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Geometry Wars 2


Eighthours
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I thought we should have a proper thread for this to compare strategies, share tips, and maybe post some scores from the inevitable high score thread elsewhere on rllmuk.

So, what's GW2 all about? It's the sequel to the original Live Arcade hit, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, which in itself was the sequel to a hidden game in Project Gotham Racing 2 called Geometry Wars. Using the dual-stick setup familiar then to players of arcade classic Robotron, and familiar now to players of 8 million other Xbox Live Arcade "me-too" games, players are tasked with shooting enemies and racking up points in a particle-heavy explosion of colour, intensity, and twitch-gaming excess. This sequel expands the original's 1 mode to 6 separate ones, and adds 4 player offline competitive and co-op multiplayer into the mix.

More modes than the original, you say? What new ideas has Bizarre Creations come up with, then? The company has this to say about the first 3 modes out of the 6 available:

Deadline

deadline_single.jpg

The first mode is Deadline. This is also the mode which is unlocked in the trial version of the game (both single and multiplayer). The idea is simple: score as many points as you can in 3 minutes. You have as many lives as you want, but of course if you die a lot then you won't be scoring as many points as the next guy. You also have bombs, but these are limited (you start with three).

Destroyed enemies drop Geoms (little glittery yellow things) which you can pick up by driving your ship over them. These Geoms increase your score multiplier, so grab as many of these as you possibly can! Every game mode has Geoms, and you should always pick them up. I can't stress this enough: pick up the Geoms to score big! Your multiplier is no longer capped at 10x either, so having multipliers of many thousands is quite normal (if you're good enough)!

King

king_multi.jpg

This mode is easy to explain, but very tactical once you start to really get into it. Again the premise is very basic: circular "zones" appear all over the grid. You can drive into these zones, and whilst inside them you are safe (the enemies can't enter the zones). You can shoot outwards, destroying the baddies outside your zone. However (and it's a big HOWEVER), after a short time the zone will collapse and you'll be left exposed. Whilst outside a zone you can't shoot at all, meaning that you had better hot foot it to another zone as quickly as you can!

Try to collect a bunch of Geoms as you move between the zones. If you're playing with a friend in co-operative mode, try this tactic: one of you stay inside the zone shooting outward, whilst the second player collects the fallen Geoms. Then swap when the zone decays. That's the trick to scoring big in co-op!

Evolved

evolved_multi.jpg

You can think of Evolved as a super charged version of Retro Evolved 1. You start with three lives and three bombs, and you keep playing until those lives run out. There are quite a few changes this time though... here's the short list:

* New enemies make an appearance, like the gates, rockets, etc.

* Overall balance has been changed, so the game gets more exciting after a shorter amount of time (no more spending the first three minutes of the game waiting for it to get intense!)

* No more multiple weapon types. We nuked the first "starter" weapon from GWRE1, as well as the big, slow gun. The only weapon that you'll use throughout GWRE2 is a tweaked version of the faster-firing weapon (which was pretty much the fan favourite to begin with anyway).

* Tiny spinners (the little purple guys which split from the big spinners) no longer track the player. They stay rotating in one spot, acting more like a "blocker" than a normal "follower" type enemy.

* Gravity wells now destroy enemies on exploding! Not only that, but it'll give you 5x the score for the privilege! Gravity Wells should now be a priority to take out when things get busy. Note: destroying enemies in gate explosions (and bouncing bullets off of gates) also gives the same 5x score bonus.

* Repulsars have a new look, and slightly changed behaviour. They no longer repulse your bullets, but they are still only vulnerable from the backside.

* Lives and bombs are still given once you reach a set score, but this time the gap between them gets exponentially larger each time. In other words the first extra life/bomb is given at 100,000, then the second at 10 times this amount, and the third at 10 times that amount.

* Of course, "Snake spawn" is no longer an issue. :-)

Unlocking more modes...

The first (and only) game mode available to you when you first start GWRE2 is Deadline. More modes are unlocked one at a time as you play. The game is a little bit clever about unlocking modes though... if you are totally awesome and rack up some really high scores then you'll find that King unlocks after two or three games of Deadline. If you're not so super awesome, then it'll take five or six attempts.

Once you've unlocked the game in single player it then becomes available to play in multiplayer with up to three friends.

Even still, if's perfectly possible to unlock all game modes fairly quickly if you want to sample all that GWRE2 has to offer in a short time. Don't think that unlocking Sequence equals the end of the game though; just like Retro Evolved 1, it's all about the replayability!

Here are details of the other 3 game modes. I'll update them to Bizarre's official descriptions when the article's up:

Pacifism

An entire game mode based on the famous Achievement from the original game, Pacifism gives you 1 life and no weapons. The only way to destroy the enemies is to fly through gates and catch them in the resulting explosion.

Waves

The 5 of you who bought PGR4 will remember this mode from that game, but it's been expanded. Survive waves of rockets attacking vertically and horizontally in formation across the screen. This quickly becomes screen-filling insanity.

Sequence

Rumoured to be pretty bloody tough, sequence mode charges you with destroying 20 levels of enemy spawns. If you die or take more than 30 seconds to destroy a spawn, the next one starts. Each spawn remains the same from game to game, so memorising the attack patterns is the key to big points.

EDIT: Online leaderboards now available on Bizarre's website. http://www.bizarrecreations.com/games/geom...2/#leaderboards

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I love GW Galaxies - this looks as though it takes some of the ideas from that game. Good times.

Don't know if I'll buy it *again* though. I've still got tons of stuff to do in GW galaxies...

... and I'll miss that waggle.

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9/10 from Eurogamer:

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=202782

The omission of online play aside, Geometry Wars 2 is everything you hoped it would be. It deftly builds on a simple framework without overloading it, and even finds room to make the core experience more varied and accessible to everyone. With so many me-too titles still trying - and failing - to match the original game, it's safe to say that the bar has now been raised for Live Arcade shooters across the board.
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How the fuck is Diggler that good at this game?!? He's at the top of my friends list for all of the modes, one of which he's in the lead by 20 million!

Heh :) Too much practice with the original/Galaxies I guess.

This is fab stuff, but WTF - no power-ups?? What a crazy move. I miss the big wavey cannon thing.

Achievements are really nice though - "Surf" will make a lot of people bald.

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No online? I heard that you could play online fo' shure? What happened to online player modes, or is it just local.

I guess that coding the online section takes more time/money, so despite what it would have offered us, BizC decided against it.

I hope it's 800 points then.

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I've only got the last two achievements to get. None of them took more than a half dozen attempts. The game is glorious. Best change from GW:RE is just how fast your score racks up. I thought the Geoms multipler not resettling when you die an old choice to begin with, but now see it as a great way to counter the frustration of early deaths.

Pacifism is probably my favourite mode. My 14m (SPE 360) is OK for a first real go, but I know I'm only scratching the surface of what's possible. I shudder to think how high the top scores will be in a few weeks time.

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I guess we've answered the question...

It's good enough without online options - people will buy it, make more money now, make an online version later (expect it next year I'd say).

Spreading out the IP is clever.

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I guess we've answered the question...

It's good enough without online options - people will buy it, make more money now, make an online version later (expect it next year I'd say).

Spreading out the IP is clever.

From the bizarre creations forums:

"The multiplayer isn't online simply because of the latency. In GWRE2 there are literally hundreds of things moving at the same time (thus being squished down the internet pipe). Take your typical FPS, which might have 20 objects at most flying around your character at a time (I'm guessing)... contrast that with the hundreds of GWRE enemies alone (in addition to other players, bullets, Geoms, powerups, etc.). Then consider that it's much more vital for a game like GWRE to be pixel-accurate for it's gameplay to work... unfortunately online this just doesn't add up. "

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From the bizarre creations forums:

"The multiplayer isn't online simply because of the latency. In GWRE2 there are literally hundreds of things moving at the same time (thus being squished down the internet pipe). Take your typical FPS, which might have 20 objects at most flying around your character at a time (I'm guessing)... contrast that with the hundreds of GWRE enemies alone (in addition to other players, bullets, Geoms, powerups, etc.). Then consider that it's much more vital for a game like GWRE to be pixel-accurate for it's gameplay to work... unfortunately online this just doesn't add up. "

Fair enough, it's a valid point. Shame, no online version ever then! :)

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Love the game, but I do wish they'd do some kinda campaign mode like Mutant Storm next time, where you go through scrolling levels, face bosses, etc, but with the Geo Wars look and feel. Would be far easier to add some online multiplayer to that sort of thing too.

This is a must-have regardless.

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I'm not enjoying it as much as I'd hoped. The new modes are a good addition, but the core gameplay just seems too simple for my liking. There just doesn't seem to be any interesting or novel strategies you can employ. Also, it's still lacking a proper structured mode where you progress through levels. What a shame that no-one picked up on Space Giraffes brilliant scoring mechanic.

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Well, I played this at lunchtime and it's flabbergastingly awesome. Mercilessly addictive, beautiful, and the music's ace. Just immense. Best game on XBLA, as far as I'm concerned. The design of the modes is superb - just take the noob friendly but depth-packed Deadline mode.

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I played the demo a few times and really enjoyed it despite Kerraig being right about the screen being too busy at times to avoid some of the enemies.

Question though- despite liking the last geometry wars a lot (my fave twin stick- I just love the whole one screen shooting and dodging- I was utterly shite at it, prob got something like 250,000 points max. I still used to play it now and again but not seriously- this seems more friendly for someone who's a bit shit right?

How many points is this? I've only got 400, and I don't know if I can be arsed to pick up another points card.

800

Although a load of people have been given 500 points free today by MS

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Although a load of people have been given 500 points free today by MS

800 points = right price.

What's with the free points/why?

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I think it's a treat for those who've been gold/on xbox live for a long time, or something.

Well that must include me, cos I remember playing that Moto GP demo. Sniff! Simpler times.

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