Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved² (alternate title: Geometry Wars Evolved²) is a multidirectional shooter video game created by Bizarre Creations, released on Xbox Live Arcade on July 30, 2008.
The player controls a small highly-maneuverable ship that can move and fire independently in any direction. The objective of the game is to score points by destroying a variety of shapes and surviving by not touching them. The player's ship is destroyed if this happens, and a life is lost. Depending on the game mode, lives and bombs can be collected upon gaining certain numbers of points— with bombs being able to clear the game space of enemy shapes instantly, although with no points gained for their destruction.
Crucial to effective play is the score multiplier, which increases as the player collects "geoms"— small green orb-shaped objects dropped by enemies upon destruction. The number of points gained on destroying an enemy depends on the multiplier; with multpliers sometimes reaching many thousands. Constant collecting of geoms and destruction of enemies cause exponential scoring of points.
There are six different modes available to unlock throughout the course of the game:
- Deadline: The player is challenged to score as many points as possible in three minutes with unlimited lives. During the course of the three-minute countdown, it is possible for a player to earn more bombs than the three the player initially starts with.
- King: The player has only one life and no bombs. Circular safety zones appear randomly in the playing field. Enemies and geoms cannot enter these zones, and the player can only fire while inside one. The zone shrinks and disappears a short time after it is entered, forcing the player to move from zone to zone. At any given time, there are three zones large enough for the player to stay stationary and fire while remaining safe from enemy attack. As a zone shrinks, another appears to replace it.
- Evolved: Similar in style to Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, the player is challenged to score as many points as possible with no time limit. The player starts with 4 lives and 3 bombs, and earns extra lives and bombs at set point intervals. (100,000; 1,000,000; 10,000,000)
- Pacifism: The player has only one life and cannot shoot. The player must fly through gates to destroy nearby enemies while avoiding the dangerous edges of the gates, and earns bonus points by flying through gates in rapid succession.
- Waves: The player has one life and must avoid and destroy waves of rockets that fly horizontally and vertically from the edges of the game space. (This mode was first introduced in Project Gotham Racing 4.) As Waves mode progresses, the player must deal with increasingly challenging groups of additional enemies while dodging and destroying the ever-increasing number of rockets.
- Sequence: This mode consists of twenty levels, each with a predetermined pattern of enemies. The player has thirty seconds to destroy all of the enemies in each level. If the player loses a life, they are taken directly to the next level, but the game ends if the player loses all of their lives. Additional lives and bombs are earned at set point intervals.
Retro Evolved 2 also provides local cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes for two to four players simultaneously, and an exclusive "Co-Pilot" mode in which two players control the same ship, with one moving and the other firing. Additionally, the game provides support for worldwide leaderboards in each game mode and, by default, displays the player's ranking against his/her friends during play.
On April 3
a rating for Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
appeared on the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification
website. The first day of E3 2008
, on July 14
at the Microsoft Press Conference, Microsoft debuted the trailer for Geometry Wars 2
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
received high marks from critics, who praised its multiple game modes while also collectively bemoaning the lack of online multiplayer. GameDaily
raved in its perfect 10/10 review that the sequel "beats its predecessor in every way" and proclaimed it the best title on Xbox Live Arcade. Eurogamer
praised, "The omission of online play aside, Geometry Wars 2
is everything you hoped it would be" in its 9 of 10 review. IGN
, in its 8.3 of 10 review, called it "a solid sequel." Videogamer
raved in its 9 for 10 review, "If you love Geometry Wars
you'll love this. If you've never played Geometry Wars before then now is a perfect time to do so." GameSpot
enthusiastically stated in its 9.0 of 10 review that the game "takes adrenaline-soaked, addictive shooters to a level of unprecedented awesomeness."
CVG in its 8.5 of 10 review raved, "There aren't many games that make your heart race like Geometry Wars does", but cautioned "the feeling that it's all been toned down leaves a sour taste in our mouths." 1Up.com's Nick Suttner, despite his A- review score, said, "All of the new modes are great, but none feel quite as balanced or as fresh as Retro Evolved."