Polygonal Pew Pew – Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

Pew pew!

Activision reviving the Sierra name for a new supposed “indie” label is awfully cynical, but one can’t really grumble when it’s tied to a new Geometry Wars (and a new King’s Quest, if you fancy). Geometry Wars is a fine arena shoot ’em up, so I’m wary but hopeful about Geometry Wars³: Dimensions. Series creator Stephen Cakebread isn’t involved and it’s making a move from 2D arenas to wrapping around 3D objects, hence wary. Still, devs Lucid Games were formed by folks from Geometry Wars makers Bizarre Creations, and one or two Lucid folks touched the series. Watching a new trailer, I think… I want to give GW3 a crack when it arrives on November 25th.

The 3D part sounded offputting, but the action seems still essentially in 2D as ships, shots and everything wrap around the object. You could turn them into regular 2D arenas, but it’d be hell figuring out the projection. I really do enjoy seeing shots sending prickly polygonal distortions rippling across the wireframe. But it does have plain old 2D arenas too.

GW3D also brings “revamped” co-op, and introduces online competitive multiplayer. Sure, that sounds nice. Here, watch this:

Alice Fact #32: Geometry Wars was the game that taught me how to play games with two thumbsticks on an Xbox 360 controller, after I’d barely played with any gamepad since the Sega Mega Drive. Geometry Wars and Gears of War 2. All of the wars.


  1. Terics says:

    Initially I was kind put off when they showed the game, but this doesn’t look half bad.

  2. Keiggo says:

    I feel sad about this for some reason.

    • Baines says:

      Because it feels like Geometry Wars is searching for gimmicks in a desperate bid to remain relevant?

      Or is it because mapping the play surface to 3D solids has resulted in stages where you have very little view area?

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        The first doesn’t bother me too much, but that second point does bug me. At least in principal — it’s probably still fun to play. However, what really irks me is that all the grids are topologically equivalent to the old 2D plane if you don’t mind sticking a point out at infinity. I would have liked to see some handles and twists (or whatever makes a tube a Möbius strip) and things, but maybe that might have been too much fun for the AI programmers. As a consolation, though, while trying to check my terminology (I gave up), I discovered some topologists get to write about Tubular Neighborhoods in scholarly journals.

        • Baines says:

          From the video, it looks like the gimmick is ‘limited view’, and the 3D shapes are just a means to that end. Or maybe 3D shapes were the original gimmick, but it morphed into ‘limited view’ when someone realized that 3D shapes on its own wouldn’t have much of an effect on gameplay.

          So now the game has things like the hourglass with the tiny center, or the cube where the view rotates in 90 degree chunks rather than smoothly scrolling.

    • Eleven says:

      Geometry Wars as a game was perfectly complete: Nothing more to add, nothing more to take away.

      Although I love the game, there’s not really much a sequel can achieve.

      • Xzi says:

        Geometry Wars 2 I’d say was perfectly complete. Geometry Wars was pretty basic, and, although fun, one game mode severely limits re-playability. I spent hundreds of hours on GeoWars2 though. Hundreds. Just trying to beat my friends’ scores, then my own scores, get all the achievements, etc.

  3. TechnicalBen says:

    Technically, those are all still 2D… just saying.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Technically, it’s a 2D surface in 3D space, as opposed to most 2D games which take place purely in 2D space.

      Pedant harder next time.

  4. internisus says:

    I might actually buy this at full price. I’ve not spent much time at all with any prior Geometry Wars games, and I do find myself in the mood for a twin-stick.

  5. Xzi says:

    Wait, this is being released for PC? Is it going to be on Steam like most of Activision’s titles? No store page for it at the moment.

    I couldn’t be more giddy in having this sneak up on me along with Frozen Synapse Prime. I thought this season was going to be quite a bit more dull for me in terms of game offerings. :D

  6. Phasma Felis says:

    Reminds me of Swear/MilkSnake, which are “Snake on shapes” in the same way this is “Geometry Wars on shapes.” Those had some really interesting shapes, though. A Mobius strip, the inside of a torus, something that looks like a wireframe cube covered with Silly Putty…

  7. kdz says:

    So it’s basically Super Stardust HD but the planets can have different sizes? Doesn’t sound (and look!) bad, I might give it a try… eventually, when I’m finally done with Shadow of Mordor and Dragon Age III (just a week left!).

  8. Banks says:

    I’m so excited, I’ll be playing this until my eyes bleed.

  9. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I am so happy to see the inclusion of Pacifism and King of the Hill modes.