Wipeout Pulse PSP

  • Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Feb 12, 2008

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
Buy On
  1. AceGamez
    Wipeout Pulse is undoubtedly the greatest racing game on the PSP, if not the greatest game ever made.
  2. If you're a fan of the fast paced racing then WipEout Pulse is a must have for your PSP.
  3. Same-old, same-old, which means slick, challenging and extra packed online content!
  4. The gameplay is very tight and easy to get into, whether you're going solo through Campaign or Racebox or challenging others through AdHoc and Infrastructure. The downloadable content is hot, too. It may not be easy, but this Pulse definitely rates high.
  5. WipEout Pulse is faster, better looking, tighter to control, full of new content and much better arranged than its predecessor. Its impact probably won't be as keenly felt as its launch title predecessor, but even if it can't replace Pure at the top of the Metacritic listings, it will certainly replace Pure in your PSP UMD slots - and there it shall stay.
  6. Wipeout Pulse is more of the same, but the new additions, primarily in the shape of online play, mean this is essential for Wipeout fans and adrenaline junkies.
  7. WipEout Pulse is, by far, one of the most enjoyable and addictive racing games to come along for the PSP this year. It’s a fast-paced, unforgiving and intense racing that will surely please fans of the racing game genre even with the lack of racetracks.
  8. So yes, I'm a big whiner about the new way the game throws all its different modes at you during the career progression, but custom soundtracks, online play, tons of subtle little tweaks to the handling, track design, weapons and even a few elements borrowed from past games all add up to one of the most insanely packed offerings on the PSP right now.
  9. The visuals are terrific, with perfect lighting and great frame rates, and the music sticks to its pulsing electronica roots. Pulse, with its challenging gameplay and deep single-player campaign, is first and foremost a fan service to traditional WipEout fans, but newcomers will likely fall in love with the game, too, assuming they don't become too frustrated in the early going.
  10. 90
    This is the best WipEout game to date, make no bones about it.
  11. Wipeout Pulse for the PSP is a great update to the long running racing series that is exclusive to Sony branded machines.
  12. 88
    It features the same punishing reflex-based gameplay, high speeds and engaging flair that other games in the series have trademarked. While it's unfortunate that the game doesn't radically reinvent the series or vastly expand upon the play, WipEout Pulse is still an extremely enjoyable title for racing fans.
  13. It is one of the few futuristic racers that feels actually playable after a few minutes, a considerable feat considering the competition. It has great tracks, varied gameplay, and some pretty innovative online functionality. It is a blast to play.
  14. 85
    So while it doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary (well, in comparison to the rest of the series), it delivers what it needs to and does with distinction. It's marginally a better game than the original, but it doesn't have the advantage of being the series' return to form. Still, if you're a WipEout fan or someone who's after an adrenaline and challenge packed racer, then WipEout Pulse astutely fits the bill.
  15. Another solid entry in the series, continuing to scream by with fantastic production values, tight controls, lots of objectives, and above all, an intense sense of speed. Its biggest weakness lies in the time it takes to unlock a decent number of courses, but fans willing to look past that should strap in and hang on.
  16. With an online mode, custom soundtracks, and even a photo mode, there isn't much else on the console that the developers have failed to take advantage of. True, the game itself isn't a revolutionary change from the previous entry in the series, but if you've enjoyed Wipeout games in the past and have yet to play them in handheld form, then Wipeout Pulse is definitely worth checking out.
  17. While tech backdrops of futuristic cities are great, the fundamental racing mechanic has inched forward at a snail’s pace, delivering an experience that is almost identical to every Wipeout game that came before.
  18. You might be better to wait for a price drop or pick up the original Pure if you can find it, as both games are too similar to each other to give Pulse a recommendation.
  19. 75
    Wipeout fans will also totally dig the game's stats and achievements as well as its team-loyalty program, which gives you points for continually competing with a certain racing team. At every turn there's something more for fans to truly dive in and obsess over.
  20. 100
    Wipeout Pulse is undeniably cool, and the best in the series to date.
  21. 90
    Add to this equation a staggering variety of weapons (with accompanying cryptic icons) all capable of reducing your fellow competitors to fused hunks of flaming track detritus, a masterfully produced techno soundtrack and some clever online features and you've got a game that has essentially taken up permanent residence in our PSPs.
  22. 80
    The visuals in Wipeout Pulse are a subtle improvement over Pure. Interestingly, the opponent AI appears a lot more aggressive which makes for a much more interesting race.
  23. A nearly perfect experience. Feel the Pulse.
  24. Wipeout Pulse is nothing short of being an addictive, sleek, hypersonic racer that should be in everyone's pocket.
  25. For some people and maybe even for you, WipeOut Pulse is worth the effort involved and then some.
  26. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    WipEout's core chemistry is rich and balanced enough to merit continual evolution. [Dec 2007, p.123]
  27. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    At its most fluent, you feel like you're piloting the track itself, not just the craft, such is the sweet feeling when you master the sinuous pinches and folds of courses. [Dec 2007, p.110]
  28. Edge Magazine
    Sure, it’s another great instalment of Wipeout, but under the gloss it’s little more. [Dec 2007, p.90]
  29. games(TM)
    Everything you need from a WipEout title is there in abundance. [Dec 2007, p.106]
  30. WipEout fans, WipEout Pulse is a must have edition in the franchise.
  31. Play UK
    Nothing new as far as the franchise is concerned. But the formula is so brilliant, why change it? Studio Liverpool tried once with "Fusion" and it took "Pure" to get it back on track. Pulse helps keep it there. [Issue#159, p.94]
  32. Games Master UK
    It's not for everyone, but if you like knuckle-whitening racing thrills, look no further. [Jan 2007, p.72]
  33. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Developers take note - this is how games for PSP should be made. Keep the controls simple. Structure the action fo rshort, sharp play sessions. And cater for PSP's criminally overlooked online functions. [Nov 2007, p.83]
  34. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Pulse's career mode is perhaps its biggest achievement, with a progression system set up in grids that unlock as you go. [Mar 2008, p.84]
  35. Sony didn’t try to fiddle with the game mechanics, focusing instead on more contents and more fun.
  36. 80
    Veterans will jump in, take a ride, blow up the opponents and unlock pretty much everything in a couple of days and spend hours more just being addicted enough to neglect sleep and forget to eat.
  37. Play Magazine
    If you're new to this slick brand of futuristic racing, WipEout Pulse has the potential to really impress. [Mar 2008, p.67]
  38. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    With great graphics, great sense of speed, a well balanced gameplay and a more than adequate soundtrack, can we say that Pulse is almost technically flawless? Probably, but only because “lack of innovation” isn’t considered to be a technical attribute. [Nov 2007]
  39. 90
    It feels more like WipEout Pure 2 than an original title of its own, but there are so many options, customizable features and settings, as well as online play and expected developer downloads, that makes Pulse to go from a teetering try to a full must-buy.
  40. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Even with all the solo bulk, the most exciting addition to Wipeout Pulse is undoubtedly that of Wi-Fi play via the PSP's Infrastructure mode. [Apr 2008, p.86]

Awards & Rankings

#7 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2008
#20 Most Shared PSP Game of 2008
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. DaveR.
    Jun 27, 2008
    I would give this game a 9.5 if there was the option (you can only choose whole numbers). The eliminator mode is totally fun and the grid I would give this game a 9.5 if there was the option (you can only choose whole numbers). The eliminator mode is totally fun and the grid single player campaign does an excellent job of mixing up the relatively linear style of the single player campaign in previous Wipeout games. I keep coming back to this game. Definitely a great game and a great value for your $. Full Review »
  2. MartinA.
    Jan 17, 2008
    This game is absolutely fantastic. They took everything from the previous WipEout game on PSP and piled on better tracks, better music, and This game is absolutely fantastic. They took everything from the previous WipEout game on PSP and piled on better tracks, better music, and more FUN. Fans of the series would do themselves a disservice to not own this game. Full Review »
  3. Jun 17, 2016
    An incremental improvement over Pure in many ways.

    Improved performance, a rock solid 60 FPS compared to the variable frame rate of Pure
    An incremental improvement over Pure in many ways.

    Improved performance, a rock solid 60 FPS compared to the variable frame rate of Pure that targeted 60 but sometimes dropped into the 40's and even 30's during single races and tournaments. Also there is no more 30 FPS lock for Time Trial and Zone modes. But most of this is not the result of code optimization on Studio Liverpool's part. It is due to Sony's firmware update allowing developers to take advantage of the PSP's 333 MHz CPU clock (compared to 222 MHz at the PSP's launch). There are some improvements to the graphics such as more polygons for vehicles (which are beautifully modeled and even have cockpit interiors) and better texture detail, but there is one aspect of the graphics that took a step backwards (more on this later).

    There are subtle improvements to the A.I. and they fixed barrel rolls which is nice. There are more options and modes (such as Eliminator and Head-to-Head) which add variety but they aren't as well suited to the game's core design as the standard Single Race and Tournament modes. Structure and progression is much better. The new grid style is a welcomed change and fits well within the aesthetic of the game.

    They tweaked the controls and made them tighter. Veterans may prefer the old controls at first but its simply different and takes getting used to. The sense of speed in the game is slightly faster now which was a good change.

    The soundtrack in Pure was superb so its very hard to beat what came before. But Studio Liverpool managed to put together a soundtrack for Pulse that is fantastic. It may even be the best soundtrack in a WipEout game. And now you have the option to add your own songs which is great. Though there are a few less songs provided this time (16 in Pulse vs 19 in Pure).

    Honestly there is very little to nitpick about. The only sore spot would be the race tracks. Although the track design is generally great and there are even a few gems (Moa Therma comes to mind), some of the tracks are merely good. And many of them lack the visual appeal that made Pure's tracks amazing not only to play but to just look at. There are now two versions of each track, the "White" version (forward) and "Black" version (reverse). But the differences between them are more than just going in opposite directions. Some of them have fundamental changes that make them feel almost like different tracks. All of the tracks in Pulse are also available for Zone mode which was a great change and they are given an abstract visual makeover just for the mode and they look beautiful.

    Pure originally shipped with 12 tracks and Pulse also shipped with 12 tracks. So at first glance it might look like you are getting the same amount of content but Pulse makes far better use of the content it has compared to Pure. Even with all of Pure's DLC, Pulse still manages to be competitive in this regard.

    The issue of track design prevents Pulse from being an improvement in every way compared to Pure. Pulse is however the more polished and accessible WipEout with more options and ways to play making it slightly better overall.

    Even in 2016 I still find myself coming back to this game on PC with an emulator. I'm very impressed with how well it holds up today and it looks great in HD. A testament to the art direction and slick presentation. Graphically it doesn't look as good as WipEout HD of course but both games share a lot in common. After all, WipEout HD is essentially a remix of the PSP WipEout games and borrows heavily from the advancements made in Pulse. It is the closest you can get to WipEout HD on PC without actually having WipEout HD. And clearly I still love it, enough so to make a passionate review about it over 8 years later.
    Full Review »