Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

Very few games demand the unyielding concentration Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions requires. Blasting through dozens of enemies while evading obstacles in this rapid-paced arcade shooter is an insanely nerve-wrecking task to accomplish.

Geometry Wars 3 keeps its traditional twin stick shooter controls but adds a few new features to keep things interesting. The new Adventure mode has you battling through a variety of different game modes to achieve a high score in order to advance. Some modes will be familiar to fans, such as Pacifism or Deadline, but Lucid Games introduces a few new modes here as well. While new ones like Sniper, Rainbow and Titan successfully add more variety, I felt they were gimmicky and enjoyed the classic options a bit more.

Every level you complete will net you up to three stars depending on your high score. These stars are spent to unlock Geometry Wars 3 most arduous levels: bosses. Boss fights make their first appearance here and prove to be the biggest difficulty spike I've encountered in the game. Bosses require amazing skills as you usually only have one life. The difficulty of these battles can sometimes be discouraging but after a few rounds of trial and error these daunting bosses can be overcome.

Stars can also be used to purchase essential ship upgrades, like better weapons and drones to aid you in battle. These drones prove useful by firing at nearby enemies or leading them away. Initially, I loved this idea but soon I found a flaw that really ruined it for me. Geometry Wars has always been a game built upon getting the high score. In previous entries, everyone was on an even playing ground. The addition of these upgrades changes this. Comparing your score to a friends or random player around the world isn't the same. It's harder to differentiate the skill of a player because they could have been fitted with upgrades and easily outscore better players. If you aren't one of those leaderboard type of gamers, I expect you would highly enjoy this new system though.

Another substantial change for the series are 3D maps. A sizable number of levels take place on 3D figures such as spheres, cubes, or prisms. I found this to be a really welcoming change to the series. One thing that hasn't changed, thankfully, is the incredibly responsive controls and flow of the series. Every movement is precise and the game just looks absolutely fantastic. The colorful explosions and sheer amount of action going on at any given moment is overwhelming in the best of ways.

I loved the intensity of the game especially during stressful moments when I had a outrageously high multiplier and couldn't blink because the game moves so fast. The trademark fast paced techno music only heightens the incredibly nail-biting battles.  One small lapse in judgement can end your hopes of breaking the high score. Geometry Wars has always been known for those moments and this entry is no different.

I always was impressed with the variety of different enemies. Enemies literally come in all shapes and sizes. After a while I learned which type of enemy was a true threat and had to be dealt with quickly and  which ones I could allow to linger while I collected geoms. As pleased as I was with the diversity of the enemies, I was less pleased with spawns because they seemed unfair. Enemies appear at random and are heralded by a subtle outline of their body. This outline is supposed to serve as a warning but with all the mayhem going on in the game, it's incredibly difficult to notice their dim outline. This led to countless instances of evading enemies only to randomly die because of an enemy spawn.

Even with all the innovations implemented into this entry of the series, Lucid Games still recognizes that some fans will still prefer some of the classic gameplay of Geometry Wars. "Classic Mode" gives fans exactly that. This mode ditches the upgrades, drones, and even 3D maps and instead gives fans of previous entries a vanilla version of the game which includes classic game modes and gameplay.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is yet another great addition to the series. Lucid Games has added innovative features that makes the series feel like a step forward but also manages to give fans a game that stays true to its roots.

Writer for Darkstation since 2014. I've been playing games my whole life and starting writing about them in 2010. Outside of gaming I enjoy anime and watching my Philadelphia Eagles let me down every Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @jsparis09