Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Review: Do Call it a Comeback

Sierra Entertainment has been resurrected, and with it, a new Geometry Wars from the team who were responsible for the series. Grip your analog sticks tight and check out our review of Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions.

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It’s been over six years since Geometry Wars has graced our game consoles, which is why I was genuinely excited when news of its return spread through the gaming community like wildfire.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions isn’t being developed by the series’ original team, Bizarre Creations, and is instead the work of Lucid Games, who has developed a number of mobile titles since 2012, making this their first major release. Lucky for all of us, Lucid Games was formed with a number of Bizarre Creations’ senior management team as well as a number of experienced industry professionals that were responsible for Geometry Wars. And even though Lucid Games is a relitively new studio, its past experiences make this a title fans of the series could become addicted to all over again.

Battling Math Like It’s 2003

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions expands the series in a number of ways, one of which is going beyond just having a handful of game modes that you can play over and over again in order to achieve the highest score possible for gloating rights. From the start, you’ll be able to play a number of modes: Adventure, Classic, Extras, Online, and Co-Op. The most impressive game mode is the Adventure mode, which acts as the game’s single-player campaign that challenges players to play across 50 missions, with some of those missions throwing in a number of boss battles for good measure. A total of 10 battle modes are featured in Adventure mode, which includes fan favorites such as Pacifism and King, while new additions have been added, such as Claustrophobia, which has players adapting to new strategies within a mazelike grid that changes dynamically.

Boss battles serve as not only a way to further challenge players with large enemies to battle, but to also serve as a way to barricade players from accessing all of the missions all at once. You’ll need to earn a specific number of stars in order to progress through certain points of the game, with each mission giving at most a total of three stars to earn. Earning stars seems easy enough as you’ll just need to score a certain amount of points to earn them, but I found myself feeling the pressure when I was inching closer to reaching the score minimum to earning a third star within a single mission.

Along the way, you’ll be able to customize your ship by using Geons as currency for upgrades. The upgrades really improve the overall experience as you can select a number of improvements to equip your ship, such as a number of companion drones that can be equipped with one of five special abilities. Unlocking these abilities is done by progressing through the campaign, although upgrading these abilities to be more effective will cost Geons. Being able to customize your ship adds yet another layer to the Geometry Wars experience as I found myself mix and matching different upgrades to see what could possibly work best within certain game modes.

But Wait--There’s More

If you prefer not to work through a campaign and just revert back to the original Geometry Wars experience, you can very well do that through Dimensions’ Classic game mode. You’ll be able to play one of several classic game modes to earn the highest score possible while adhering to the modes’ rules. Offering Geometry Wars’ classic game modes was certainly a nice touch as I often found myself wanting to get into a particular game mode without having to work my way through a campaign, especially when it came to the game’s leaderboards.

Just like in previous versions of Geometry Wars, Dimensions’ leaderboards kept me coming back for more as being at the top of a game mode’s particular leaderboard is something I always wanted to do. Granted - I only had two friends playing Geometry Wars 2 while I was working on my review, but it was still quite a fierce battle since they are as skilled as I am with the series. What also made this experience even better was the game displaying my friends’ leaderboards scores during play, which helped fan the flames of competition even more so.

Multiplayer modes are nothing new in the Geometry Wars series, but Geometry Wars 3 is the first in the series to introduce an online multiplayer mode. However, I wasn’t impressed by Lucid Games’ offering. Online multiplayer only offers two game modes to play as two teams battle against one another to win their match. One game mode has players attempting to defeat a boss first, while the other was a capture-the-tower focused game mode, Both of these didn’t really seem all that fun in my opinion, so I wouldn’t blame you if you completely skipped the online multiplayer portion of Dimensions. Co-op offered a much better experience as players share the same screen as they work together to accomplish goals while avoiding enemies.

My Head is Spinning

One of the biggest changes to Geometry Wars 3 is the addition of full 3D gameplay which allows players to play the game in a number of different angles. I played across a large variety of stages that had me playing across a variety of 3-dimensional shapes, such as a pill and a sphere. The addition of 3D stages adds a completely new layer to the Geometry Wars experience as I felt more of a challenge when I was attempting to find an appropriate angle to play in. There were some 3D stages that had really tight corners, which caused the playing field to snap quickly, leaving me to feel dizzy a few times while playing. I don’t know if I was just turning my head too quickly during these moments or if I have a more sensitive head, but either way, I thought I’d mention it just in case others experience the same thing.

Thankfully, Geometry Wars 3 doesn’t just throw a ton of 3D levels at players as there’s a nice mix of 3-dimensional levels as well as 2D playing fields. Classic mode, for instance, offers only 2D stages to play through, which makes sense considering there were no 3D stages in previous versions of Geometry Wars.

Twin-Stick Shooting at its Finest

3D twin-stick shooters are nothing new as there have been quite a few released since Geometry Wars 2 hit the scene, but the series’ eventual progression to offering this kind of gameplay mechanic is very much welcome. Geometry Wars 3 brings the tight twin-stick feel of the series to the modern gaming era while also paying homage to the series’ roots. Just steer clear of its online multiplayer game modes.

Senior Editor
Pros
  • Gameplay is as addictive as ever
  • Adventure mode offers a fresh experience
  • Classic modes make a strong return
  • Lots of replayability
Cons
  • Online multiplayer modes are bad
  • Possibility of causing vertigo
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