When the Xbox 360 launched back in 2005, Geometry Wars was the breakout hit of Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade. Priced at just 400 Microsoft points there were a lot of people who got addicted to it in addition to the title launching the twin stick shooter genre into the spotlight. Well, almost three years later, the sequel has finally arrived. However, this time around there is not simply the one game mode to play. In fact there are six different modes for you to master this time making the title approximately six times more addictive than the first one.
The first new mode is titled, “Deadline”. In this mode you have a three minute time limit and you have to try and score as many points as you can within that time limit. While you are destroying enemies you can pick up “geoms” left behind by enemies, which will increase your multiplier with each one you acquire. The next mode is titled “King”. In this mode there are these little “zones”, which are basically small circles. You can only use your weapons when your ship is inside one of these zones. When you are outside of these zones you are defenseless so a good idea is to try and clear a path for yourself before leaving. Each zone only lasts a few seconds as well so you are forced to leave and search for another before an enemy ship gets you. The third mode is titled, “Evolved”. This mode is basically the first game. If you really enjoyed the first game and want to keep playing it, this mode will do the trick. The next mode is “Pacifism”. Here you have no weapons at all and the only way to destroy an enemy is to go through a gate, causing it to explode and take out any nearby enemies. It sounds easier than it is as the farther you get in this mode the more gates and enemies appear and if you touch the side of the gate your ship gets destroyed. “Waves” is our next mode here and here you basically encounter enemies in waves. You will see a huge line of enemies flying towards you horizontally and after that you will see a huge wave of enemies flying at you vertically and it alternates back and forth. Be sure to take out as many as you can from the initial run because these enemies don’t go away after their initial wave. If you let them hang around you will regret it later when things become more hectic. The last mode available is titled “Sequence”. Here you have 20 set levels to go through and thirty seconds to complete each level. If your ship gets destroyed you will move onto the next level, however you won’t get credit for advancing.
The controls for this title are identical to its predecessor. You use the left stick to fly around while using the right stick at the same time to use your weapon. If you are in trouble you can also hit the trigger buttons to unleash a bomb. It should also be noted that all the modes aren’t initially available to you when you first start the game. The only mode you will be able to play is “Deadline” and then once you have made enough progress it will unlock “King”. Continue on like that for a little bit and you will have each mode unlocked. The achievements for this title are also very well done and range in difficulty. There is the achievement for simply unlocking all of the modes, for gaining 500 geoms in one game, for scoring 1,000 points without picking up a geom and things of that nature. They can become very addictive to get, especially the ones with the harder difficulty. The friend’s leader board was also handled very nicely in this title. Right alongside each mode you have the top six people for that particular mode in your friend’s list. It is a great way to keep tabs on your friends and is very useful at having everyone’s score there if you are having competitions.
Overall this game succeeds in almost every way. The only real disappointment with this title is the lack of online co-op play. It’s a real shame that they decided not to include it in this title as that would have made this title even more addictive and fun to play. All of the new modes are great and definitely justify the bump in price from 400 to 800 Microsoft points. If you were a fan of the original I would definitely say to download this sequel and enjoy. If you are new to the series, download the demo and you will be hooked in no time.