What the freakin’ heck? Sony casually dropped the PlayStation VR patch for WipEout Omega Collection, and it’s transformed the fast-paced futuristic racer into one of the best virtual reality experiences you’ll find on the platform. This is an extraordinary achievement – it’s so impressive that we’re struggling to believe that it’s free. And after over an hour of gameplay, we haven’t had a single pang of motion sickness – despite racing at breakneck speeds.
How does it work, then? Well, despite the game’s constant reminders regarding motion sickness, the default settings are very cleverly conceived. The camera is locked to the cockpit as a standard, meaning that the vehicle twists and turns around you. You can, of course, change this and lock the camera to either the track or the pilot’s head, but this obviously means you’re going to be tilting and turning all over the place. We prefer the standard setting personally, but your mileage will vary.
The game also includes some “blinkers” around the edges of the window screen. Think of this like the shields that horses wear when out on the road; they limit your peripheral vision and help you to focus on the track directly in front of you. To be honest, we couldn’t figure out how to turn this feature off, but we’re assured the option’s there somewhere. Either way, we like the added comfort that the blinkers provide; there’s even a traditional third-person viewpoint if you prefer.
Beyond that, this is the entire game. Repeat: the entire game. The menu screen has been revamped to create a 3D image, with futuristic vehicles whizzing by in slow-motion while you peruse all of the options. All of the modes and features are available, including the trio of campaigns taken from WipEout 2048, WipEout HD, and WipEout HD Fury. This includes every track and vehicle, as well as everything from Races to Zones mode. The latter looks particularly impressive in virtual reality, as we’re sure you’ll be able to imagine.
Other improvements include the addition of 3D audio, so you can hear the position of rockets as they whiz past your ear. And because the main game already rendered in native 4K on the PS4 Pro, the visual presentation is among some of the most impressive we’ve seen in PlayStation VR to date. Seriously, the image quality is outrageously clean, with very little of the usual blurring and jaggies that you find in Sony’s headset.
Quite simply, this has become one of the best virtual reality releases on the PS4 to date. While we criticised WipEout Omega Collection for recycling the same set of content one too many times, experiencing it all with PlayStation VR is revelatory. The fact that Sony’s managed to deliver an update of this quality free-of-charge is frankly astounding, and pairing its release with the headset’s recent price drop may prove to be a masterstroke. This is a killer app – it’s that good.
Have you taken WipEout Omega Collection for a spin with PlayStation VR yet? What are your thoughts on this jaw-dropping patch? Go faster than the speed of light in the comments section below.