There have been many companies that have tried to match the speed, fun, and style of WIPEOUT, but most of the games developed seem to lack in certain areas. Some lack enjoyment, some lack originality...heck, even some are too slow. But Microsoft Game Studios, along with developer Curly Monsters, feel like they have a winner with their newest racing title QUANTUM REDSHIFT. But are they right?
Since this is a futuristic racing game, QUANTUM REDSHIFT takes place about 100 years from now. Players are able to choose one of 16 characters to play as, with each character having his or her own unique ship, home circuit, weapons, and nemesis. Only half of the drivers are available at the start of the game, though. To gain control of the other characters, you must unlock them by winning different races.
One of the coolest things about QUANTUM REDSHIFT is that each racer has his or her own nemesis in the game. Basically the nemesis is there to make sure he or she wins, but if they realize they can't win, they do everything possible to make sure that you lose. It's like they'd rather see you lose than them win. Your nemesis also challenges you to one-on-one races on their home track during the course of the game.
The graphics of QUANTUM REDSHIFT are one of its main selling points, and is truly one of the better looking games on any system. The ships and level designs are done quite beautifully, but the weapons effects seem to lack in almost every way. They look fine when using in real-time, but when you take a look at the replay, they look sub-par. But when see the water effects, which is possibly the best rendering of water I've ever seen in a game, it completely makes you forget about what your weapon blasts look like.
The control is fairly tight, as QUANTUM REDSHIFT is basically a simplistic racer. You are able to accelerate, use a boost, and powerslide around turns. There are power-ups around the map that give you certain abilities like shields, homing attacks, or just plain missiles. This is one area where the game really lacks. With all the attention and detail put into the graphics, it is obvious someone forgot to remember that power-ups play a big role in these futuristic racing games.
Another thing you'll notice (although maybe not right away) is that the game is very fast. It is possibly too fast at times. When you boot up the game and go from the normal settings, it seems like your average racer. But when you crank up the difficulty a bit (after unlocking them, of course), it gets really hard. It's not that the racers become increasingly difficult, it's just that the game gets so much faster. Later in the game when you're on a higher difficulty, it is almost impossible to tell where you're going, and normally by the time you see a wall, you've run into it. This is really hard on new tracks, where instead of trying to win, you're just trying to stay on the track and complete the race.
QUANTUM REDSHIFT is better than your ordinary racer, but it lacks in the way of innovation that WIPEOUT brought along when it was released. It is a decent pick-up for racing fans, and at least worth a rental for gamers who feel like driving at 250 mph. Trust me, it's a lot safer on here than doing it in real life.