With the recent release of Wipeout Omega Collection on the PlayStation 4 there hasn’t been a better time to play a futuristic racer that has you travelling at high speeds round awesome circuits but for those who don’t have a PS4 but want to have that nostalgic feeling there is a game that can offer this same feeling and that game is Formula Fusion. Formula Fusion is a futuristic racing game developed by the folks over at R8 Games.
The game is a spiritual successor to the Wipeout series with most of the company’s team being staff members that worked on the earlier titles in the series. They started a kickstarter campaign and were successful in their target and began development of the game, it wasn’t long before it was realeased as an early access game on Steam in August 2015. They’re also currently aiming for a release on PS4 and Xbox One, I managed to get my hands on the Steam version of the game and here is what I thought.
The folks over at R8 Games wanted to make a racer that was similar to that of Wipeout and they hit the nail on the head. You have your anti-gravity Ships that can get up to ludicrous speeds and of course your futuristic circuits. You will notice straight away after playing one race where this game got its strong influence from. It’s does come with a back story of each team and all the logos and sponsors but sadly you will find yourself having to research this online rather than finding it out in game.
As far as storylines go there isn’t much of one, which I prefer when it comes to racing games. You have a campaign that has you play as a pilot working your way through the classes and when you progress through you unlock more tracks and have an array of different types of race modes such as Elimination; where at the end of each lap, the person in last position gets eliminated. The main two that I like are Race and Clean Race purely because they are all about racing and whoever comes first wins. Clean race means there are no weapons which ultimately I think is the best kind of race because it all comes down to your skills as a driver. The other modes add some variety to the campaign as it’s not always down to coming first. Not only is there split screen multiplayer you have the joys of testing your skills with other worldwide, so you can show off you awesome anti-gravity racing technics.
The game is fairly simple to pick up and play, even for people that have played these types of games before. It would have been nice though if the game still had a tutorial just so you can get an understanding of the controls. When I first started playing I tried to pull away with the triggers but my ship didn’t move, I ended up pressing all the button on my controller only to find out that A was accelerate, this isn’t really an issue but it felt weird. I got thrown back at the speed as well, I know that’s one of the main points but it took me some time before I could race round a circuit without crashing into every corner. I managed to master the air breaks as well, these are meant to aid in keeping speed while turning corners but if not used probably can make you lose speed quickly and struggle turning the corners.
In races you have the chance to grab pick-ups, one being a shield regenerator and the other being your weapon. Weapons can be chosen for your ship in the garage and range from shock waves to land mines. The shockwaves allows for an EMP burst wave from your ship that damages nearby racers, land mines just simply are bombs that when hit explode and you get a burst machine gun and rockets, allowing for any type of arsenal on your ship. The shield regen comes in handy because it took me some time to get used to driving without hitting into the walls and losing health but the weapons don’t really seem to do much. In other racing games pickups can make or break a situation like the blue shell in Mario Kart but when you pick up a weapon in Formula Fusion it doesn’t really give the same effect and feels pointless. When you complete a race you are given in-game currency, this is used to fine tune your ship in the garage. While in your garage you are able to see all the stats for your ship and customize it to your play style. Say you wanted the fastest ship in the galaxy or you want to kit you ship out so that your main weapon is mines because you spend all your time in first, it’s all possible and the choice is yours. Though if you’re too fast you find yourself trying to outdo yourself and get the best lap times because it can be quiet easy for you to leave the AI in the dust.
What is a game without its soundtrack right? Formula Fusion comes packed with an array of catchy EDM tracks, featuring Dub FX and CoLD sToRAGE that get you pumped as your speeding round each circuit. It’s the perfect fit for the game and if you have played a Wipeout game then you’d know what to expect. The EDM music really aids in the atmosphere created in the game because you’re travelling at really high speeds which makes you feel pumped so the upbeat music really adds to it.
Checkout the tracks here on Soundcloud or below
The game makes perfect use of the Unreal 4 Engine, with its stunning scenery, circuits and detail on the ships. My PC did encounter a few frame rate issues when racing around at high speed but nothing to the point of ruining my gameplay experience. The Recommended specs for Formula Fusion are;
- OS: Windows 10 64bit
- Processor: i5 4000-series 3.5Ghz/AMD 8350
- Memory: 16GB RAM
- Graphics: NVidia 970 / R9 290
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 17GB available space
My Rig setup is:
- OS: Windows 10 64bit
- Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz
- Memory: 16GB Ram
- Graphics: KFA2 GTX 660 2GB GDDR5
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 2TB
The game come with a lot of replay value, whether it be playing online against others, playing through the campaign and making sure you’ve 100% each class or collecting all of the steam achievements for the completest. You might want to unlock all the upgrades for your ships so you can have a wide range of different play styles it’s entirely up to you. Formula Fusion like most racing games does offer the replay element but sadly it can get boring quiet quickly.
Formula Fusion takes the nostalgic feeling of Wipeout and places its own unique flare on the whole anti-gravity racing, you’ll find yourself enjoying the first few hours of gameplay but quickly wanting to play with your friends or online because you want a bit more of a challenge. The campaign was fun but I found myself coming back to it rather than playing it for long periods of time. I got more joy from using the free race mode and setting up the races that I wanted to do. Even though the game looks stunning in the Unreal 4 Engine, the tracks get over used and you find yourself racing on the same circuits just under different circumstances, like in the night or early morning. The garage was a nice feel to the game as I liked customising my ship but things like weapons just felt as though they were added and didn’t really make too much of a difference. This could be due to the fact that you could pick up extra shield regen on most of the corners and straights. With Wipeout Omega Collection being out it might have some difficulty getting sales with players who own a PS4 but for people who used to play it when they were kids but now have a PC or Xbox One, I would highly recommend this game for a good nostalgia ride and a good stepping stone for future games. This is why I’m giving Formula Fusion 7 out of 10.
Grab the game on steam here