• 24, November, 2017

Geometry Wars 3 Review

geometry

Genre Publisher Release date Release O.S Available on
Shooter Sierra Entertainment 25/11/2014 PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360 Amazon Store

The Geometry Wars games were considered some of the best available on Xbox Live Arcade back on the Xbox 360. Thanks to their excellent blend of fast paced arcade action and balance between accessibility and tough as nails challenge, they were the games you would keep finding yourself coming back to time and time again. You can only imagine my excitement then when news broke out of a third major entry in the franchise hitting consoles this year. You can then imagine my concern upon then finding out that it wouldn’t be the original developer at the helm but instead the fresh faced Lucid Games.

Geometry Wars is a dual stick shooter all about blasting enemies, raising your combo and scoring as high as possible. The action all takes place in one area so the focus is purely on making best use of your limited space and manoeuvring in and out of harm’s way skilfully. It’s fun, it’s tough and best of all has that “one more go” feel.  Put simply its arcade gaming at its finest. Whilst Dimensions certainly does deliver in this department, Lucid Games have also added a few new ideas of their own – some good and some bad.

On first impressions this may seem like a very different beast but after battling through the first few stages you soon discover this really is a Geometry Wars game at heart. You’ll recognise the various game modes, the neon infused enemies all with the same attack patterns that fans are sure to love and loathe, the same combo boosting Geoms and even returning beats albeit given a fresh remixed gloss.

On first impressions this may seem like a very different beast but after battling through the first few stages you soon discover this really is a Geometry Wars game at heart. You’ll recognise the various game modes, the neon infused enemies all with the same attack patterns that fans are sure to love and loathe, the same combo boosting Geoms and even returning beats albeit given a fresh remixed gloss.

Then suddenly you’re thrown onto a peanut shaped planetoid and things enter the third dimension. Much like more modern shooting series like Nano Assault you’ll fly your spacecraft around three dimensional shapes such as cubes, spheres and more. While the idea of adding another axis to the series is certainly a logical one, sadly its execution isn’t ideal. With so many enemies filling the screen and bullets flying at every turn, you’ll often find yourself at the mercy of blind spots disappearing over the edge of the shapes. Too many times I’d explode thanks to a stray enemy that caught me off guard just over the horizon. While the original game’s rarely gave you much time to react to an incoming enemy at the best of times, here it often feels like you’re outright blind. It’s frustrating and difficult and not in a fair way. Thankfully the game does revert back to the classic 2D-ish viewpoint, it’s just not enough.

The number of different modes has been upped since the last Geometry Wars title, each offering its own unique style of play. While Deadline has you shooting enemies against the clock, Evolved has you making the most of a single life. Pacifism meanwhile leaves you completely unarmed with only exploding gates to help you and Checkpoint has you battling waves of enemies against an ever decreasing timer. My personal favourite is Sniper, a mode that limits you to a limited number of bullets, meaning every shot counts. It’s a great twist for a game that usually sees you wasting ammo like there’s no tomorrow. Overall the new modes compliment the returning ones well, fitting right into the Geometry Wars universe.

A neat addition to the series is the newly introduced Adventure mode, a collection of stages played one after enough usually culminating in a boss battle after ten or so have been completed. While game modes vary between stages, you’ll repeatedly find the same ones returning more than others – Deadline and Evolved in particular. It’s a shame really as often the more exciting stages are events like Pacifism, Checkpoint and King that have you rethinking your survival strategy entirely. Boss battles too are a cool idea, but reuse the same idea over and over. While the fifty stages are entertaining, the Adventure mode could have benefited even more from some added variety spreading out the mode types a little better. A co-op adventure is also available for up to four people which while a nice addition, feels completely undercooked with just a measly ten missions to play through.

Every stage has three score milestones to topple – the first easily obtainable after maybe a few attempts, the second after plenty of practice and the third and final a reward for those who have truly mastered things. It’s often great fun to revisit past stages and attempt to reach those elusive three star scores.

Returning fans will also be pleased to know you can play a number of game types in a more classic format. Pacifism, King, Deadline, Waves and Evolved mode can be played in a timed or survival environment where returning to beat others online in leaderboards is as ever addictive as it’s always been. This is where hardcore shooters will spend a good chunk of their time perfecting their shooting and manoeuvring skills to be number one.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is a neat little dual-stick shooter that manages to retain the feel of its predecessors whilst also implementing a couple of new ideas of its own. The 3D aspects feel more punishing than challenging but an impressive campaign and solid gameplay will keep you coming back to best past scores and beat friends.

  • That same addictive arcade feeling
  • Visually stylistic
  • Adventure mode is a cool addition
  • 3D stages cause confusion and frustration
  • Adventure mode could use more variety
  • Only ten co-op missions
Geometry Wars 3 Review Ryan Janes
Gameplay
Presentation
Story
Value

Summary: This is still very much a Geometry Wars game complete with same addictive nature but one also full of new ideas both good and bad.

3.5

Good

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