PopCap Games released the first plants vs zombies back in May of 2009 on the windows platform, later to be released on other mobile and console platforms. The game was so successful that popcap immediately went to work on 3 sequels to follow. A facebook game titled Plants vs Zombies Adventures, this takes the traditional tower defense mechanic of the original game but makes it more strategic. Plants vs Zombies 2: Its about time was a true sequel to the original game and last but certainly not least, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare.
PvZ: Garden Warfare is a 3rd person action shooter that has both cooperative and competitive elements. This is a unique approach for Popcap since they don’t primarily make games like this. The best thing about this is that it works so well and is extremely addictive much like their tower defense counterpart. There are 3 gametypes, Garden Ops which is an action tower defence of sorts where the players, as plants, must stop waves of zombies from destroying a garden. This mode is the most akin to the original game where the plants have potted plants they use as stationary defenses. This also has an exclusive mode to the Xbox One called boss mode where one player takes control of the zombies on a tablet and has a top down view of the battlefield and can help or send troops.
The next is Team Vanquish, in this mode teams of 12 must get 50 kills before the other team. Im a big fan of this game mode as it doesn’t require teamwork too much, this is also because no one I know owns the game and I find myself playing this alone with randoms, and if you’ve been on any online competitive game in the last 5 years, you know it’s a mistake to even try and communicate. The last one is Gardens & Graveyards, this mode is the most unique as its a mix of Garden Ops and Team Vanquish, if i was to compare it to anything, it would be similar to Rush mode in Battlefield. A team of 12 zombies must penetrate a team of 12 plants defenses to take control of a garden and turn it into a graveyard. Each has a series of locations that act as battlegrounds for at least 4 minutes, at the end of the timer the plants win. This mode will garner you the most coins to buy sticker packs.
Sticker packs are your way to unlock character items such as visual costume pieces or offensive effects such as making your character shoot fire or ice, or defensive potted plants. I really enjoy this because it makes me want to play to earn, not play to unlock like other shooters. Plus opening them is always fun because you never know what you’re going to get, kind of like opening a trading card pack as a kid, it’s just simply exciting. The playable classes amongst the plants and zombies are where this game surprised me. In most classes-based games, each side has the same variants, in PvZ:GW this is not the case.
The plants consist of the Peashooter has a single fire pea that does a about 25 damage each hit. The Sunflower has a rapid-fire attack that does about 6 damage per hit. The Chomper has a melee attack that does about 30 damage per hit. And lastly the Cactus has a long range sniper shot that does about 25 damage per hit.
The Zombies play a bit differently than the plants, first up is the Soldier, he has a rapid-fire gun that does about 6 damage per hit similar to the sunflower. The Engineer’s attack is a single shot small explosive that does about 25 per hit. The All-star is equipped with a rapid fire gatling type gun that does about 6 damage per hit but needs a second to wind up but fires more ammo and needs a second to cool down. and finally The Scientist has a shotgun like weapon that does about 35 damage per hit up close and about 20 damage at a distance.
Each class has their own (mostly) unique special abilities that make them different enough to want to come back to to discover. I really enjoy this aspect of the game because it feels as if the developers put thought into each class instead of haphazardly making characters that are from the franchise. The game is immensely addictive as you will see others who have unlocked things you want, much like in Team Fortress 2.
My gripes with the game are that there really aren’t enough maps, you get 5 maps and that may seem like enough but matches are so quick that they become stale. For some reason, There is no split screen on the Xbox 360 version and when it comes to playing any of the game offline, its just not going to happen. This feature of “always online” is fine for the most part until EA’s servers go down, this happened more than once. The game is full of bugs, from not being able to see your character after you drone gets killed, to the textures not loading for a whole match, to the scenery graphics glitching out and making the game impossible to play. These are unnecessary bugs that should have been fixed, the game isn’t technology advanced and they’ve been working on it for 2 years, it just seems like a problem that could have been avoided. On the bright side, all these problems aren’t terribly often so you might actually never notice one.
Overall, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is a fun 3rd person multiplayer shooter that both adults and kids can play. I really want to urge people to get this game because it is cheap, $30 on both the Xbox 360 and Steam, and only $40 on the Xbox One. You will have fun trying to figure out what character you want to play, further unlocking items and customizing your character, being strategic about how your plan of attack is, this game is absolutely worth your time and money. I give Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare a 8 out of 10.
What did you think of Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare? Are you a fan of the tower defense versions of Plants vs Zombies? Let us know in the comments below, On our Facebook fan page, or tweet us @MissionStartP
Thanks for Reading
-Gregg Dietz (@ChubRockGeek)