If this blog had an anatomy, the Wipeout series would be without question the spine; the one unifying thing behind its entire purpose. A great deal of what appeals to me from a design perspective both inside and out of videogames stems from the earliest entries in the series. Luckily, the Wipeout franchise remains home to some of the sharpest graphic and visual art direction in the industry.
As is with many games today, and has been a sort of “unwritten rule” when it comes to graphic design, some of the most impressive and dramatic concepts come from Europe. Although the ubiquity and globalization of the internet has proved that great art of any kind can come from anywhere, in the early to mid 1990s Europe was the place for the newest in electronic music, visionary design, and latest trends for the 18-24 demographic that Sony targeted with the original PlayStation.
No small wonder that Wipeout, designed by Livperpool-based (that’s in Europe) Psygnosis studios, was a launch title for the PlayStation’s European release in September of 1995. Wipeout marked the first non-Japanese developed game for the console, and quickly became a hit in several territories garnering high-scores in reviews and appealing to an older, more sophisticated gaming crowd.