Wipeout (sometimes styled wipEout) is a series of futuristic racing games developed by SCE Studio Liverpool (formerly Psygnosis), widely regarded as the PlayStation's answer to Nintendo's F-Zero series. Players race anti-gravity craft at speeds of several hundred kilometers per hour (several thousand in some games), while exchanging weapons fire and attempting to avoid potential elimination (an element introduced in the second game). Visuals, atmosphere and music are three of the hallmarks of the Wipeout series; the first three games were made in cooperation with well-known Sheffield design agency The Designers Republic, and the game's soundtracks consisted of an extensive collection of songs from underground Electronic Music acts, many of who would become rather successful in the games aftermath.The original Wipeout, released in 1995, was the first non-Japanese game for the PlayStation. Seven installments have been produced since:
Nintendo 64: 64 (1998; strange, as Psygnosis was a Sony subsidiary by this point)
Playstation: 2097/XL (1996) and 3/wip3out (1999; Special Edition rerelease in 2000)
All There in the Manual: Most Wipeout games barely mention that there even is a story to the game. However, supplementary material (including older websites that are now dead) has provided two centuries worth of backstory to anti-gravity racing and all of the companies and groups involved in it. It's almost scary how much there is compared to how much is visible in the games themselves.
Artificial Stupidity: In the early games, opponents followed predetermined paths at fixed intervals from each other. This got toned down a bit for the series's later installments.
They also didn't use half of the weapons. When they gained access to all weapons for Fusion, it became clear why. For one, it made unlocking weapons a bad thing: being able to fire one quake or gravity blast about every six times you got nailed with one from any of the 15 other ships on the track isn't a good trade-off. Things got more balanced in this regard with Pure and its comparative lack of area effect weapons, though it is still hard to overtake a pack of ships without getting mines or a bomb in your face every time you are about to catch up.
Art Shift: Pure's downloadable Omega League has tracks that were designed by popular non-Sony artists. As such, they can get a little... weird in comparison to other tracks in the game. The same game's Zone-exclusive tracks look as if they were inspired by copious amounts of drugs.
Awesome but Impractical: The Plasma Bolt was a One-Hit Kill in earlier games, but had a long charge time and only goes in a straight line. As of Pulse, it is slightly easier to use but no longer a guaranteed KO.
In Wipeout 3, it was both easy to use AND an instant kill. Elimination contests came down to how many plasma bolts you got. Luckily, elimination mode was revamped in later games, though Pulse has an overpowered unlimited duration leech beam in eliminator mode.
In 2097 and Pure, the Quake was a situational example. In these games, it had a set speed that was the same for every speed class. For most speed classes, the quake would be too fast to avoid, but in Phantom class, the quake moved about as fast as one of the ships. This not only kept it from hitting anyone who wasn't directly in front of the user of the quake, but also blocked their view of the track.
Blood Knight: Goteki 45 fit this trope to a T during the events of wip3out, spawning rumors that it was created to jeopardize the sport's philosophy.
Blood Sport: Well, you have weapons. What comes next should be expected. (Unless you're playing the original game, in which the weapons merely slowed opponents down.) In Eliminator mode, players must eliminate a select number of opponents before the race ends.
Came to a head in Fusion, which had more craft on the tracks and a much greater focus on weaponry. Story-wise, this was due to the rampant corruption going on behind the scenes in the F9000 league.
And the humble missile, which is usually an amazing sleeper weapon because it has long range and a powerful effect.
In the first two games, there was a weapon (Shockwave/Electrobolt) that would slow down the target while doing virtually no damage; despite this, the slowdown added up to more time lost than any of the explosive weapons and it was the best weapon in those games, followed by the missile. It was still removed in Wipeout Fusion by the development team because it was considered useless. Fools.
The energy shield. Time it correctly and you will make it through the Quake unharmed... and if you do, everyone around you (and in front of you if you're right in front of the Quake user) gets knocked senseless, leaving you with a chance to take the lead. Every bit as good as shooting that quake yourself!
Bragging Rights Reward: In 2048, certain Prototype crafts are this. One particular example is the Qirex Prototype.
The Cameo: If you look carefully during the futuristic car sequence in Wipeout 2048's opening cinematic, you'll spot some MotorStorm cars. MotorStorm is made by Evolution Studios, a PlayStation-exclusive developer that is very similar to Studio Liverpool - enough that several ex-Liverpool veterans jumped to Evolution when Studio Liverpool was shut down.
Canon Discontinuity: Wipeout Fusion was poorly received among the series fan base due to changes in gameplay, the removal of teams dating back to the original game, and lackluster visual design (being the first entry without The Designers Republic's input). The backstory to Pure undid most of these changes, attributing the excesses of Fusion to Executive Meddling and the placement of profit over ethics.
Pilot Level: In 2048 you gain Experience Points from races to rank up. The higher rank the more crafts you get available. Most crafts are unlockable at certain levels, including Prototype Crafts. HD had team loyalty, which unlocked ships and cosmetic options such as different skins for team craft and alternate HUD designs modeled after past games in the series such as 2097 and wip3out.
This is the natural follow-up to a Shield Raider in Wipeout 64, which leaves the unlucky target with 1 point of energy if it hits.
Coca-Pepsi, Inc.: EG-R Technologies and Xios International merged into EG-X Technologies before the events of Pulse.
Cold War: The American (Auricom) and Russian (Qirex) teams are in perpetual rivalry due to conflicting ideals that came from their founders.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Rubberbanding AI ensures you will never win a race by more than a few seconds. In tournaments, the same opponent will always finish all races in first place, unless you finish first in which case he gets a guaranteed second (barring some highly focused strategic weapon play on the player's part)
In the PSP iterations, the opponents will have unlimited boost usage in the first lap. Oh, and you always start in last position. Good luck catching up!
Competitive Balance: Every craft has its own set of stats. Different teams generally have the same stat specializations from game to game, but the exact stats (as well as the actual scale of stat measurement) usually vary between games.
Computer Voice: "Contender eliminated", as well as on weapon pick-up. Some games also use the voice to notify players about incoming weapons. Wipeout HD's computer voice reads off a pre-flight check-list before a race begins. "... Shield levels: check. Engines: check. Ship functions: check. Switching to manual."
In 2048, when you unlock a craft, you get computer voice that reads some info on it. It also says what weapons you picked up, and tells you if you got a normal pass or an "Elite Pass". The weapon pickups are unique because the voice is different depending on the team and their country of origin. For example, Qirex's computer voice has a deep Russian accent whilst AG Systems has a Japanese accent.
With the added wipEout HD + Fury DLC for 2048, you can now access those ships too. However, due to the different menu system, the computer voice announcing your team is now done at the Team Select screen rather than when an event is started. This results in the rather pleasing possibility to just keep tapping team icons to hear the voice list them. "FEISAR. Auricom. Icaras. Goteki 45. Mirage..."
Crapsack World: While the background material has always been deliberately vague, there's always been hints that things aren't as utopian as the art style suggests. The world is apparently so obsessed with a violent sport that when the F9000 league collapsed prior to Pure it caused global recession and several wars and if the trackside advertising is anything to go by (In the earlier games the teams were the only advertisers except real world product placement in 2097 and Fusion and are still the dominant force in later ones) the megacorps that sponsor the teams are major forces in the world. However when Pulse introduced track descriptions before each race, it went from hints to outright stating how bad the world had got. Some of the terrible events outlined include: The Greenland Icecaps melting, an epidemic in Nova Scotia leading to quite a substantial city being abandoned, references to the "ashes of Geneva" and a Grey Goo scenario actually occurring in Wales!
Mostly subverted in 2048 since it's a prequel of sorts.
Also downplayed in Wip3out and Pure onwards. In the first two games, the world was obviously more dystopic, and dark compared to the brighter and cleaner style that the series embraced afterwards. With this, the dark breakbeat soundtrack of the first two games was replaced with a brighter, cleaner soundscape. Perhaps it could be said that as the Electronic Music scene shifted to lighter Trance during this same time period, the series simply followed it's lead.
Critical Existence Failure: Your craft is usually destroyed once you have no shield energy left. Since it's percentage based, it becomes a bit jarring when you play a Zone Mode race and have only 1% energy left.
Crutch Craft: In 2048 you start off with the moderately fast Feisar Speed. It's the fastest vehicle for you from when you start till you either unlock the Pir-Hana Speed or rank up high enough. However, though it is certainly important, wipEout isn't entirely based on speed.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: Unlike any other game in the series, Fusion's mines are dropped one at a time instead of all at once.
2048's default control scheme is "Racer," which mimics the standard controls of other racing games (such as putting the brakes on a single button). People who have played previous games in the series have been known to become confused by this and immediately set the control scheme to the classic wipEout layout.
Dash Attack: Piranha's superweapon in Fusion, the Penetrator, is built for this; using it causes a burst of speed similar to a turbo, but it also surrounds the ship's nose in energy and causes it to home in on the closest ship in front of it, making it a perfect weapon to use when stuck behind a damaged opponent.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: During 2048's Elimination Races, getting your craft destroyed sets you back 1 point, which is easily gained back within a few seconds.
Death Trap: The 2048-exclusive Pir-hana Prototype. Possibly world's fastest coffin. No steering. Airbrakes only. Have fun!
Deflector Shields: Loads of 'em. There's the temporary shield, the reflector, the force wall....
Difficulty Levels: The five speed classes, from slowest to fastest: Vector, Venom, Flash, Rapier, and Phantom.
Vector class is removed in later games, probably for being Easier Than Easy at it is incredibly slow for the blazing fast wipEout series. However, Vector is only painfully slow in the third game and Pure.
The difficulty scale evolved from the first game's Venom/Rapier to 2097 and wip3out's Vector/Venom/Rapier/Phantom to Pure's Vector/Venom/Flash/Rapier/Phantom to Pulse and HD's Venom/Flash/Rapier/Phantom.
Going beyond Phantom in a zone event in HD will have you reach Super-Phantom, and eventually Zen, Super-Zen, Sonic, and Super-Sonic.
2048 uses D, C, B, and A-class. Going past that in Zone will get you to A+, and then start counting what multiple of Mach speed you're currently going at.
Do a Barrel Roll: Later games (starting with Pure) enable Star Fox-style barrel rolls that drain health, but if completed, they cause a turbo boost when the ship lands. Taken Up to Eleven in 2048, where the AG-Systems Prototype can pull off a DOUBLE Barrel Roll.
Downloadable Content: the PSP titles have new tracks, vehicles and songs that can be brought in. HD had Fury, an entire expansion that brought in new game modes in addition to tracks, ships and songs.
Driven to Suicide: A significant part of Overtel's board of directors committed suicide when important documents highlighting Overtel's corruption were leaked in the backstory to Pure. Those who didn't wound up arrested.
A part of Studio Liverpool went on to form Sawfly Studio. Unfortunately, the studio has no plans to resurrect the series. Another game developer formed by former Liverpool employees, Firesprite, has expressed an interest in reviving the series, but as of this writing, this interest hasn't borne fruit.
Eagleland: Played as a Type 1 with Auricom, as the representative of the United States and Canada. Its portrayal is generally positive, as shown in its being the first to withdraw from the corrupt F9000.
In Fusion their superweapon was a Kill Sat, but the team leader told you to 'please not use it too much' because it violated the 'beauty of the sport'. (Sorry, I can't hear you over the CONTENDER ELIMINATED. Heh.)
Early-Bird Cameo: Piranha is mentioned as a parts manufaturer in the ship specifications section of the first games manual, set almost a full half century before their debut as a racing team in 2097
Endless Game: Zone mode, in which the craft keeps going faster until the player can no longer successfully steer through the track.
Energy Weapon: The plasma bolt, electro bolt, energy leech, among others.
Fan Nickname: In the early games, there are rescue droids which grab your ship and place you back on the track, should you fall off. The fanbase has nicknamed them "Wuss Wagons".
Fictional Document: Loads of them, including various team ship specifications and even branding guidelines.
Fragile Speedster: Faster crafts tend to have weaker shielding. This is Icaras' hat in all of their appearances.
2048 made most, if not all, of the Speed class crafts this. Most weapons available for this class are usually weak, like the Cannon and single Rocket. Oddly enough the Feisar Prototype can surpass the usual max speed and still use weapons mostly available to Agility class crafts.
Glass Cannon: The unlockable Zone and Medievil teams in Pure have great stats but pitiful shielding.
Icaras have the greatest top-speed (It even out-classes Piranha!) in exchange for paper-thin armor. Team's history says that in it's early days, making it to finish line is a great success in itself.
Instant Death Radius: Pulse's Repulsor was an Eliminator-exclusive weapon that violently shoved away enemy ships in a large radius around the user; it was an incredibly powerful weapon due to its range, power, and likelihood of catching enemy ships in the attack radius.
Instant 180 Degree Turn: HD Fury and 2048 allow ships the ability to turn 180 degrees at the press of a button during Eliminator events. The latter's AG-Systems Protoype can even spin 180 degrees during normal races.
The craft's description even makes a point of saying that it took the team quite some time to find a pilot who could withstand the resulting g-forces.
Interface Screw: The first two games have an energy weapon which slows the target ship and alters its controls. Pure has the Energy Disruptor, which is similar, but has a much more varied set of effects.
2048 has a mild one in regards to the HD Fury content. The numerous ships are all still ranked on a 1-10 whole numbers system, with nothing under a 7. These craft were originally ranked out of 100 with visible differences; this fidelity in performance is preserved and weight isn't shown at all. Thus, two craft with "identical" stats when selected in 2048 can actually feel vastly different on the track.
Invisibility Cloak: Available as a weapon pick-up in wip3out and as Piranha's superweapon in 64.
It's All About Me: Icaras in the early years. A team assembled by an eccentric businessman mostly as a publicity stunt, they promised their new, blindingly-fast craft would revoltuionize the sport. The didn't even finish a race for two whole seasons (due to having shields of tissue paper) and complained that none of the tracks were appropriate for their new ideas on the sport. Even bitter rivals Quirex and Auricom agreed they didn't like Icaras very much.
Jack of All Stats: Auricom ships are generally average but balanced in all aspects. In Pulse and HD, this is Mirage's hat (aside from being the weirdest looking ship of the stock game). Assegai and Qirex also count; they have slight boosts in handling and shield, respectively, but they are otherwise average.
Most Agility class crafts in 2048.
Japan Takes Over the World: Anti-gravity inventor Pierre Belmondo's AG Systems is bought out by a Japanese conglomerate by the time of the first game.
Gratuitous Japanese, especially on the first game's European cover artwork.note For this particular one, it has an accurate transliteration of "Designers Republic" in katakana.
Kawaisa, which adorn various track billboards, and, a few ship decals.
Lighter and Softer: The series underwent this to a rather small degree during Wip3out, with the visual style becoming significantly streamlined and the soundtrack shifting towards Trance from the dark breakbeat the first two games used. As this shift was occurring in the Electronic Music community that Wipeout built itself around, the games followed suit to keep with the times.
Luck-Based Mission: Fusion and its multi-track championship format where you have to consistently finish in a good position, along with the existence of the Gravity Bomb and Cryo Rocket which were almost guaranteed to respectively drop you all the way to the bottom of the pack or eliminate you in one hit and pocket change. During the course of the game you were very likely to have at least one championship ruined by some of the various cheap shots in the game. This was dialed down in later installments.
Macross Missile Massacre: In the earlier games, the AI was unable to use most advanced weapons and generally stuck to projectiles, which they used eagerly as you approached first place. Most of them missed, even the homing weapons, but the constant spam of incoming weapon warnings was a little unnerving.
Magikarp Power: 2048's FEISAR Prototype is the AG craft that demands precision. It starts out slow but it'll rack up permanent boosts in speed when passing over speed pads, but the speed will reset after taking damage or finishing a lap.
Crashing into walls at certain speeds can decrease you speed by a bit, but it depends on how hard you hit a wall with it.
Mega Corp.: The sponsors of the various leagues, as well as the owners of some of the teams (Triakis, for instance). Overtel, which owned the Qirex team until they dissolved it before the events of Fusion, also controlled most in-universe communications networks.
Mighty Glacier: Most Fighter-type ships are this in 2048. The best example in 2048 is the Qirex Fighter. It has a lot of health, has the highest damage output of most Fighter crafts, but makes up for this with its low top speed.
Minimalistic Cover Art: The covers themselves normally aren't examples, but in-game menus and HUDs have a distinctly stripped-down feel to them, especially in Wipeout 3.
One suspects that this is part of the reason why Wip3out didn't sell well. This◊ was the original box. The special edition rerelease looked like, uh, this.◊
More Dakka: FEISAR's superweapon in Fusion is essentially a souped up missile, shooting three in rapid succession. In the same game, EG-R's superweapon is a group of three small drones which lock onto a random target and swarm him with projectiles, to the point that they can be potentially lethal.Fusion also had the Proton Cannon, a minigun pickup which is notable as the only weapon from Fusion to become part of the main set of weapons that appear in most of the games after it.
The Movie: Not a literal example, but the first game had a humorous billboard which said, "Stuff explodes in Wipe Out: The Movie!"
Multinational Team: FEISAR, the official team of United Europe, has headquarters in 12 countries. The games use the resulting inefficiency to explain why FEISAR's ships are so slow. Icaras, originally introduced as a British team in Wipeout 3, also becomes this in the later games.
Similarly, Assegai is the official team of the United African Nations, though it's unknown how many different nations the UAN spans.
The first unlockable Prototype: The Feisar Prototype can achieve ridiculous speeds even for wipEout, but it only speeds up when hitting speed pads and the speed goes down when damaged or when entering a new lap.
Second unlockable: The Auricom Prototype. It deals a decent amount of damage and doesn't get slowed down or knocked around when hit by a weapon. It can't pick up defensive weapons though, and if you aren't careful, you won't notice when your craft is low on energy.
Third unlockable: AG-Systems Prototype. Fast, ultra-agile and hard-hitting with the ability to perform a more powerful Double Barrel Roll and Combat Flip during normal races, but it has the weakest shielding in the game.
Fourth unlockable: Qirex Prototype. It sacrifices the ability to pick up regular weapons for an infinite-ammo Minigun that reloads every 2 seconds.
Final unlockable: Pir-Hana Prototype. The fastest ship in the game hands down, but it cannot steer without using the airbrakes.
Nitro Boost: Two weird examples exist in addition to the standard item-based and pad-based turbos:
In wip3out, the Hyperthrust system allowed ships to boost at any time, but at the cost of rapid health loss and the lack of a dedicated turbo item.
Fusion's multiplayer included the Turbo Enforcer, which fired like a missile and forced an opponent to turbo instead. It was meant to be used before tight corners in order to boost opponents into track walls or out of the track on sections without walls, but its ability to literally give away a race to an opponent likely contributed to it being a Fusion exclusive item.
Nintendo Hard: The earlier games had a rather unforgiving learning curve. Wipeout HD is also considered by some to be the hardest in the series, but later patches introduced difficulty levels for those who struggled against the insane AI and speed.
The hardest two challenges in the series: untextured bonus track 4 on Phantom speed in Wipeout 3 (intended as the game's ultimate challenge, the AI is insanely fast here) and combo challenge 5 in Wipeout 64 (win a race on the hardest track in the game on the highest speed class while at the controls of a flying brick, and during that race, kill 7 opponents with your only weapon being your super weapon, which is great at slowing down opponents, but does almost no damage).
No Export for You: Wipeout Pulse was re-released for PS2 with all the Europe-exclusive DLC already installed and unlocked... in Europe only. Granted, it was made for the European release to make up for delays of the PSP version, but it can still be a sore spot for non-European Wipeout fans. Wipeout 3 Special Edition was also a Europe-exclusive title.
Nostalgia Level: Bonus and downloadable content tends to include track remakes from earlier games. Notably, Wipeout 3: Special Edition included eight tracks from the first two games, Pure has 2 tracks from each of the main games preceding it (4 are only available through DLC), and HD/HD Fury is entirely composed of tracks from Pulse and Pure. Between every game (including the mirrored and slightly altered track clones in Wipeout 64), the Altima VII/Altima track appeared four times; Talon's Reach, Gare d'Europa and Karbonis V appeared three times.
Oddly Named Sequel: Just look at the list of game titles. Fusion added or changed a number of gameplay elements, while Pure was intended as a return to the series' roots.
2048, being a prequel, was titled after the year it takes place in. Same goes for 2097.
Oh, Crap: Enabled by the weapons announcer, which gives you just enough time to brace for impact but rarely enough time to actually dodge the incoming weapon if it can be dodged at all. Later games actually mention what weapon you're about to get creamed by:
The Cryo Rocket weapon in Wipeout Fusion can easily cause this reaction. Its most noticeable effect was that colliding with anything while its freezing effect was active would take off half of your shield; getting hit with a weapon would destroy you instantly. If you didn't explode before you realized what was happening, you could survive by making absolutely no mistakes for the next ten seconds. Needless to say, the AI is much better at avoiding random collisions, making the weapon all but useless when the player is holding the weapon.
Prequel: 2048, the Play Station Vita launch title, takes place fifty years before the first game, before anti-gravity racing has become an established sport.
Product Placement: The first game has conspicuous advertising for Psygnosis' other titles. 2097 followed suit with a level of Red Bull ads that almost made it feel like a promotional game, on top of the pervasive signage devoted to the soundtrack artists. Later games have mostly parodied this trope through the placement of fictional advertisements for teams and race sponsors throughout the tracks in very conspicuous locations. (One badly thought out update to Wipeout HD added advertisements to the loading screens, which were quickly removed after an Internet Backdraft, not least concerning the additional load time spent waiting for the ad.)
Fusion had Kappa ads. For the uninformed, Kappa is a clothing store.
The Red Bull ads are almost Truth in Television, since the drink sponsors many "extreme" sports in the real world, so Anti-Gravity racing would be right up their street. Also, since 2097's release, Red Bull now sponsors not one, but two Formula One teams.
Real Song Theme Tune: Some of the biggest names in the techno business have produced tracks for the game, ranging from The Prodigy to the Future Sound of London. Other notable musicians include Kraftwerk, Deadmau5 (in 2048),Tiesto (in Pure), and Sasha, who produced four songs exclusively for Wip3out named after the game's racing teams.
Rouge Angles of Satin: The team name "Piranha" from 2097 was somehow consistently turned into "Pirhana" in 3, and then changed back for Fusion.
Lampshaded when they realized their mistake: Piranha/Pirhana is a merger of the teams "Pir" and "Hana". This merger is referenced in 2048, where the team appears as "Pir-hana."
Rule of Cool: The Quake Disruptor sends a massive ripple down the track, damaging all opponents that it hits. It would be completely unworkable in real life, but it's certainly impressive.
The premise of the game itself.
Secret Craft: Prototype crafts in 2048 are technically this. You need to pass a certain pilot level, find the corresponding Prototype Challenge event on the event map, and complete it.
Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The series slides back and forth through the spectrum. It started as balanced with the first two installments, 3 was mostly idealistic - being Lighter and Softer than the first two games; Fusion falls firmly in the cynicism end of the scale due to the rampant corruption happening in the sport during the events of the game. Pure is firmly idealistic because of AG racing's comeback and brisk rising in popularity according to the backstory. Pulse slides across both ends of the scale, while HD and 2048 are balanced for the most part.
Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: The settings cover the whole spectrum, with everything from smog-belching powerplants and Blade Runner-style cities to immaculate public parks and high-end shopping malls. HD Fury extends this to the ships themselves: the HD ships are covered in dirt and mud, whereas the Fury ships appear as if they were washed just before the race begins.
Smart Bomb: The Quake Disruptor is effectively the racing game version of a smart bomb: when used, it damages (if not destroys) all ships, mines, and bombs in a large range in front of the user, and as it covers the entire section of track it affects, the only ways to avoid getting hit by one are to not be in its range, to use a shield item just before impact, or to be off of the track completely.
Detonator mode's EMP works like a Quake, destroying all mines and bombs in its blast radius. However, its range is dependent on how many EMP pads the player drives over before unleashing it.
Start My Own: The backstory to Pure, has a Qirex engineer being disappointed by their new designs and starting her own team.
There Are No Good Executives: Averted, only a few of the teams are corrupt. Even Qirex, founded to capitalize on the tremendous commercial demand for AG technology and fielding heavy, aggressive ships, has always been portrayed as aggressive, but but playing by the rules and winning fair and square. Their parent company Overtel, however, plays this trope straight. Early EG-R and Goteki-45 companies were also extremely shonky, though any wrongdoing on their part was never confirmed (due to the collapse of the league and their base of operations being leveled respectively).
We Care: "Let's be friends!" is AG Systems' slogan in Wipeout 3.
We Used to Be Friends: FEISAR's current relationship with Icaras, after the UK's breakup from the former to resurrect the latter before the events of Pure.
What Could Have Been: The original version of Fusion was quite different. Psygnosis had developed the game using high-powered PCs as they did not receive the Ps2 dev kits on time, assuming the Emotion Engine could handle it. It turned out the two architectures were completely incompatible and this early version had to be scrapped.
Wipeout XL ditched the first game's pseudo-realistic homogenized, decaled ship designs in favor of a more sci-fi look. The American version of it and Wipeout 64 also had completely different logos than any of the games that came before or after them.
When The Designers Republic left the series, Fusion had a radically different visual style by a different design group which was not well received by long-term fans. Pure fixed this by returning to a style closer to classic Wipeout.
The vehicles in Wipeout HD's Fury expansion pack are... quite different. (They look more like separated parts attached to each other to form the ship's body, unlike preceding Wipeout games, where ships look more solid.)
Goteki45's ship in Pure is unlike either of their other appearances, and was the most unusual design that was included in the basic game.
The craft in the aforementioned video also resembles a piece of Wipeout concept art that's been doing the rounds since 3, so it might also be a case of technology catching up with the artists' visions.