Giant Bomb Review: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2


''It's really interesting to see Geometry Wars return to the stomping grounds that it helped make famous. As the first big Xbox Live Arcade release when the Xbox 360 launched in 2005, Bizarre Creations' vector-style shooter provided a very compelling reason to pay attention to "small" digitally distributed games. It also repopularized the dual-joystick shooter, blowing the concept pioneered by games like Robotron: 2084 into a full-fledged cottage industry for pro-grade and indie developers alike, totally over-saturating the market for dual-joystick shooters in the process. So it says a lot about the quality of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 that it can come back to Xbox Live Arcade, over two years later, and absolutely lay waste to all of the other downloadable shooters that have come before it.

Retro Evolved 2 manages this by making interesting tweaks to the core gameplay, updating the graphics, and putting additional modes in to ensure that players of all skill levels have something to do. The gameplay changes are mostly focused on scoring. When you shoot an enemy, it drops little dots called geoms, which increase your multiplier when collected. That multiplier stays with you for the entire game, unlike the previous Retro Evolved, which put more importance on staying alive to keep your multiplier up. Also, outside of multiplayer mode power-ups, your weapon doesn't upgrade. You always know exactly how you're going to be shooting. The game also introduces new enemies and obstacles, including a bubbly cloud that's only vulnerable when you carve a path to its creamy center, dart-shaped ships that quickly travel along a set line, and so on.''

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