PAX Prime 2014: Pulverizing Polygons with Power!

Geometry Wars 3 has been a long anticipated but unlikely release that players of the original within Project Gotham Racing and/or the standalone sequel on Xbox 360 have hoped for over the last few years, and now it’s happening! Developed by former Bizarre Creations staff who have banded together as Lucid Games, the new entry adds level variety in a Tetris Sphere-esque manner by converting the previous 2D experience into a 3D world such as the barbell shaped demo level at PAX Prime 2014.

The build at the event showed off some added nuance to the effects, such as the diffuse light glows from damage sparks and rippling explosion when you collide with an enemy. I enjoyed the low fidelity sounds from the previous games, but the show floor was too loud to get a good feel for the new audio design. More importantly, it feels responsive and sensitive to granular changes in traversal and shooting direction on an Xbox One controller; I was too rusty to accumulate enough score to properly try out the bombs or special effects, but the weapon power ups and score multiplier boosts in each life still pile up in a quick and satisfying fashion.

Based on a quick session, it feels like a risky but necessary reinvention of the original formula that has since been refined by titles such as Super Stardust HD and Shatter. Geometry Wars 3 should fill the gap in current generation console libraries for high energy experiences in really short doses, wrecking rectangles for both new players and returning fans to the series. It’s an interesting choice for the newly revived Sierra brand, and sets the tone for the imprint as a home for new takes on classic games.

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