There are 3 main gameplay modes, Single Race, where you pick any unlocked course and ship and enter a race, Championship Mode where you pick a ship and race on various tracks and coming at least 3rd to move on to the next. Finally, you have The Time Trial where you can go against the clock on each track trying to get the fastest overall time.
A great addition to the game is the powerups. Throughout each course there will be squares with different shapes and colours to them. Flying over these will give you different powerups like Speed Boosts, Oversheilds, Rockets, Mines and many other things. These can and will have a great effect on the out come of a race as opponents seem to get clever with these powerups, like using them as you overtake them or saving them for specific parts of the track. The Opponents won't get dumb and use a Speed Boost around a tight corner, instead they'll wait until the next straight peice of track, usually just before the finish line, and fly right passed you. The Powerups overall add a lot to the game and make it challenging but can also be pretty frustrating.
Even without the powerups, the game would still be pretty tough. The courses themselves can take a few attemps to beat. The first few courses are pretty straight forward and you only really have to concentrate on the Powerups and other racers. The other courses though have so many twists and turns and multiple paths that it becomes less about beating your opponents than simply trying to survive the course.
Graphically, Wipeout is great, even by todays standards. Aside from clipping issues and environments looking pretty dim most of the time, the overall quality of the courses, ships and backgrounds is pretty amazing, considering the Sega Saturn's "inferior" capabilities. Everying has a nice leval of detail. Not so much that surrounding areas become distracting but enough to immerse you in to the game. Each course has it's own unique look. Obviously, everything has a Futuristic style to it but each race will take place in various environments, like mountains, open areas, cities, etc.
The ships are also full of detail and vary in shapes and colour.
The sound in Wipeout is another great part of the game. The effects are detailed and well implemented, from the sound of Rockets being fired, Collisions between ships or just the ship's engine, everything sounds great. The music is the best part though as it adds a unique atmosphere to the game. It's all a mix of Electronica, dance and rock and it fits the game perfectly.
Overall, Wipeout is the best Futuristic/Sci-Fi Racer I've played and one of the best Racing games on the Sega Saturn. If you like these kinda games and like a challenge, I definately recommend this game.