Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is the followup to the successful Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. The game is a dual-stick shooter, in which the player moves their ship using the left analog stick, and aims their ship's weapon using the right analog stick. Unlike the first Retro Evolved, the player's weapon does not change during the game.
While the first Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved only contained two, nearly identical game modes, Retro Evolved 2 expands to six different game modes, each with drastically different takes on the Geometry Wars formula. Any of these modes can be played alone or with up to three other players. In addition, the players can work cooperatively, by either controlling independent ships or by having one player fly while the other shoots, or competitively to get the highest individual score.
In Deadline you have 3 minutes to score as many points as possible. You are granted an infinite amount of lives but must earn bombs through score based rewards. Although a you have infinite lives, as soon as you are hit the enemies on the screen all blow up and the enemy spawn sequence is reset. The Deadline mode is often compared to that of Pac-Man Champion Edition's Championship Mode, in that it emphasizes efficient scoring and minimal mistakes. Indeed, high scores can only be achieved if you can last the entire 3 minutes without losing a ship and utilizing bombs effectively to gather well over 500 geoms.
The highest scores are reached by using gates and black holes (gravity wells) to destroy large groups of enemies, as both methods provide a 5x multiplier to the overall score from those particular kills. As in Evolved, the most effective strategy is to circle strafe around the playing field and clear enemies off the walls in front of the your ship. In this way, you are able to focus on specific enemies and force enemies into following you into gates or gravity wells.
In King, you have only one life and no bombs. At any one time, there are three, randomly placed, circular safe zones on the map. While in these zones, you are invulnerable to enemies, and may shoot your weapons. While outside of zones, you're vulnerable to attack cannot fire your weapons. Once activated, a zone is only available for a few moments before it begins to shrink and eventually disappear. To add to the difficulty, shapes get faster as the game wears on, forcing you to move more rapidly between zones. Geoms last longer on the field in this mode, so you do not need to quickly rush out of the safe zone when you destroy enemies.
This is the classic mode from Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, though this version has a few tweaks. You begin with three lives and three bombs with no time limit. Enemies spawn slowly at first, though still much more frequently than in the beginning minutes of the first Retro Evolved, but over time new enemies will spawn in increasing numbers and frequency. Practically every enemy will spawn as the game wears on.
Unlike the first Retro Evolved, your ship does not receive any weapon upgrades, and extra bombs and lives are also granted less frequently. You receive your initial extra life and bomb after 100,000 points, but then must get 10x that score, or 1,000,000 points, to receive another. After that, you must again get 10x your score in order to get another life, and so on. Also changed is that Gravity Wells will destroy nearby enemies when they explode, which provides a 5x multiplier to the overall score from those particular kills. When you fly through Gates, they will also destroy nearby enemies and grant a 5x score.
Just like Deadline, the most effective strategy is to circle strafe around the playing field and clear enemies off the walls in front of you. In this way, you are able to focus on specific enemies and force enemies into following you into gates or gravity wells. This also makes it easier to pick up the geoms that defeated enemies leave behind.
In Pacifism you cannot use your weapons, but by moving through gates you can destroy nearby enemies. The most effective way to deal with enemies in this mode is to travel around in wide circles in order to corral the enemies into large groups and then destroy them all at once. Grunts are the only shapes found in Pacifism and never increase in speed as they do in King. Players have one life and no bombs.
Mostly, you'll want to "herd" groups of grunts into a tight pack by circling around them before going through gates. This will maximize the number that get taken out at one time. However, it's also a good idea to make sure you're taking out gates at regular intervals. When a large number of gates pile up, it's very difficult to avoid their deadly, glowing ends.
In this mode, you have only one life, no bombs, and must survive as long as possible as waves of darts will spawn and zip along the screen in one direction. As the game progresses, the waves of darts will come much more quickly, and additional enemies will spawn to harass you.
The most effective way to manage Waves is by either staying in the center of the playing field or staying in a corner.
In Sequence, the objective is to survive a gauntlet of 20 designed levels of varying challenges. The player is granted three lives, three bombs and is given 30 seconds to clear all enemies in each level. Being hit by an enemy will cause you to lose a life and then move to the next stage. If time runs out you lose the stage but do not lose any lives or bombs.
The key to Sequence is pattern recognition and outright memorization of the enemies in each stage. Sequence is the only game mode in which the enemies spawn in the same spot and in the same numbers every time.
Know Your Foes
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 contains many of the same enemies found in the first Retro Evolved. However, there are also quite a few new enemies that will attempt to destroy the player's ship.
One of the most basic enemies, they show up in most game modes. Wanderers spin aimlessly across the board in an attempt to get in the players way, rather than actively hunting him/her.
The grunt is a common foe in most game modes, and they attack in huge packs in Pacifism. These blue guys make a beeline for your ship, but move and turn slowly.
The purple spinners head straight for the player's ship, like the grunt, though they are much faster. When shot, spinners split into two smaller pieces, which twist and turn, making them hard to hit.
The green weavers are very quick, and will dance out of the way of the line of fire, making them very hard to take down.
Gravity wells are seemingly harmless, until they are shot. When woken up, gravity wells suck in everything around it. If it eats too many enemies, it will burst into a flurry of protons. In Retro Evolved 2, exploding gravity wells will also destroy any nearby enemies. Destroying enemies with a gravity well explosion grants bonus points for the kill.
A flurry of tiny protons will shoot out of an exploding gravity well, and can also show up on their own in Sequence. Protons are very fast in a straight line, but they turn slowly and have a tendency to bounce off of the walls of the stage.
The snake slithers around in a serpentine pattern. They are only vulnerable at the head and are hard to hit.
The Dart moves quickly and mindlessly, back and forth on the battlefield. They tend to move in packs or in cross-crossing patterns. They're the main enemy in Waves.
Repulsars will spend time turning itself to face the player's ship. Once it finds its target, the repulsar shoots forward extremely fast. They are only vulnerable from behind, making them difficult to take out. Fortunately, they are a rare enemy, only showing up in Sequence and late into a round of Evolved.
The square duck just sit there, trying to getting in the player's path while he/she avoids the more agile enemies.
The gate spins slowly across the battlefield. If the player rams their ship through the pole holding it together, the gate explodes, taking any nearby enemies with it. Additionally, shots reflect off of the pole, allowing the player to take out enemies behind him/her. While the gate can be a valuable tool, running into its orange sides spells death. These enemies are the only way to kill the grunts in Pacifism.
Amoebas are extremely rare enemies. The player has to shoot through the blue outer layer to get at its weak spot, which is the glowing red core. Amoeba's don't move much, but they are rather large and can get in the player's path.