Xbox Live Thumbs Up: Geometry Wars 2

Geometry Wars 2 advances the two-stick shooter and the XBLA platform.

Geometry Wars 1 was fun but limited. What could a sequel bring? How about improvements to the menus, scoreboards, and other “shell” elements along with some gameplay tweaks, tons of fun new modes, and great Xbox Achievements. A perfect bite of Arcade goodness.

Score multiplier, the key to big points, no longer directly result from killing enemies, but instead builds by collecting Geoms, which pop out of dead enemies. Early on, collecting these Geoms (and the charge-at-your-enemies style this requires) are a great way to risk your life. The explosive nature of multipliers combined with a less deadly gun and faster-appearing enemies give the game a fresh, fast feel. Successful GW runs start fast and keep a great pace, fueling the addiction.

The new modes are great and go beyond simple tweaks, altering the fundamental GW experience. In modes like King, where players are helpless and unable to fire except from safe bubbles on the screen, or Pacifism, which strips weapons away in favor of slalom-like gates that explode when crossed, Geometry Wars 2 shows itself to be more than just a shooting game but also a nimble dodging game. Listed next to each mode are the top scores of you and the best scores of your friends list. Friends compete in 6 different fields instead of one, increasing the re-playability several times over!

My personal favorite are the achievements in GW2. Each of them highlights some core skill in the mode. Often they ask the player to survive a very long time in unusual circumstances or without killing enemies. I love these kinds of achievements that serve as fresh content and fun secrets.

GW2 is a worthy and addictive sequel with a great combination of game improvements and new content to try!