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Why Geometry Wars 2 is one of the greatest games ever made

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So the shapes are geometric, they shoot each other (like a war, see?), we’ve discussed the retro… but why is the game called Retro Evolved? That is almost certainly to do with its online connectivity, turning the retro shooter into a modern phenomenon. Online leaderboards make Geometry Wars 2 the perfect high-score game.

Not only are there global leaderboards, which will make you simultaneously sad about your own pathetic scores and concerned for the future of the human race, but there are also the now-obligatory friends-only leaderboards. And it's this that make it essential.

Your next friend up from you on this list has his or her score displayed permanently on your game screen. When you surpass it, the next friend up becomes your target and so on. Always having this competitive target goading you from the top of the screen means you simply cannot rest until you’ve beaten it. It’s even more Trials HD than Trials HD is.

That means a lot of retries. But as if to highlight yet again how brilliantly designed Geometry Wars 2 is, restarting after death is close to instantaneous, meaning you never really give yourself the time to say ‘that’s a good place to stop’. No loading, no waiting, just zip zip zip through single-click menu screens that remember which mode you’re playing, then you’re back in the action. Minutes turn to hours and you simply cannot stop playing.

So there it is. Geometry Wars 2: Retro Evolved is without question one of the greatest games ever made and a proud monument to the greatness of the now sadly-closed Bizarre Creations. It’s the age old story. Studio makes Geometry Wars, Activision buys studio, Activision gives studio the Bond license, Activision closes studio… you know how it is. But that shouldn’t sour our enjoyment of Geometry Wars 2, which will never age. Boy and girl will always have Geometry Wars 2.

And boy is still better than girl at Pacifism. Boy has some pride remaining.

"Why _____ is one of the greatest games ever made" is a weekly feature that goes through GamesRadar's list of the 100 best games of all time and highlights different titles, explaining why they're on the list, what makes them so amazing, and why we love them so much.

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7 comments

  • yfbc - January 17, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    Love this game, SO ADDICTIVE.
  • rxb - January 17, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    I agree with every word Towelly. I love this game so much. I still play it regularly and doubt I'll ever stop. The smile achievement was a git took me 4 hours. The thought that we'll probably never get a new one also adds to its value. Definitely one of my favourite games ever.
  • pl4y4h - January 16, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    Wax on, Wax off. What a vicious achievement. Spent a lot of time getting that, though not nearly as much actually trying to beat sequence. Smile is the only one i need left and I know that I will never get it.......
  • ttocs - January 16, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    Fun game, heck yeah. Best game ever? Not by a long shot.
  • Rub3z - January 16, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    They didn't say it's the best game ever. Just one of the best games ever. And you only uphold their point by saying it's fun. That's pretty much exactly why it deserves its place in in the annals of GamesRadar's 100 Greatest Games Ever Made. It really is one of the most pure gaming experiences ever designed, it is basically raw, unfiltered, unadulterated fun.
  • ventanger - January 16, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    Ahh my first ever XBL Arcade purchase. Gaming offers very few thrills more heart racing than threading the needle between a bunch of polygons trying to kill you.
  • Hobogonigal - January 16, 2013 6:54 p.m.

    My first XBL Arcade purchase as well. Definitely worth it, theaction-packed, adrenaline-fueled moments are extremely addictive!

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