If you’ve seen ABC’s Wipeout, then chances are you aware of what you’re getting yourself into with Wipeout: Create & Crash. As the fifth entry into the series, it’s definitely an improvement over its predecessors but it still suffers from a multitude of glitches and bugs.
The main single-player game is divided across 12 themed obstacle courses such as pirates, dinosaurs, Halloween and a winter wonderland. After choosing an eccentric character, you’ll run the gauntlet across four rounds: the first and third serve as timed rounds or “qualifiers,” the second being a mini-game “bonus” round and rounding off the episode is the challenging Wipeout Zone. As with the show, each event is paired with commentary by host John Anderson and John Henson. The witty banter adds to the Wipeout experience — that is until you’re subjected to hearing the same one-linear. But that is the least of your worries as the game’s audio occasionally suffers from glitches where commentary is muted or sound effects get jumbled.
Unsurprisingly, the show’s formula transitions easily to the digital realm, and the gameplay is rather straightforward. For the most part, controls are incredibly simple. Since characters run on a fixed path, your only responsibility is to push the stick left and right to change spots on a specific obstacle or press a button to jump, duck, or slide. But the game’s unresponsive controls led to characters being constantly knocked off the course. Aside from unresponsive controls and audio glitches, the game suffers from a multitude of physic and collision detection issues. Your character will sometimes flail like a ragdoll or suddenly fly off course after being gently nudged by an obstacle. Fortunately, failing an obstacle three times in a row will allow you to simply skip it and move on, and there’s literally no way to fail a course outside of quitting to the menu. The worst you can do is accumulate a horrible completion time and not earn a bronze, silver or gold trophy.
Along with hopping across the iconic Big Red Balls and climbing nets, each course offers some collectables to encourage replaying courses. There are rings scattered about, and series mascot Ballsy makes a point to hide in every stage – some of which have branching paths – giving more experienced gamers something a little trickier to shoot for. You’ll also earn plenty of the subtly-named “Ballsy Bucks” as you play, which you can spend on new characters, costumes, and other unlockables.
Perhaps aiming to combat the game’s easy difficulty, Create & Crash includes a Wipeout Max mode, which lets you tackle an endless stream of randomly generating levels. The levels increase in difficulty as you go, and you’ll have to meet a target time in order to move on to the next stage. It’s admittedly more challenging than the main mode, but courses lack the interesting themes and design of the main game.
A large chunk of your time with Create & Crash may very well be spent in its course creation mode. The creation tools are surprisingly robust, giving you access to various traps to place throughout your custom course, which you can theme from a variety of options as you see fit. The game informs you of how difficult your course is shaping up to be based on the challenge level of the traps you place, and despite an undoubtedly finite level of potential customization, we were able to come up with some neat and unique designs. It’s an excellent addition, and while it doesn’t offer any fine-grained control, its simplicity helps keep it as accessible as the main game. You also have the ability to share custom stages with other players by exchanging short codes with Miiverse.
Though a bit unpolished, Wipeout: Create & Crash is a fun game that’s perfect for fans of the show.
Editor’s Note: Wipeout: Create & Crash was reviewed using a Wii U copy of the game. If further investigation reveals any differences between the 360 and the Wii U edition of the game, this review will be updated to reflect those differences.