Geometry Wars 2
Geometry Wars Evolved 2 was released yesterday and I’ve been playing it pretty much non-stop during any spare time I have.
Like its predecessor, it is a frenetic, hyper-real, hyper-visual experience. It is a game about blazing, blinding action with continually increased adrenaline requirements both as a player and as an observer (the game is almost as fun to watch as it is to play).
There have been a few game play changes between versions, some of which I disliked at first but after playing I came to like a great deal.
The game is now broken up into “modes”. There are six modes of play, and all but one (Deadline) is locked at start. I’m not sure when each unlocks – it seemed like whenever I accumulated a total of 2 million points in the previous mode, the next unlocked.
The various modes are, frankly, awesome. Each has strengths and weakness, and some of them feel like minigames that we used to play on our own in the first game (e.g., “how long can i last without firing a shot”, etc.). One mode doesn’t allow you to fire your gun at all, and another only allows you to fire it while inside special zones. The last mode, “Sequence,” is a series of 20 challenges, each one harder than the previous (I have only managed to reach stage 15).
Perhaps the biggest change, from a gameplay perspective, is the introduction of “geoms.” In the old version of the game, your score multiplier went up as you killed enemies and reset to 0 if you died. In GW2, your multiplier increases by collecting geoms: small, yellow pills that are left behind after killing an enemy. Further, your score multiplier does not reset upon death, and has no upper limit (I can routinely hit a 500+ multiplier). The time-to-despawn on geoms changes depending on the game mode (they’re around *FOREVER* during a game of King, but drop away almost instantly in Evolved).
There are no weapon changes. Your gun remains the same: a three barrel, non-spreading fire. I didn’t like this at first and kept waiting for it to switch up but now I like it. It reduces some of the randomness from an already insanely random game.
Some new enemies have appeared (Rockets, Gates, etc.), and some have undergone some minor changes (Black Holes, which now destroy things around them when they are killed), and some are apparently . . . gone (like the Pac Man, which I haven’t seen yet). I did encounter some sort of blue-bubbled, Cthonian-like villain during Sequence; I have yet to see it in Evolved.
It’s an excellent game for the price.
My current scores, given specific game modes:
Deadline: 6,991,480 (ranked around 2074 in the world! w00t!)
King: 2,868,725 (rank 5,346)
Evolved: 9,240,205 (rank 8,185)
Pacifism: 4,579,325 (rank 15,150)
Waves: 2,752,350 (rank 2,556)
Sequence: 12,027,205 (rank 10,087)