Strap on your helmet and slip into the cockpit: WipEout Omega Collection is on PlayStation Plus. Though it's not nearly as suggestive as the previous sentence may imply, it's still a damn sexy addition to the lineup, and one you should check out pronto.
If you're a pro gamer like us, you'll no doubt have conquered the PlayStation 4 racer already; beaten Zico's times, reached Zone 1 Billion, and crushed all comers online. However, not all of us can be the best of the best. Some of you may have never fired a Quake, or barrel rolled through the air like a metal dolphin. It's for these poor people we've compiled some tips to race to the front of the pack.
1. Capitalise the 'E'
Listen: it's WipEout, not Wipeout. Wipeout is a game show about slightly-not-fit-enough people being bashed into chemically treated water by oversized, padded geometry. Wipe Out is a song by The Surfaris, the tune synonymous with glistening surfer dudes and featured on the 1987 album Dirty Dancing. WipEout is the balls to the wall, anti-gravity racing experience with killer music, intense action, and the best presentation this side of PowerPoint.
If you're to WipEout with the big boys, you need to get it right.
2. Put your foot down
This isn't a leisurely stroll through the park, reaching its climax as you feed bread to the ducks. This is a non-stop thrill ride, the speediest rollercoaster in existence. At least, it can be. As an interactive medium, it's your right to play any way you like. You can, for example, drive WipEout's ships like you're popping to the shops. This is your right, but there's nothing right about it.
You need to pull your finger out and put your foot down, for goodness sake. Do you realise how fast these things can go? Don't you want to find out first hand? No? Why are you even here?
3. Hit as many walls as possible
Here's a tip known only to WipEout pros. We're passing this onto you, because if you're joining in via PS Plus, this is the only way you're going to stand a chance.
WipEout is secretly just an extremely cool game of pinball.
You think this is a racing game? Forget it. You're playing for points, not position. Most of the tracks are walled -- you want to hit as many of those suckers as you can. The WipEout ships are notoriously nimble; when you first start off, you'll find it almost impossible to collide with the barriers. Don't worry, though. With a little practice, and a dollop of patience, you'll be ping ponging your way to victory every time.
4. Pack a sick bag
When you hop into the driver's seat, make sure you have everything you need. Playing WipEout is like going on the shortest, fastest, most intense flight of your life, and no flight is complete without the usual amenities. You can pop your luggage in the leg room, maybe bring along a packet of nuts and a cup of tea, but the most important part is the sick bag.
While you're bouncing around at ludicrous speeds, your tummy is going to turn into a washing machine in the process. All those G-forces are going to result in one messy cabin. WipEout has various pick-ups dotted around the tracks, but by far your biggest ally is a small paper bag in which to chunder. And chunder you will -- these tracks get loopy.
However, if you're playing in PlayStation VR, you don't need to worry about that. You'll be fine.
5. Don't think about the expense
As you approach one of the slickly designed vehicles, you might wonder how much they cost to produce. How much moolah is going to waste when you smash up an opponent? Then, as you consider this, your mind may wander into the wider sport itself. What's the turnover on an event like this? How much money was spent on building all these tracks? What sort of dosh are investors, sponsors, and advertisers pumping into this unbelievable future-sport?
A word of advice: it's not worth thinking about. If you knew how much the ship you're piloting cost to build, you'd never climb into the bucket seat.
6. Don't think about the crippling poverty
The flip side of the coin isn't any better. While the game of WipEout depicts the futuristic, shining exterior of a world obsessed with anti-grav mayhem, there's a whole world below the surface struggling to survive. The dark, overcrowded streets belong to a poor, hungry, furious populace. As you speed through the polished hover-roads in the sky, daily bloodshed, riots, and desperate cries of anguish play out below.
Best to ignore it.
7. Actually wiping out is not advised
This sport is deadly. You might have made it to the big leagues, sitting in the most expensive vehicles ever produced, but don't think your life is worth a damn to the suits behind the scenes. WipEout pilots are ten a penny. They're attracted by the glory of the win, the riches that come with victory. However, one false move on the track, and you'll be reduced to a viscous paste. Not only dead, but spreadable on toast and quickly forgotten. This is the harsh world of WipEout. If you can't handle the odds, maybe you should be playing Mario Kart instead.
8. You don't have a degree in graphic design
The WipEout series is famed for its impeccable presentation, and that's partly thanks to Designers Republic. This graphic design studio is one of the best in the world, and the artists there provided their talents to the world of anti-gravity motorsport. However, just because you know this, don't think it makes you an expert.
Sure, you can whip out the name Designers Republic at dinner parties if you like, but more often than not, it's going to get you in trouble. You know the company exists, sure, but do you know why the visual design of WipEout is so striking? Do you understand the use of colour, the reasoning behind all those beautiful team logos? Can you go into detail about what makes WipEout's visual language tick?
Of course you can't, because you're just playing a darned video game, and have no interest in graphic design. So don't go pretending you do just because WipEout is dripping in style.
There you have it: our best tips and tricks for getting ahead in WipEout Omega Collection, on PS Plus this month. Do you have any more hints for aspiring pilots? Drop the wisdom in the comments below.