Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

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Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
Developer(s)Bizarre Creations
Publisher(s)Microsoft Game Studios
Designer(s)Stephen Cakebread
Composer(s)Chris Chudley
SeriesGeometry Wars
Platform(s)Xbox 360
ReleaseJuly 30, 2008
Genre(s)Multi-directional shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is a multidirectional shooter video game created by Activision subsidiary Bizarre Creations, released on Xbox Live Arcade on July 30, 2008 as a sequel to Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved.[1] It was followed by Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, a sequel published in 2014 by Lucid Games founded by former members of Bizarre Creations.


Sequence mode. The player (white, center) must shoot swarms of blue enemies while avoiding them simultaneously.

The player controls a maneuverable claw-shaped figure that can move and fire independently in any direction. The objective of the game is to score points by destroying a variety of enemy shapes which spawn around the playing field, contact with any enemy results in death and the loss of a life. Bombs destroy all enemies on the playing field but award no points.

Crucial to effective play is the score multiplier, which increases as the player collects "geoms", small green objects dropped by enemies upon destruction. The number of points scored by destroying an enemy depends on the multiplier, which can reach into the thousands.

There are six different game modes available:

  • Deadline: The player must score as many points as possible with a time limit of three minutes and unlimited lives.
  • King: The player has only one life and no bombs. Circular safety zones appear sporadically in the playing field; enemies and geoms cannot enter the zones, while the player can only shoot inside them. Zones shrink and disappear after being entered, forcing players to move between zones to survive and collect geoms.
  • Evolved: Similar in style to Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, the player is challenged to score as many points as possible with a finite number of lives and bombs, with no time limit. Additional lives are earned at set point breaks.
  • Pacifism: The player has one life and cannot shoot. To avoid large swarms of slow-moving blue enemies, the player must fly through gates, which explode and destroy nearby enemies upon contact. This mode was inspired by an achievement in the first game called "Pacifist" where the objective was to survive for 60 seconds without firing.
  • Waves: The player has one life and must avoid and destroy inline waves of orange 'rocket' enemies that pace horizontally and vertically from the edges of the playing field. This mode was introduced as a minigame inside Project Gotham Racing 4.
  • Sequence: The mode consists of twenty sequential, predetermined levels with 30 seconds allotted per level. Points are awarded for successfully destroying all enemies in each level without death and under the time limit.

Retro Evolved 2 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 their friends during play.

Development history[edit]

In developing the sequel the team struggled with creating a graphic style that was new but still evocative of the first game.[2] Stephen Cakebread spoke of the challenge in an interview with Joystiq: "One of our big things was when people came to our stations we wanted them to say 'Oh, is that a sequel to Geometry Wars?' rather than 'Is that Geometry Wars?' It took us quite a while to come up with something that really work".[2] Initially the team experimented with "all manner of weird fractal stuff" but this was discarded as being too confusing.[2] In designing the gameplay Cakebread read fan made strategy guides and designed elements for the sequel that would take players out of their comfort zone.[2] One of these elements was the inclusion of collectable geoms that act as score multipliers.[3] With the introduction of the geoms the team simplified the gun from the first game, specifically its evolving nature, which would cause the players guns to shoot at different speed. According to Cakebread, the evolving gun served a similar purpose in the first game requiring that players change up their strategy, with geoms in the sequel this was made redundant and thus taken out.[3]

Many modes were left out in the final game leaving only what Craig Howard referred to as "pure" modes.[3] These included several multiplayer only modes, one of which was a soccer style mode where players would have to shoot an object into a gravity well on the opposite side of the screen.[3] The developers threw out this mode as they felt that it wouldn't keep players coming back for more.[3][4][5]

Geometry Wars: Touch[edit]

An iOS port of the game was released in 2010 entitled Geometry Wars: Touch. It added a seventh game mode, Titans, which had gameplay similar to Asteroids, but removed the multiplayer functionality entirely.[6]


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.[16] Eurogamer wrote: "The omission of online play aside, Geometry Wars 2 is everything you hoped it would be" in its 9 of 10 review.[10] IGN, in its 8.3 of 10 review, called it "a solid sequel".[12] 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".[17] GameSpot enthusiastically stated in its 9.0 of 10 review that the game "takes adrenaline-soaked, addictive shooters to a level of unprecedented awesomeness".[11]

CVG in its 8.5 of 10 review: "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".[9]'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".[8]

IGN editor Cam Shea ranked it fourth on his top 10 list of Xbox Live Arcade games. He praised the quality of the returning game modes from Geometry Wars, also praising the newly added ones.[18]


  1. ^ "Xbox Live Marketplace - Geometry Wars Evolved". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d McElroy, Justin. "Joystiq Interview: A Bizarre interview about Geometry Wars 2". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 27 January 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Totilo, Stephen. "'Geometry Wars' Sequel Creators Divulge Secrets Of Their Game's Creation Including Lost Soccer Mode, Address Franchise's Future". MTV Multiplayer. Archived from the original on 9 December 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  4. ^ "OFLC Update - GEOMETRY WARS RETRO EVOLVED 2". Archived from the original on 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  5. ^ "E3 2008: Microsoft Press Conference Debut Trailer". MTV. Archived from the original on 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  6. ^ "'Geometry Wars: Touch' for the iPad (for Now...)". TouchArcade. 2010-04-04. Archived from the original on 2019-08-30. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  7. ^ "Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
  8. ^ a b Nick Suttner (2008-07-30). " Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 review". Ziff-Davis. Archived from the original on 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  9. ^ a b Gavin Ogden (2008-07-30). "CVG Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 review". Computer and Video Games. Future. Archived from the original on 2008-08-16. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  10. ^ a b Dan Whitehead (2008-07-30). "Eurogamer Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 review". Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  11. ^ a b Tom McShea (2008-07-31). "GameSpot Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 review". GameSpot. CNet. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  12. ^ a b Hilary Goldstein (2008-07-30). "IGN Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2". IGN. Archived from the original on 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
  13. ^ Andrew Hayward (2008-07-31). "Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 review". Official Xbox Magazine Online. Future. Archived from the original on 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  14. ^ Tom Price (2008-07-31). "Team Xbox Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 review". TeamXbox. Archived from the original on 2008-08-05.
  15. ^ "Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2". zConnection. 2008-08-12. Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
  16. ^ Chris Buffa (2008-07-31). "GameDaily Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 review". AOL. Archived from the original on 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  17. ^ Tom Orry (2008-07-30). "Videogamer Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 review". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
  18. ^ "IGN's Top 10 Xbox Live Arcade Games". IGN. 2009-05-07. Archived from the original on 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2009-08-07.