Much to my surprise, Wipeout: Create & Crash is a game that a fair amount of Wii U owners should consider picking up. Is it a shining example of the Wii U’s prowess as a competent next-gen contender? No. Is it up there on the level with Nintendo’s polished, first party family games like Nintendo Land? Well, no, not really. Wipeout: Create & Crash is none of those things, and it doesn’t always control perfectly or behave the way you’d like it to either, but all said and done it somehow manages to feel and play like a barrel of monkeys – with maybe one or two of them lagging behind or keeling over.
If you’ve seen the Wipeout TV series on ABC, then odds are you already know what you’re getting yourself into – Wipeout as a general phenomenon is basically something akin to a goofy Ninja Warrior, with fart jokes and rubber chickens (figuratively, for the most part) in place of ardent competition and years of fitness training and preparation. It’s kind of like something you might have seen on Nickelodeon in the 90s, except it wears its goofiness completely on its sleeve and there’s no slime involved. If you still don’t follow, go watch an episode or two.
I haven’t played any of the previous Wipeout video games, but Create & Crash is structured how one might expect. The game’s content is divided across four Wipeout obstacle courses (with more to be unlocked), each with their own individual levels that comprise them. Essentially, there are three rounds per course, plus one minigame “bonus” round to try your hand at. The first two rounds serve as timed rounds or “qualifiers” – if you do well enough, you’ll gain access to the third round, which is more challenging.
With this basic premise down, all that remains is actually controlling your character and navigating the utterly goofy deathtraps on display here, and the experience is pretty hit or miss. Its greatest strength, by far, is that the game doesn’t take itself too seriously – many of your failures leading up to completion of a round will be downright hilarious, and getting walloped by a giant rubber arm or slamming crotch-first into a huge rotating bouncey-ball is just as shamelessly and inexplicably amusing here as it is on TV.
Better yet, the game has roped in the commentators from the TV show as well – John Anderson and John Henson are on board in full force, with a surprising amount of witty banter and patented cheese to keep your Wipeout experience going. It doesn’t really add much aside from being funny, but that’s really all it sets out to add. I can’t over-stress what this does for the game – when a piece of software has this good a sense of humor, it’s infinitely less difficult to forgive some of its faults. Who could spend minutes ranting about this game’s sometimes iffy controls when it never claims even once that it aims to be anything more than a hilarious diversion? The developers nailed the tone here, and Create & Crash is all the better for it.
Crash is only half of this game’s subtitle moniker, and a big part of your time with the latest Wipeout may very well be spent in its course creation mode, if you’re into that sort of thing. The creation tools are surprisingly robust, giving you access to various traps to place throughout your custom course, which you can theme from a variety of options as you see fit. The game informs you of how difficult your course is shaping up to be based on the challenge level of the traps you place, and despite an undoubtedly finite level of potential customization, I was still able to come up with some neat and unique designs. The game charges you “Ballsy Bucks” to purchase traps and other items in the course creator, so you’ll have to play the game a fair amount if you want to unlock everything.
Visually, Create & Crash doesn’t try to do too much (as it shouldn’t), and overall its looks are inoffensive. Some of the courses actually look pretty nice from a distance due to their color and vibrancy, but this is no Nintendo Land in the looks department. Honestly, for what the game sets out to do, its visuals are more than fine. Unlike the latest Call of Duty on Xbox One, it manages 1080p without a hitch, so there’s that (ooh, sick burn!).
Ultimately, Wipeout: Create & Crash is a goofy game best enjoyed with friends, or at least with friends watching. Its controls are a tad clunky at times, but it’s never frustrating due simply to the fact that it’s all just meant to be silly, thoughtless fun. For that reason, I can’t penalize it too heavily, but I can’t really shower it in praise either – it’s just a wacky, cheese-laden game based off of a TV show. If you happen to be a fan of that TV show, then you’ll definitely be a fan of Create & Crash, too.
This review is based on the Wii U version of the game, which was provided to us.