Tetris Effect: Connected Review

In 2018, Tetris Effect’s mesmerizing sounds and sights heightened the classic game’s aesthetically pleasing properties and its ability to consume our attention to almost therapeutic levels, reinvigorating our appreciation for one of gaming’s oldest obsessions. But even as former GameSpot editor Peter Brown proclaimed Tetris “better than ever” in Tetris Effect, he noted it “sadly” did not apply its wondrous approach to multiplayer. Two years later, Tetris Effect: Connected–an updated re-release for Xbox consoles and PC–fills that gap. Just as the original did for the classic version of the game, Connected reimagines Tetris multiplayer with flair and vision. It also loses a major component, VR support, which delivers the most intense version of the experience. While I’m of two minds on that tradeoff, the soothing intensity of Tetris Effect hasn’t lost any potency. On the contrary, it feels more vital than ever in 2020.

Though it adds and removes modes whole cloth, the core of Tetris Effect remains unchanged. Despite the fact that Journey mode hasn’t been touched, its shifting, syncopated themes enraptured me level by level, even on my second time through. Tetris Effect is a significant challenge to average Tetris players like myself. Each level revs the speed up to push you just up to the edge of what you can handle. Even as you improve–and you are getting better, whether you see it or not–the levels scale to demand your full focus. It sounds unapproachable, but there’s something about the combination of the way your brain looks for patterns, combined with the rhythmic sensory elements and this challenge, that lets you give yourself over to the game, almost trance-like, without even trying.

You’ll need that focus in multiplayer. Whether you’re playing cooperatively with other players or competing against them, the multiplayer modes in Connected ratchet up the intensity found in the original. Connected features four multiplayer modes–three competitive, one co-op. As in most games, other players will push you in ways a single-player campaign will not.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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