Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
Developers: Lucid Games
Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
Once upon a time, there was a game called Geometry Wars. It was a love letter to some of gaming’s greatest arcade shooters, featuring vector-inspired graphics with some modern game design. The result was one of the best arcade shooters of all time; an instant classic when it released, only to be beaten by its successor, Geometry Wars 2. Geometry Wars 1 and 2 popularised the twin-stick shooter subgenre of indie games. Without them, it’s doubtful we would have had games such as Halo: Spartan Assault, Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team or the countless twin-stick shooters in the smart phone market.
Unfortunately, this fairy tale was struck by catastrophe – Geometry Wars developer Bizarre Creations was acquired by the behemoth publisher Activision and after developing a number of titles was dissolved within the company, closing its doors in 2011. Geometry Wars fans were left wondering what might have been, though they did have two amazing games to fall back on.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Sierra Games announces its return to video game publishing and with it, a new Geometry Wars game being developed by Lucid Games, a game studio comprised of former Bizarre Creations staff! It sounded too good to be true and as a result, I found myself holding back my excitement. Call me cynical but with many games I wait until the game is out before I get overly excited about them. With ‘Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions” however, Lucid Games are creating the Geometry Wars game they’ve always wanted to make. Harder, more in-depth and a visual treat, it’s also probably the Geometry Wars game fans have wanted to play too.
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions adds an all-new Adventure Mode to the franchise, comprised of levels each with their own challenge and unique design points. Some levels take place on a large 3D geometric shape, meaning that you cannot always see the enemy shapes until you get up close and personal. Some levels are longer in some points, some have walls and others are a mix of similar design points. This means that which each level you don’t quite know what to expect and it also adds more life span to your overall experience with the game
There are a number of different game types and objectives played in Adventure Mode, and it feels like a very different Geometry Wars this time around. There are bosses, multiple different shapes and arenas, new weapons and power ups as well as support drones in addition the classic smart bomb. Overall Adventure Mode is a lot of fun but there are plenty of times where I simply yearned for a simpler, survival-based experience. Thankfully, GW3 has that covered too.
All the previous classic GW modes are back in Classic Mode. King of the Hill, Pacifism, Evolved, Deadline and Waves are all back – though only in their original forms. While I absolutely love classic Geometry Wars game modes, I’m annoyed by the lack of a halfway mode between Adventure Mode and the Classic Modes. Here we have a fully realised and very ambitious Adventure Mode – that tends to feel repetitive and a little exhausting at times – and classic modes that have not been touched since their last iteration. While I like the option of playing these unaltered classic modes, I also would have liked more something between Adventure Mode and the classic modes that would have been the best of both worlds. Pacifism on a crazy three-dimensional plane would have been mind-blowing, King of the Hill with actual domes to fly between would have been a natural evolution for the mode, etc. While this doesn’t dampen the overall experience of Geometry Wars 3 it certainly feels like a missed opportunity.
- Old school fun. Simple and engrossing
- Bright colours and visual effects are a treat
- A great amount of content in Adventure Mode, if not a little repetitive at times.
- Classic GW modes are bare bones ports with no further exploration into what might have been made possible
Overall, Geometry Wars 3 is a great game – and a fantastic debut title from Lucid Games. Adventure mode is fun, the new level designs work quite well (though can make for frustration and the leaderboards are back, turning friendships into rivalries. Classic mode has been left intact which is great, though I would have liked to see a little more progression for the classic modes. It’s not often I’m to complain about a game that truly delivers more content, but I feel Geometry Wars 3 forgets its strengths at times.