Psygnosis really scored a hit when it created the original WipEout. Alongside Ridge Racer, it was arguably the game which made the most impact when the PlayStation launched in the west, thanks to its incredible 3D visuals, fantastic electronic soundtrack and amazing packaging design – the latter of which came courtesy of The Designers Republic, the Sheffield-based studio which, up to this point, had found the most fame creating imagery for alternative bands like Pop Will Eat Itself.
WipEout was followed by the equally amazing WipEout 2097, but the third game would be something of a departure for the company. Compared to the in-your-face aesthetic of the first two games, Wip3out (or plain Wipeout 3, as it was known in North America) opted for a minimalist approach, paring down the excess to create a streamlined gameworld which was reflected in the clean user interface and menu design.
The cover artwork for Wip3out in the west was equally toned-down, presenting an almost abstract image for the packaging. We really like it – but it can't hold a candle to the Japanese box artwork, which might just rank as the best the series has ever seen.
What we really like about the Japanese Wip3out packaging is that the design wraps around the sides, breaking the traditionally plain white spine with a shot of neon pink. It's one of the best PlayStation 1 boxes ever, if you ask us – but, if you disagree, pop a comment below to tell us why.
The WipEout series appears to have fallen into an enforced hibernation of late, with 2017's Omega Collection being the last real effort made by Sony to leverage the franchise following the closure of Studio Liverpool in 2012 (XDev handled development on that project). The smartphone title WipEout Merge launched last year, but exchanges the racing action for card-collecting gameplay and a cartoon aesthetic.