Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved Review

One of the most downloaded games on Xbox Live at the time of writing is Geometry Wars. The reason is because it is one of the most fast paced, seizure inducing games on Xbox Live Arcade and not having this game is like not having Halo. It would be foolish to miss out.

You might have heard or even played this game before. That’s because it was made by Bizarre Creations and they were the gods who brought us such games as Project Gotham Racing.

In PGR 2 you could walk around your garage and find an arcade game. This arcade game was Geometry Wars 1. In PRG 3 for the Xbox 360 you could also find “Geometry Wars 1” (Retro) and the new and improved Geometry Wars, “Geometry Wars Evolved”. So if you don’t have access to Xbox Live you can always grab a copy of PGR3 and play the 4 minute trial version. Just don’t forget that you can always play PRG3 as well.

When you start the game from your arcade the first thing that will come to your attention is the title screen with its colourful background. Firework like explosions dancing across the screen doesn’t really tell you what the game is about, but it sure does look pretty.

When you start the game you will find a tiny ship in the middle of the screen on a blue grid background. This is your ship. You control it with the left thumb stick and your weapons are controlled with the right thumb stick. This way you have complete control on where you are going and where you are shooting. So when you are running away from a million enemies, screaming like a girl, you can shoot them behind you.

The game is about shooting funny shaped aliens. These aliens come in all different shapes and sizes and have different attributes. One type of enemy will split into three when hit. Some try to dodge your bullets. Others will just charge straight at you. All of these ships have something in common. They are on a collision course with you. They don’t fire anything (or at least, not the ones I’ve come across); they are merely on a kamikaze mission.

The idea of the game is to stay alive for as long as you can. Scoring up points is the main idea but you can’t get points if you’re dead. To help you stay alive you have 3 lives to start off with, gaining points will give you more lives. You also have 3 bombs to begin with and you can accumulate more bombs with more points. Pressing the left or right trigger will use one of these bombs. When used everything on the screen will be destroyed. A very useful weapon when stuck in a tight situation.

Graphics are what make this game so enjoyable. Sure the gameplay is good but the graphics are what get your hooked. Everything on the screen has its own colour which would make you think that it would be easy to spot. This is true when you start the game but as more and more enemies start appearing on the screen it starts to become a mass of colours. The blue grid background warps with different weapons, bending and making waves with different weapon activity. This really adds to the visual experience. Bizarre Creations could have just used a black background and we would probably still be quite happy, but they have managed to add every bit of detail in this arcade game.

The sound of weapons and enemies that appear give off a great old school impression yet still managing to sound new and fresh. The music adds to the fast gameplay yet after a while it can start to get a bit repetitive. This isn’t a problem though as you shouldn’t expect a 30 track list from a 15MB download and you can always use the Xbox 360s music player to play your own tracks.

Everyone I have spoken to who has played this game loves it. Though I have heard the occasional person say they don’t like it but their reason is that it is too hard. I don’t agree that is a reason not to play the game. For me any game that is “too hard” is a challenge. Will you take on the challenge?

Geometry Wars Evolved is available for download via Xbox Live Marketplace now. The free 4 minute trial and the full version are 14.81MB in size, and the full game will cost you 800 Microsoft Points.

Originally Written By: Toby Bodman

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