The hyper neon, fast-paced twin stick shooter is back for a third time and it’s locked and loaded for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It’s hard to think that Geometry Wars was originally only a mini game for Project Gotham Racing 2, quickly becoming a cult classic that eventually got it’s own game.
At its heart, Geometry Wars is a modern take on the arcade classic Asteroids, instead of shooting down floating pieces of rock you have to destroy a variety of enemies that are targeting your small geometric ship – throw in some funky beats, flashy neon lights and some power-ups and you end up with an addictive game that demands that you play “just one more game”.
Geometry Wars has come a long way since its PGR days, you’re no longer refined to a two-dimensional plane. As the name suggests, the arenas are three-dimensional and there’s now an Adventure mode complete with boss battles to challenge your reflexes. To progress through each of the 50 levels you will need to collect stars, three may be earnt from each level but they aren’t easy to come by – GW3 is one tough cookie to crack!
As the levels tilt and twist in their three-dimensional space, they will twist your depth perception and when you throw in numerous enemies, you’ll have quite the challenge on your hands. The trick to being successful is to learn how each enemy attacks – do they float aimlessly about or do they beeline straight for your ship? Knowing this will give you an idea on which enemy you should eradicate first, although nothing can prepare you for coming face to face with a bunch of enemies as you navigate around an object. It’s these situations that demand fast reflexes, something the series is renowned for.
The visuals may only be simple geometric shapes wrapped in bright neon lights, but the three-dimensional neon displays created by enemies and your gunfire skirting across each of the arena shapes is particularly enjoyable to watch, just don’t become too distracted!
Another addition to the series is the inclusion of drones. These can be unlocked by defeating each of the bosses in the Adventure mode. Once unlocked, you can select a drone to fight by your side and also add a super weapon to it, which can be unlocked by collecting stars. These ‘buffs’ can then be upgraded to be more effective in combat. It’s this combination of drone and super weapon that will allow you to better your score in previous levels, nab all three stars and trump your friends on the online leaderboard.
Outside of the adventure mode there’s classic mode, which takes place in the classic Geometry Wars place space. There’s a variety of modes to play, from king of the hill to pacifist. There is also a co-op Adventure but it’s only available in local play, there is competitive multiplayer but I never found anyone to play with.
Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions brings a new twist to the series while retaining that same addictive gameplay from the original game. Although the studio isn’t around anymore, I’m sure the guys and gals at Bizarre Creations would have been proud of what Lucid Games has done with the game.
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