When the Xbox Live! Arcade service began back in November of 2006, Bizarre Creation’s Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved stood out as the premier downloadable bite sized game. The game was simple enough; it was just you, your ship and its handful of bombs against endless waves of multi-colored geometric shapes. As much as I enjoyed the original and the “Waves” variant, which debuted with Project Gotham Racing 4, they didn’t feel robust enough. Individually, they felt lightweight when it came to modes and variety –- especially next to the PlayStation Network’s Super Stardust HD. Now two years later, the official sequel is here. Let’s see if Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is everything we could have hoped for.
At 800 MS, Geometry Wars 2 sports six modes including stalwarts like ‘Evolved’ and ‘Waves’.Instead of wasting time describing each of the modes six modes you’ll be unlocking in great detail, I’m just going to lay out for you all. And don’t worry, it should take you no longer than 30 minutes to unlock everything.
- Deadline – Score as much as you can in three minutes (unlimited lives)
- King – You may only shoot within specified circular zones. (one life)
- Evolved – The classic mode returns.
- Waves – Enemies appear in horizontal and/or vertical waves. (one life)
- Pacificsm – Without any weapons, survive by dodging enemies and passing through gates. The gates will destroy nearby enemies as you pass through them.
- Sequence – Clear each level within the 30 seconds. Each level pits you in increasingly difficult scenarios.
I’m a fan of all the game modes and their differing focuses. For example, if I didn’t have much time to play, I could embark on a game of ‘Deadline’. If I was fancying a bit more strategy and puzzle solving, I could always give ‘Sequence’ a try. There’s a mode for everyone and their friends. That’s right. Every mode can be played with up to four players offline. It was a little hectic at first, but once we divided up the screen and adjusted ourselves to the chaos, we were kicking geometric ass and taking names.
Speaking of names. High score envy among friends will be a bigger problem than ever thanks to the prominent display of the highest score found on your friends list. Of course, those who wish to change the display to their personal high score can do so via the options. Other score keeping changes include a session score list where you can see how well (or how horrible) you’ve been playing. They’ve also added a quick glance leaderboard of you and your friends’ high scores right on the game mode selection screen. All these features were both convenient and thoughtful. Thanks, Bizarre!