I don’t normally write much about releases. I don’t normally write about them the day they come out. I especially don’t tend to write much about games where it’s way too early to tell whether it’s going to be good or not. But Formula Fusion is a special case for a couple of reasons. And one of them is the return of an old friend from the Wipeout series.
…Well, to be fair, the marketing of Formula Fusion (A combat racing game set in a dystopian future) has been pretty much “Spiritual Successor to Wipeout, on all platforms, by Wipeout devs” , but this returning friend hasn’t been seen since Wipeout Fusion, to my knowledge: The Barrier. The Barrier was first seen in Wipeout 3, and it was the bane of many a Wipeout player’s life. All it did was drop a little wall that you could pass through, but others couldn’t. But ohhhh, it was enough. If you were good with it, you could drop it into the track on the side you wanted, and laugh as you watched three or four fellow racers pile into it and carom off one another.
And now it’s back, seemingly in even easier form (It just drops behind you.) If that were all the early promise shown in an alpha version of the game, I most likely wouldn’t write this article. But the controls are tight, responsive (Whether on keyboard or gamepad), and simple (W to accelerate, A and D to turn, left and right arrows to airbrake, allowing for sharper turns, and space to fire a weapon). I’m not so hot on the current UI, but the first track is a good example of an early track in a campaign, with only a few airbrake turns. At first, when playing the track, you’re inevitably going to hit things (other racers, the walls, barriers), and maybe even see the dreaded Pinballing (Where your attempts to correct from the collision send you into another wall) before exploding, but it’s exhiliarating when you start to master the track, moving from side to side as you hit the keys to turn.
Is it worth the £20 fee to get into Early Access at this stage? Not unless you really want this game to succeed. Does it, however, show promise? Hell yes. It’s a good first vertical slice, the music is pretty pumping, and the fact that, even in this early alpha, the controls and physics seem tight, shows that the devs know what’s important. And that’s the other reason I’m writing this. I wanted to point at an example of a solidly produced alpha slice. It’s by no means perfect (The Low resolution, for example, definitely means Low, as the final screenshot will show), but at this particular time, I don’t expect it to be. All I expect it to do is give me a taste of what I’m looking forward to. And that, it does.
Formula Fusion was released on Early Access on the 3rd of August, 2015. It costs £19.54 until the 10th, where it shall be £22.99, and The Mad Welshman believes in the AG Revolution.