Whenever we hear the name Wipeout, it conjures images of silky smooth graphics, futuristic environments and kickin’ sounds. The second WipEout game for Sony’s PlayStation Portable looks to be on the money.

Any diehard Wipeout fan will instantly feel at home with the game and recognise most of the teams, of which there will be eight teams available on the UMD, with more available as downloads from the website.

Carrying on from the tradition of Wipeout Pure, not only will there be new ships to download from the website, but there will also be available some new race tracks and music to go with the already awesome soundtrack.

As for gameplay, experienced Wipeout pros will be pleased to know all of the elements we have come to love in Wipeout are here in Pulse. But with some welcome changes, now the AI definitely races together in a far more compact group, unlike Wipeout Pure; in WipEout Pulse, you could be in seventh place out of eight after two laps, but still only be four seconds off the pace. This makes progressing through the field that much more rewarding. For the non pros, you have been catered for also, at the post race screen the AI can be changed from medium to easy (or to hard) and the race restarted if you struggled through the event.

Also for those non pros, there is a training mode to help you get to grips with Wipeout's controls.

The tournament mode from Pure has changed somewhat: now there are four race classes each with four different grids and between 8 and 16 races in each grid.

A major part of the franchise has been weapons, and Wipeout Pulse has truckloads, including new ones such as a Leech Beam, and the Repulsor.

The one major addition to the franchise is the Mag-Strip. This allows the craft to stick to the tracks no matter what the angle of the track is. Although it isn’t entirely new, Wipeout Fusion on the PlayStation 2 had upside down sections of track and loops. The fact that the PlayStation Portable can handle this is testament to the handheld’s power.

From what we have played, Wipeout Pulse is another improvement on the franchise, and will be a must have title for the PlayStation Portable.

We will fully review the title on launch later in the month.

Key features:

    * Latest incarnation of the iconic, stylish and futuristic anti-gravity combat racer: an awesome follow-up to WipEout Pure on PSP.
    * Upholds the brand heritage and refines all the best elements of the franchise to deliver an exhilarating racing experience loaded with hi-tech weapons, hi-octane speed, and futuristic adrenaline-fuelled combat.
    * Seven diversified single player and multiplayer modes, including wireless multiplayer mode via Ad-Hoc and Infrastructure Modes.
    * Downloadable content available at launch and post launch: new circuits, ships and music tracks.
    * Pumping soundtrack licensed by a range of top artists including Mason, Loco Dice and Stanton Warriors.
    * Eight teams including the new EG-X team and 24 new exhilarating tracks.
    * New Mag-Strip track feature: Allowing for a huge variety and dynamism in track design including loops, vertical drops and 90 degrees angled sections.
    * Snap a photo of your ship at anytime in Photo Mode and upload online to show the world.