PlayStation 2. The game introduced new courses, crafts, and weaponry, as well as enhanced artificial intelligence. [12]


Continuing the tradition set by the first game, Wipeout 3 contains electronica offerings from various artists, including The Chemical Brothers, Orbital, and the Propellerheads. Psygnosis' development manager, Enda Carey, focused on bringing together music early in the game's development cycle, instead of as an afterthought or last-minute addition to the game. [13] Unlike previous soundtracks, Psygnosis selected a single music director, DJ Sasha, who worked with artists to create a cohesive soundtrack. [13] Sasha included several of his own tracks made specifically for the game. The game disc is a Mixed Mode CD that allows Wipeout 3's soundtrack to be played in a standard compact disc player. To promote Wipeout 3 and its game music, Psygnosis sponsored a Global Underground tour for Sasha. [14] Game pods featuring Wipeout 3 were placed at parties and venues, accompanied by a tie-in marketing campaign. [14]


Aggregate score
Metacritic 89% [15]
Review scores
Famitsu 30/40 [16]
GamePro 5/5 [17]
GameRevolution 8.3/10 [18]
GameSpot 8.3/10 [19]
IGN 9.1/10 [8]
Next Generation Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [20]

Overall, critical reception of Wipeout 3 was positive; the game holds an 89/100 at Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [15] IGN named Wipeout 3 the most accessible game of the series, and in 2007 the title was named the 92nd best game by the site. [21] Despite generally positive reviews of the game, Wipeout 3 was not a commercial success. [22]

The fast-paced gameplay and graphics were singled out as strong features of the game. [8] Jack Schofield of The Guardian was surprised by the level of detail, stating that the "graphics are better than you'd expect the [PlayStation] to deliver". [23] Both GamePro and Game Revolution reviewers praised the new game features, specifically the new weapons and ability to challenge friends via splitscreen. [17] [18] The Designer Republic's style was consistently praised as helping to make the racing locales seem real, [18] though David Goldfarb of the magazine International Design stated that the "techno-meets-Nihonpop-art visuals" had been executed better in previous entries of the series. [24] Wipeout 3's soundtrack and sound effects were also lauded. [8] [25]

A major fault reviewers found with Wipeout 3 was the steep learning curve of the game. David Canter of The San Diego Union-Tribune described the difficulty progression as "ludicrous", with the tournament game mode going from "easy as pie to tough as nails". [5] [17] [26] Though the use of the analogue stick was positively noted as helping to increase control over the onscreen craft, [19] GamePro found that proper handling required large amounts of patience and practice. [17]

Reviewers who gave Wipeout 3 lower marks noted a sense of disappointment that the series broke little new ground. [22] Stuart Miles of The Times admitted Wipeout 3 was a good game, but felt that he had been expecting much more from the sequel: "It's as if the programmers have concerned themselves more with the overall look and feel, rather than further developing the existing gameplay." [6] Alistair Wallace of Gamasutra, in a retrospective on Wipeout 2097 , remembered that "I enjoyed [Wipeout 3] because it was more of the same and I loved it, but I think the series ran out of its innovation. Doing loop the loops isn't a big deal really." [27] GameSpot summed up its review of the game by judging Wipeout 3 an excellent racer, but not able to beat Wipeout 2097 as the best futuristic racing game of all time. [19]

Jeff Lundrigan reviewed the PlayStation version of the game for Next Generation , rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "It's not terrible, but for a series known for its 'gee whiz' level of quality, this is a serious misstep." [20]

Related Research Articles

Wipeout is a series of futuristic anti-gravity racing video games developed by Sony Studio Liverpool.

<i>Wipeout 2097</i> 1996 racing video game

Wipeout 2097 (stylised wipE'out"2097; released as Wipeout XL in North America and Japan) is a futuristic racing game developed and published by Psygnosis. It is the second installment released in the Wipeout series and the direct sequel of the original game released the previous year. It was originally released in 1996 for the PlayStation, and in 1997 for Microsoft Windows and the Sega Saturn. It was later ported by Digital Images to the Amiga in 1999 and by Coderus to Mac OS in 2002.

<i>Wipeout 64</i> 1998 racing video game

Wipeout 64 is a 1998 futuristic racing game developed by Psygnosis and published by Midway Games for the Nintendo 64. It is the third game in the Wipeout series and remains the only one published on a Nintendo console. At the time of the game's release, developer Psygnosis had been owned for five years by Sony Computer Entertainment, for whose hardware all subsequent Wipeout games have been released exclusively.

<i>Wipeout Fusion</i> 2002 video game

Wipeout Fusion is a futuristic racing video game developed by Sony Studio Liverpool and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2. It is the fifth instalment in the Wipeout series and was first released in February 2002 in Europe, and in June 2002 in North America. It was also the first Wipeout game to be published on the PlayStation 2. The game takes place in 2160 and revolves around players competing in the F9000 anti-gravity racing league.

<i>Wipeout Pure</i> 2005 video game

Wipeout Pure is a futuristic racing video game developed by SCE Studio Liverpool and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation Portable. It was first released on 24 March 2005 in North America, on 7 April 2005 in Japan and on 1 September 2005 in Europe. In North America and Europe, it was a launch title for the platform.

<i>Hi-Octane</i> 1995 video game

Hi-Octane is a racing and vehicular combat video game released in 1995 for the MS-DOS, PlayStation and Sega Saturn, developed by Bullfrog, and based upon their earlier Magic Carpet game code.

<i>Destruction Derby</i> 1995 video game

Destruction Derby is a vehicular combat racing video game developed by Reflections Interactive and published by Psygnosis. Based on the sport of demolition derby, the game tasks the player with racing and destroying cars to score points. The developers implemented simulated physics to make the results of collisions easier to predict, and they kept the game's tracks small to increase the number of wrecks. Versions of Destruction Derby were released for MS-DOS, PlayStation and Sega Saturn. A Nintendo 64 version, Destruction Derby 64, was released in 1999 by Looking Glass Studios and THQ. Critics found Destruction Derby enjoyable and they praised its graphics and car damage system, but the Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn releases received mixed reviews. It does not work fully on all PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 models due to game save file issues. The game started the Destruction Derby franchise, beginning with its 1996 sequel, Destruction Derby 2.

Psygnosis former video game development house

Psygnosis Limited was a video game developer and publisher headquartered at Wavertree Technology Park in Liverpool, England. Founded in 1984 by Ian Hetherington, Jonathan Ellis, and David Lawson, the company initially became known for well-received games on the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga. In 1993, it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony and began developing the original PlayStation and later became a part of Sony's Entertainment Worldwide Studios. The company was the oldest and second largest development house within Sony's European stable of developers, and became best known for franchises such as Lemmings, Wipeout, Formula One, and Colony Wars.

<i>Destruction Derby 2</i> 1996 video game

Destruction Derby 2 is a vehicular combat racing video game developed by Reflections Interactive and published in 1996 by Psygnosis for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation. The sequel to Destruction Derby, players race with the goal of earning points by damaging opponent cars. Standard races and matches based in arenas with the goal of remaining the last player driving are also available. The game is an overhaul of the original and features ideas that did not make it into the first game including tracks that feature obstacles and improved realism. The car mechanics were also redesigned. Development was also focused on Americanisation: the game style shifted away from the British banger racing of the original, and the cars and music were changed to fit a NASCAR theme. The game features Paul Page as commentator, and the soundtrack was created by thrash metal bands Jug and Tuscan. The game was positively received, with reviewers praising the large tracks and car physics, though the PC version was criticised for its difficulty.

<i>Wipeout</i> (video game) Futuristic racing video game from 1995 by Psygnosis

Wipeout is a futuristic racing video game developed and published by Psygnosis. It is the first game in the Wipeout series. It was originally released in 1995 for PlayStation and MS-DOS, and later in 1996 for Sega Saturn, being a launch title for the PlayStation. It was re-released as a downloadable game for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable via the PlayStation Network in 2007.

<i>Formula 1</i> (video game) racing video game by Bizarre

Formula 1 is a racing video game developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Psygnosis for PlayStation and Microsoft Windows. It is the first installment in Sony's Formula One series.

<i>G-Police</i> 1997 video game

G-Police is a 1997 shooter video game developed and published by Psygnosis for the PlayStation and Microsoft Windows.

<i>Wipeout Pulse</i> 2007 video game

Wipeout Pulse is a futuristic racing video game developed by SCE Studio Liverpool and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation Portable. It was released in December 2007 in Australia and Europe, and in February 2008 in North America. A PlayStation 2 port was released in Europe in June 2009. The game is the seventh instalment of the Wipeout series and serves as a sequel to Wipeout Pure. It takes place in 2207 and revolves around players competing in the FX400 anti-gravity racing league.

<i>Wipeout HD</i> 2008 racing video game

Wipeout HD is a futuristic racing video game developed by Sony Studio Liverpool and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3. It is the eighth installment of the Wipeout series and was first released on the PlayStation Network on 25 September 2008 in both Europe and North America, and on 29 October 2008 in Japan. A major expansion pack titled Wipeout HD Fury was released worldwide via the PlayStation Network worldwide on 23 July 2009. A retail version was later made available in Europe on 16 October 2009.

Creative Vault AB is an independent video game developer based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The company was founded by Staffan Langin and Olof Gustafsson in the summer of 2005 with the desire to develop games for multiple platforms. Its first game was Crash Commando (2005), an online shooter for the PlayStation 3. In 2012, Gustafsson left the company, which was renamed Creative Vault Studios. Under the guidance of Langin as sole CEO, the company has worked on several projects with Sony Interactive Entertainment, beginning with the virtual reality port for Hustle Kings in 2016. The following year, the studio collaborated with XDev and Clever Beans on Wipeout Omega Collection, a remaster of Wipeout HD, Wipeout HD Fury, and Wipeout 2048.

<i>G-Surfers</i> 2002 video game

G-Surfers is a futuristic racing game released in Europe on January 25, 2002 by Midas Interactive Entertainment. The game is an exclusive to the PlayStation 2 console. On January 28, 2003 in the United States, it was released by Majesco Entertainment and slightly altered under the title HSX: Hypersonic.Xtreme. The influence of the game was taken from F-Zero and the Wipeout video game series, resulting in a very similar game and negative reviews. The game was briefly shown in the 2008 film Meet Dave.

<i>Wipeout 2048</i> 2012 video game

Wipeout 2048 is a racing video game in which players pilot anti-gravity ships around futuristic race tracks. It was developed by SCE Studio Liverpool and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game, which was a launch title for the Sony PlayStation Vita hand-held console, was released on 19 January 2012 in Japan, and on 22 February in Europe and North America. It is the ninth installment of the Wipeout series and the last game to be developed by Studio Liverpool before its closure in August 2012. Wipeout 2048 is a prequel to the first game in the series and is set in the years 2048, 2049, and 2050.


Firesprite is a video game developer formed by former members of the SCE Studio Liverpool based in Liverpool, UK.

<i>Wipeout Omega Collection</i> 2017 racing game compilation

Wipeout Omega Collection is a video game compilation developed by XDev, Clever Beans and Creative Vault Studios and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. The compilation includes remasters of two entries in the series: Wipeout HD, along with its Wipeout HD Fury expansion, and Wipeout 2048. It was the first release without the involvement of original developers Studio Liverpool following the studio's closure in 2012.

NGEN Racing is an aircraft combat/racing video game developed by British studio Curly Monsters and published by Infogrames for the PlayStation.


  1. The game title is stylised as wip3out in Europe and Japan, and as wipEout 3 in North America.
  1. "Tactical Surveillance: WipEout 3 (PS)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2008.
  2. 1 2 "Game Summary: Wip3out Special Edition". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  3. 1 2 3 Herz, J. C. (26 September 1999). "The Game as Elegant Fashion Statement". The New York Times . p. G4. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  4. 1 2 Psygnosis (2001). "Wipeout 3 > Game > Gameplay". Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2008.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Canter, David (26 October 1999). "Wipeout 3 by Psygnosis". The San Diego Union-Tribune . p. 19.
  6. 1 2 Miles, Stuart (1 September 1999). "Not quite a Wipeout, but...". The Times . p. 8.
  7. Psygnosis (2001). "Wipeout 3 > Game > Modes". Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2008.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Sanchez, Rick (24 September 1999). "Wipeout 3 Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2008.
  9. 1 2 Perry, Douglass (26 August 1999). "Wipeout 3 Preview". IGN. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2008.
  10. "WipEout 3: Special Edition Game Profile". IGN. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  11. Staff (August 2000). "Wipeout 3 Special Edition". Official UK PlayStation Magazine . 1 (61).
  12. Staff (21 March 2002). "BAM! Continues To Bring European PlayStation 2 Titles To North America". GameZone. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  13. 1 2 Psygnosis (12 July 1999). "The Return of the Game That Kickstarted an Era; Psygnosis Announces Complete Band Lineup for Wipeout 3". Business Wire. p. 1.
  14. 1 2 Staff (1 July 1999). "Psygnosis and DJ Sasha Begin the Summer Groove". IGN. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  15. 1 2 "Wipeout 3 for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2 January 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  16. プレイステーション – WIP3OUT (ワイプアウト3). Weekly Famitsu. No. 915 Pt.2. p. 23. 30 June 2006.
  17. 1 2 3 4 Staff (1 January 2000). "Review: Wipeout 3". GamePro. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2008.
  18. 1 2 3 Staff (1 October 1999). "Game Revolution Review: Wip3out". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  19. 1 2 3 Fielder, Joe (27 September 1999). "Wipeout 3 Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2008.
  20. 1 2 Lundrigan, Jeff (November 1999). "Finals". Next Generation . Vol. 2 no. 3. Imagine Media. p. 121.
  21. Staff (2007). "IGN's Top 100 Games: #92". IGN. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  22. 1 2 Salgado, Carlos (1 March 2001). "Hall of Fame: Wipeout". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  23. Scholfield, Jack (2 September 1999). "Games review: Ripe wipe". The Guardian . p. 6.
  24. Goldfarb, David (November 1999). "Wipeout 3". International Design. 46 (7): 112.
  25. Mitchell, John (20 September 1999). "Tripping out on a wicked race experience". Daily News. New York. p. 4.
  26. Cheung, Kevin (27 September 1999). "WipEout 3 Review". Gaming Age. Archived from the original on 7 May 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2008.
  27. Wallace, Alistair (14 May 2007). "Desert Island Games: Creative Assembly's Dan Toose (Medieval II: Total War)". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 24 June 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2008.