Who doesn’t love a good arcade game? Who doesn’t love arcade games that don’t eat up change before you realise you’ve spent a small fortune?
Geometry Wars is an amazing game. It has single player, it has co-op, it has multi-player online, it has different modes, it has a plethora of enemy types, it has power-ups, it has companions, it has devastating bombs, it has cool boss fights, it has three separate campaigns for lack of a better word and it’s pretty as hell.
If you like beating other people’s – or your own high score- then this is the game for you. This game makes me feel like I’m enjoying the whole ‘arcade’ scene that we before my time. It’s the sort of game that I would have spent hours on in the arcade, but can now do it in the comfort of my own home.
Basically, the concept is you’re destroying geometry shapes. Why? Because they want to kill you! Geometry is evil we all know it. The goal of the game is to basically get your point as high as possible.
It’s a very simple games, but as a lot of the simpler ones do, it gives great re-play value. Look at Minecraft, that’s a game with no major goal and it’s been incredibly well received. This is one of those.
Using one analogue stick to move and the other to shoot, you have to battle through levels hordes of shapes. Every enemy destroyed leaves behind a number of little green things called ‘geoms’. These geom’s are a point multiplier. Each enemy has its own point value, but depending on the number of geom’s accumulated it adds extra point to your overall score. This usually leads to your score going up slowly at the start, but reaching thousands, to even millions in seconds if you can live that long. It really is a testament to the skill and persistence of a gamer.
There’re modes where you only have a certain amount of lives, or a time limit or a specific goal and it’s brilliant. Here’s the DL on the modes in their purest form:
DEADLINE: You have three minutes to rack up as many points as possible. Your dying doesn’t have major repercussions in this mode, but it’s still going to affect your score based on the downtime of re-spawning. This is a generic arcade style game play.
EVOLVED: You have 3 lives to hit the high score. The enemy shapes start slow then come in hard and fast. This, like DEADLINE, is a generic arcade style game play.
KING: The battlefield spawns certain zones that the enemies cannot enter. You ship can only shoot from these zones. This creates a really tense and often frustrating but rewarding game.
PACIFISM: You cannot shoot, but enemies still spawn. This game only has the blue enemies which follow you at a slightly slower speed than you ship. You have to tactically move and herd these shapes in to thin gates (making sure not to touch the ends of these gates and killing yourself). This game is one of the most satisfying modes to any games I’ve ever played.
WAVES: A small row of rocket like enemies make their way across the screen. Then another in a different direction, then another in a different direction, then a larger row in a different direction then more and more and more and more until you literally need to be Shadow Cat herself to not die.
These modes, in the Adventure, Advanced and Hardcore campaigns are manipulated and used in so many different ways – it’s really impressive. Sometimes it’s like you’re flying down a city, at other times you’re in a vast square with closing walls trying to fight for the little zones you can shoot from. They also offer power-up’s, which appear as a collection of dots in the shape on a grid. As you clear the dots by shooting them, you are given increased fire width, missiles, shields, geom collection radius increased – mastering there power-ups in relation to the bombs/ally drones can be the difference between thousands and millions! All within the space of ten seconds!
Graphically, it’s stunning. The controls are simple and incredibly fluid; the ship handles well and the shooting literally goes where you point. The bombs and drone abilities are allocated to the shoulder buttons, giving a very simple controller layout. The music fits the concept so well- it’s no orchestra, but it doesn’t have to be; it works. There is no story to follow, but it’s a game about getting as many points as possible, the gameplay is addictive as you’d expect. A perfect “just one more go” game.
Overall, the game is a perfect game to have in your online library. It’s cheap (£9.99), it’s got great re-play value, and it’s the perfect way to passively show you’re superior at games to anyone on your friend’s list who has the same game.
Though they made a game where they never really had a risk of receiving bad feedback, it doesn’t mean it’s not a great game.
Pantheon Score: 93%
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