Sierra games is back. The publisher released its first game today since Activision resurrected the label to handle its downloadable games, and the company is starting out with a fan favorite.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for $15. This is the sequel to the Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, and it brings back all the dual-stick shooting action you remember from the previous entries in the series while also introducing some new features of its own.

We only got our hands on the game last night, so we don’t have a full review — but we think the game is worth taking a quick look at. So I’m gonna break down Geometry Wars 3 to help you understand if it’s worth your time.

If you’d rather watch a video, you can check out my impressions below:


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Is it still Geometry Wars?

The big concern I had going into Dimensions was that developer Lucid Games would change up the formula that made the previous releases so much fun. But this is Geometry Wars with more stuff.

The big new addition to Dimensions is the Adventure mode. This is a single-player campaign made up of a few dozen individual levels. Wisely, Lucid decided to base most of these stages on modes like Deadline and Waves that it introduced in Retro Evolved 2. A few boss stages break up the pace a little, but they also play like Geometry Wars.

While Adventure mode might not sound like the score-chasing gameplay that defined previous Geometry Wars games, Lucid did a good job of building in the hooks that kept me playing Retro Evolved 2 for hours. The big thing is that every stage has a leaderboard, so you’re always competing with your friends.

Any complaints?

One thing that is different in Dimensions is ship upgrades. As you progress through the Adventure, you’ll unlock special drones and capabilities for your spacecraft. This makes getting high scores much easier.

For me, that kinda spoils the purity of Geometry Wars. The nice thing about the game is that you always knew you were on even ground with all your friends. This time around, someone might not understand how I did so well; they could find this discouraging. It also means that I’ll have to experiment to find the best combination of skills, which is something that I don’t really want to do when I boot up Geometry Wars.

The DualShock 4 is weird for this game

I typically love Sony’s PlayStation 4 joypad, but it does not feel right for Geometry Wars.

My first issue is that the sticks feel too long. That can actually cause you to die if you’re trying to quickly change directions. That’s something I don’t remember having problems with on the Xbox 360 pad.

The second issue is that the thumb sticks are difficult to wiggle. The material of the stick and the plastic of the controller create too much friction to easily move the analog stick back and forth. Wiggling is an important skill in high-level Geometry Wars play, and the DualShock 4’s friction failed me a number of times.

Maybe that’s something I’d get used to, but I’d rather just try the game on PC with an Xbox 360 controller or on Xbox One.

Classic mode

The best thing about Geometry Wars 3 is that it brings back all the modes you remember from Retro Evolved 2 in its Classic mode.

Deadline, King, Evolved, Pacifism, and Waves are all available for you to compete in against your friends. Honestly, this game is worth $15 just to have a reason to go back and play these modes. They look and play great, and I expect to lose hours trying to get the best score in Pacifism.

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