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Video Game / Ballistic NG

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BallisticNG is an anti-gravity racing game for Windows, macOS, and Linux created by the three-man outfit of Neognosis, with a port for Nintendo Switch currently in the works. It is largely inspired by the WipEout game series, in particular 2097 and 3, aiming to emulate the latter's gameplay, physics and PlayStation-era graphical quirks while providing a creative sandbox. Player races high-speed anti-gravity ships, using speed, skill, and weapons to gain the upper hand. It comes with multiplayer and full-fledged arcade style single-player campaign.

First released on May 30, 2016, it passed Steam's Greenlight program and entered Early Access for a while. Originally a completely free-to-play game with donation options available through Neognosis' Patreon up until its closure, the developers has since transitioned the game into a commercial title on September 21, 2017. It left Early Access as a complete game on December 15, 2018. A free expansion pack titled Neon Nights was released on July 26, 2019, with 6 new tracks, a new set of campaign stages, and new unlockable liveries, alongside the announcement of more expansions to come, both free and commercial. Another expansion, Outer Reaches, released on July 20, 2020, adds another set of 6 new tracks and liveries, and a new campaign for $2.99. A third expansion, Maceno Island, was announced on March 10, 2021, the same day of the Switch port announcement, with a release date to yet be determined.


The game can be found on Steam here. You can also visit the game's official website here, Facebook page here, and twitter page here.

This game contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: The game's campaign has a percentage counter for each league events and the overall completion rate of the game's campaign. Each event, however, requires completing them with a platinum medal for 100% completion, which requires playing through each one in Expert mode.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The Tremor pickup.
  • All There in the Manual: Like the game it's based on, there is little to no story exposition within the game itself. The game's official wiki, on the other hand, is jam-packed with lore for the teams and tracks that exist in the game.
  • Animesque: The MNK sponsor billboards, heavily inspired by The Designers Republic.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The Autopilot pickup will delay its deactivation if your craft is taking a hard turn as it expires, holding out for up to three seconds longer.
    • The Shield pickup will automatically activate if you take damage from enemy fire.
  • April Fools' Day: In 2017, the game had an update that applied a 'Vaporwave Aesthetic' graphic filter and soundtracks to the game, alongside a Ballistic64 cheat code which makes every ship handle like those in WipEout 64.
    • As of the current update, the vaporwave mode can be activated by typing "vaporng" in the main menu.
  • Attract Mode: If you wait at the Title Screen for a moment, the game will play a demo of a race with varying camera perspectives between ships.
  • Black Comedy: The achievement for destroying an Omnicom ship with a Diavolt ship is called "Media Blackout".
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Those that donated at least $5 towards the Neognosis' Patreon prior to its closure and the game transitioning to a commercial title on Steam received a special set of liveries that gives ships a shiny gold color, along with their Steam user name given a golden color. The v1.2.2 update later introduced the Bling Pack DLC, which give players that missed the Patreon liveries set not only the golden liveries, but also platinum (as well as iredescent and psychedelic) liveries for $2 and granted to the developer's past Patreon donors free of charge.
  • Blood Sport: Wouldn't be a WipEout homage without it.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • The "Barracuda Challenge", which mirrors the Piranha Challenge from 2097. This event forces you to play on ten tracks in Zen class, all in a row. Not only that, the AI opponents are set to the hardest difficulty, and if you are struggling in a race, you're forced to restart the challenge from the beginning, as the "Restart" option is disabled for this challenge. However, you can restart the race you just lost after you finish it. If you find it too difficult, you're probably better off using Tenrai.
    • The Precision Runs, which are a series of tight point-to-point courses that will make any experienced pilot question their handling abilities. As the name suggests, the closer to perfection, the better.
    • The two Expert tracks, Hydrome Bed and Arrivon Peak, are the hardest tracks in the game and are unlocked after progressing far enough in the Campaign. Both feature extremely unorthodox layouts featuring sharp blind corners and narrow alleyways without walls. You'll need to know the ins and outs of your ship if you want to win in these tracks.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Hyperthrust, which can give your craft a boost of speed at the cost of your health, not unlike that of F-Zero's or the original WipEout games.
  • Cherry Tapping:
    • The Cannon pickup.
    • Ramming into walls or other opponents can take you out of the race if you're low on shields.
  • Computer Voice: The game uses this as the announcer voice by default. The player can mod it or turn it off entirely.
  • Copy Protection: Averted. Despite the game being released on Steam, Neognosis has gone on record to support BallisticNG as a DRM-free PC game, even after the game transitioned from free-to-play to commercial, however, players won't be able to access Steam Workshop content (unless imported locally to the game's custom ship/campaign/tracks/music folders) or Steamworks features without a Steam log-in.
  • Critical Existence Failure: If your craft runs out of energy, boom. As long as you've got some left, you can continue to race.
  • Crutch Character: The G-Tek R34 has superb grip and handling, but severely lacks the speed and acceleration of other teams that experienced players could take advantage of.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: Occasionally shows up in some of the tracks, like Aciknovae, Surge, and Omega Harbour.
  • Death Mountain: Utah Project snakes around a dam in Glen Canyon, Utah.
  • Deflector Shields: The shield pickup, which temporary absorbs weapons and collision damage. Activating the autopilot pickup also grants you this.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Certain ships are rewarding once you get the hang of them.
      • The Nexus ship as of its 0.6 iteration; blistering top speed but comes with absolutely sluggish handling and abysmal grip.
      • The NX2000. Very similar to the NX1000 craft from Wip Eout 2048, thanks to it's very high top speed, but it's also the most fragile ship in the game. A very good choice for those with a death wish. Even if they can handle enough punishment from the other crafts.
      • All of Barracuda's ships are this. All 10 stats across the board, just without being able to use weapons. The problem is, can you handle it?
    • The Plasma pickup, which can cripple opponents. The catch is that the weapon has a 1-second firing delay on top of its own travel time.
    • The Energy Wall deploys a barricade ahead of your ship in the lane opposite of where you're occupying. This make strategic use of it more difficult than other pickups, but it can stop several ships in their tracks if used right.
  • Difficulty Levels: Outside of the AI difficulty, the game also separates races into several speed classes, which are also inspired by the WipEout games:
    • Toxic (equivalent to Venom)
    • Apex (equivalent to Flash)
    • Halberd (equivalent to Rapier)
    • Spectre (equivalent to Phantom)
    • Zen (equivalent to Super-Phantom)
    • Hyper Zen (greater than Super-Phantom, exclusive to Survival courses)
  • Do a Barrel Roll: Performing one after a jump with 2280 physics enabled grants you a speed boost, at the cost of a sliver of your health.
  • Downloadable Content: Ties in with Game Mod, thanks to the Steam Workshop.
  • Easter Egg: There's a hidden Morse code message on the Luna track, which translates to "WIPEOUT FOREVER".
  • Endless Game: Survival Mode, in which you pilot a craft that goes faster and faster until you wreck it.
  • Energy Weapon: Many pickups are this; it's easier to list the exceptions.
  • Eternal Engine: Aciknovae, which is located within a Russian factory.
  • Expansion Pack: The Neon Nights and Outer Reaches DLC adds their own set of unique new tracks (normal and reversed), a new campaign, and unlockable liveries relating to their respective expansions.
  • Expy:
    • The Barracuda Model A is this to the Piranha ship in 2097. Best top speed, acceleration and handling in the game, but no weapons.
    • Several teams are similar to the ones from the WipEout series, such as G-Tek (AG-Systems), Omnicom (Auricom), Diavolt (Qirex), Wyvern (Icaras), Nexus (Feisar), Hyperion (EG-X or Xios), Scorpio (Goteki 45) and Tenrai (Van-Uber).
    • The Hunter pickup is very similar to the Blue Shell, but it's actually based on a weapon from WipEout Fusion.
  • Floating Continent: Ishtar Citadel, located above Tokyo, Japan.
  • Game Mod: One of Neognosis' goals is to allow this. The game supports the Steam Workshop since launch, and scripting support first became available on August 10, 2017.
    • The game's Steam Workshop allows players to add custom tracks and ships, including AG crafts ported from WipEout, or things like real-world cars...
    • Some users have even created soundpacks that features sound effects from the WipEout games and the announcer from WipEout 3, and you can also import you own music to play the game with.
  • Green Hill Zone: Zephyr Ridge, a race track located in an Italian business park, alongside its sister course Zephyr Climb.
  • Guest Fighter: The CYGON Tempest from GRIP appears in this game as part of a collab with the game's developers.
  • Homage: To the WipEout series, especially the PlayStation-era trilogy's later installments.
  • House Rules: The Custom Race mode, which allows you to tweak various options and rules of the game's various modes, such the speed class, whether or not collision damage applies, enable or disable weapons, number of laps possible for certain modes, et cetera.
  • Hypocritical Humor: There's an achievement for taking down a G-Tek ship with a Tenrai ship called "Impurity", referring to the latter team contradicting their own protest against weapons in AGL and their own motto due to their heated rivalry with the former.
  • Instant 180-Degree Turn: Pressing the afterburner button in Eliminator does this, allowing you to unleash hell on enemies behind you.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Omnicom.
  • Joke Character: The AG Bike, which has since been removed.
  • Jungle Japes: Arrivon XI is located in the jungles of resort island Maceno.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Despite the fact that the AG Bike looked downright ridiculous (not to mention out of scale), it still acted the same as any other ship in the game.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The second Expert course, Arrivon Peak, is located in the midst of an active volcano.
  • Level Editor: The game features a basic, if still incredibly powerful, track editor. The tracks you create can also be exported to Unity to add the scenery.
  • Level in Reverse: An update for the game added the ability to race on any official track in reverse.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Hellstorm missile (first seen in the 12 August 2017 dev branch) splits itself apart to damage up to 4 opponents at once.
  • Mega City: All the tracks in the Neon Nights DLC are set in the gigantic Vega City. In-Universe, the arrival of the AGL sparked a mixed reaction: fan reception was highly positive, but the city's residents weren't quite as pleased.
  • Mega-Corp: It's a WipEout homage, so of course they'd have a presence here.
  • Multinational Team: Nexus, an Austrian team with some key people hailing from Europe and Japan.
  • Mythology Gag / The Cameo: A meta example; Cassandra was originally a track made for SlipstreamGX, another Wipeout fan-game that's currently in development hiatus (as of April 2017). Some of its developers continue to work on BallisticNG during said downtime. One of its weapons, the Wormhole, also made an appearance until it got replaced with the Hunter missile.
  • Necessary Drawback: The Barracuda Model A, Model B, and Model S have no weapons systems. Same with the NX2000.
  • Nerf: The Plasma pickup, in the official release.
  • Nintendo Hard: Naturally, given that the game takes clues from the early installments of WipEout.
    • Part of the reason why BNG is hard for players new to Wipeout-esque racing sub-genre is because some single-player events force you to fly certain craft. The player ended up having to re-learn muscle memory for new track/craft combination again. How the game heavily punish collisions does not help matters at all if you're shooting for platinum medals.
  • Nitro Boost: The Afterburner system, based on WipEout 3's Hyperthrust, allows you to drain your own health to gain more speed by holding down a button. There's also the more traditional boost pads and turbo pickups.
  • Noob Cave:
    • The first circuit, Cassandra, is far shorter and easier than the others, and its pit area also doubles as a shortcut. Later updates gave it a massive overhaul and a longer layout.
    • Surge, a short, simple track added in the official release.
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
  • One-Hit Kill: The Plasma pickup in earlier versions, as stated above.
  • Palette Swap: The unlockable liveries (i.e. skins) for the ships feature unique texture designs, of which includes Alt (an alternative team design), Clean (a simple white color scheme), Stealth (a black variant of Clean), and Neon (TRON-esque neon design) for the base game, as well as liveries for the Neon Nights and Outer Reaches (featuring unique designs for the expansions). There was also a special golden livery for donors that contributed at least $5 USD to the developer's Patreon prior to becoming commercially released through Steam.
  • Palmtree Panic: Cassandra and Marina Rush, respectively located in the coastlines of Barcelona and Sao Paulo.
  • Patriotic Fervor: The Neon Nights livery for Omnicom is modeled after the flag of the United States of America.
  • Port Town:
    • Omega Harbour, located in France.
    • There's also Dover, which actually has waves crashing against the course's walls on the back straight.
  • Rank Inflation: The Campaign's events are graded based on your performance. From lowest to highest: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
  • Retraux: Players can make the game look as modern as possible with its advanced lighting and visual effects, or they can those tune settings down or disable them entirely and add a few extra retro-styled effects settings such as draw distance clipping, lower vertices, and color dithering to make the game look like the PlayStation-era WipEout games it alludes to. The v1.2 update even adds a set of CRT scanline effect options and affine texture warping.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: The higher difficulty settings all play this trope straight, but special mention goes to Hardcore difficulty, where every single AI-controlled opponent will boost ahead of you once you pass them, and they only slow down in the final lap to give you a chance to win. The v1.2.2 update however added the ability to turn AI rubber-banding off, but it is on by default.
  • Secret Character:
    • Some AG ships, like the Barracuda Model A, need to be unlocked before they can be used. Of course, there is an option to unlock all secret ships in the secrets menu, but this won't change your progress.
    • The official release adds the Precision Delta, a ship unlocked after beating all of the Precision Runs.
    • There are a handful of skins to be unlocked for each ship through raising your rank in the Campaign and clearing the expansions (when available).
  • Self-Damaging Attack Backfire: It's possible to activate the Hunter and have it home in on you if you accidentally move up to 1st place while the Hunter is in mid-flight.
  • Shark Tunnel: Both Omega Harbour and Hydrome Bed have these.
  • Shout-Out: If you play the Utah Project track, you'll find a billboard that says "Utah Project Saints", while accompanied by a heavily modified version of the background featured in the cover art of WipEout 2097. There was also a piece of older promotional artwork of BallisticNG that also mimics that game's cover art.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Harpstone, which is located in Greenland.
  • Space Zone:
    • Luna, a racetrack located on the Moon.
    • Many tracks in the Outer Reaches expansion qualifies in some way or another, but Kuiper Overturn takes the cake as it is a full zero-gravity course snaking around the Kuiper Belt.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: The Switch version of the game, which has been subtitled NX Edition.
  • Under the Sea: Hydrome Bed, one of two new Expert League tracks introduced in recent updates.
  • Urban Ruins: Nova Split in Chicago, which was once Nova Park before it got torn apart by an artificial earthquake.
  • Vehicular Combat: Akin to the WipEout series, which you can collect various weapons by running through a trackpad that gives weapons and use them to try and eliminate your competition.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • Omega Harbour, the (formerly) final track, is the longest track in the game and features all kinds of corners, from spirals to broken roads. Oh, and it also has lightning strikes! Later updates, however, have dethroned Omega Harbour (and Marina Rush) with two new Expert League tracks: Hydrome Bed and Arrivon Peak. Both courses make Silverstream from WipEout look like a Sunday drive by comparison!
  • Wacky Racing: Like the game series it was based on, the game is about racing hovercraft shooting weapons at each other.
  • Variable Mix:
    • Progressing through the menus adds another layer to the initially ambient-sounding music.
    • The 1.0 release allows players to use their own custom menu music.


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