Developer: Lucid Games
Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
Available: PS3, PS4 Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Released: November 2014
Originally entering this world as an Easter Egg of sorts in Project Gotham Racing 2, Geometry Wars took on a life all of its own. A Smash-TV inspired twin stick shooter, Geometry Wars channels your inner high schooler, and has you declare War on Geometry. Yeah, suck it Maths! I can’t wait for the next round of Algebra Incursions, or Quadratic Skirmishes.
After Bizarre went under, people thought we’d never feel the sweet sensation of massacring shapes to the sounds of thumping techno and the sight of some insane colour explosions ever again. So let’s thank our heroes at Sierra for providing us our latest instalment of rainbow-flavoured delirium.
For the uninitiated, the premise is simple: you, the Little Spaceship That Could, must destroy waves of evil geometry that hate you and everything you stand for… presumably anyway. I never stopped to ask. The geometry in question, funnily enough, comes in many different shapes. Whilst pinwheels float about aimlessly and are akin to cannon fodder, green squares focus on you and can dodge bullets. Defeated shapes drop little green Geoms which increase your multiplier, which in turn increases the score you get from killing geometry. Lather, rinse and repeat. The game quickly goes from barely breaking a sweat to bullet hell shooter levels of sheer ridiculousness, requiring you to enter the mind of an enlightened shaolin monk in order to concentrate on what the hell is going on.
Similar to Geometry Wars: Galaxies, Dimensions’ Adventure Mode features a level system where you must tackle a series of challenges, unlike previous game which saw you take on endless waves of enemies under different sets of conditions. Here, the challenges are based on those previous conditions; Deadline (infinite lives, most points in time limit), Endless (limited amount of lives, no time limit), and Pacifism (guns disabled, must use exploding gates or enemy mines to destroy enemies) are the classics that fans will remember.
But there are a couple of new additions too, such as Claustrophobia (the arena is constantly shrinking), Checkpoint (kill a wave of enemies to earn more time), and Titan (KAIJU GEOMETRY, with an Asteroids twist). A particularly interesting new mode is Sniper, which gives you limited ammunition to dispatch as many enemies as possible, which is a neat little flip on the usual routine of “spray the entire arena until you’re the only thing left”.
In order to progress, you need to do more than just complete levels, as each level is graded by a 3 star system. After every 10 levels, you’ll require a certain amount of stars to continue, and only once that threshold has been crossed will you be able to challenge the boss. Designed to be the biggest challenges of the game, these sections will test your speed, coordination and tactics, such as when to use a drone super. Speaking of which…
Introduced in Galaxies, drones are little surveillance helicopters that report back on the inner workings of the Geometry War Machine… Or they just follow you around the level, offering various functions such as Attack, Defend and Collect. Decide amongst yourselves which one is face and which one is a dumb joke. They also come equipped with supers, screen clearing annihilators that can turn the tide of any battle. Take your pick from Turrets, Homing Missiles and Black Holes, among others. Pro Tip: Upgrade the turret. The turret is love. The turret is life.
Also included is the introduction of Super States, collectable power-ups that can seriously beef up your arsenal, temporarily of course. From a more powerful gun to a spread shot, homing missiles to a magnet which attracts geoms, and even some invincibility if you’re really lucky. Whilst these power-ups aren’t exactly tearing down the walls of innovation, they do add an extra dynamic to the series, which I believe is a good thing.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!!!!! Sierra have just recently re-released Dimensions as Dimensions Evolved, with new drones, weapons and about 50 new levels, but it’s a free update for anyone who already purchased the original Dimensions. Included is a brand new adventure mode with more of the 3-D environments, along with some re-releases of classic Geometry Wars modes, like Pacifism and King.
And I haven’t even begun to touch on the level design. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is a 2-D, top down shooter played on 3-D shapes, like cylinders, cubes and peanuts, strangely. The point being, arenas are much more interesting than the normal squares from the old games, though the option is there for those who prefer to play that way. Honestly though, I feel that this is the weakest aspect. Most of the levels, whilst including obstacles which are unseen in regular Geometry Wars, still take place on a 2-D plane. I feel that a few more 3-D levels wouldn’t have gone amiss.
All in all then, you certainly get a lot of content here. There’s even online multiplayer and local co-op, and both turn the screen into a blur of colour, making the game even more absurd than Tommy Wiseau’s The Room… Okay, maybe not that bad, but you get my point. Or you’ve gone off to search for The Room so you can get my point.
What you get here is a lot of bang for your buck. At £14, it’s almost impossible to scoff at the 100+ levels on offer, or the amount of load-out combinations you can use to complete various challenges. This game is a must for any twin stick enthusiast. Do the math… And forgive the crappy ending pun. Please.