Review: Plants vs. Zombies – Garden Warfare (2014)
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare sounds silly on paper but its amazing colour palette, game modes and characters set it apart from the rest.
Written on paper, Plants vs. Zombies – Garden Warfare can seem to be a bit of a silly idea, but during your first playthrough you’ll come to realise that ti’s amazing colour palette, games modes and fascinating characters set it apart from the rest.
This 12 vs. 12 multiplayer game is furious and fast to punish you for a mistake but you cant help but fall in love with it when you get in depth with its different character classes and smooth shooting mechanic. The characters will have you bursting out laughing whether it’s the construction zombie with his butt showing or the sunflower that looks to the sky to reload. All of this with the different sounds for each character makes for an amazing experience for any novice or experienced shooter fan. A game that shows how to have some fun and just how much fun playing with your friends can be and spits its green pea pods at the dark shooter genre to show you can fun with the genre.
Anyone that’s a fan of the original Plants vs. Zombies will be happy to see all of their popular plants rendered in 3D with an amazing colour palette. It takes them and those dastardly zombies in a great customisation system to dress them how you want, when you unlock clothes of course, and puts them against each other in amazing competitive multiplayer.
So let’s run through a few of the plants: The Chomper, now the melee class, digging under ground to surprise your enemies and grab them in its jaws from beneath their feet. Cacti are now snipers picking off enemies from a distance and throwing down potato mines to cover their backs. Some classes will feel familiar to a shooter fan such as the cacti and the general solider class but it doesn’t feel like they have taken a game like Call of Duty and just put plants and zombies in their place. It feels fresh and different and they respect the IP that they are working with and putting a fresh style on it.
The game has a great class system that has unique abilities on both sides which suits well for a game such as this as its goofiness is complemented by the class system. Now what’s great is that the class system doesn’t mean you have the upper edge as no class is better then another, making it feel nice and balanced when you get into a match. Each class has three abilities and each is introduced with a quirky little animation that will make you giggle as the perk unlocks, so you only have to play a few matches with a class to know whether it’s the right one for you but I recommend playing through all the classes because they’re all funny.
There are three modes in the game, two of which are what you would expect from a shooter. The first being Team Vanquish where it’s the first team to 50 kills which any seasoned shooter fanatic will be used to but what was great with this mode is that if you revive a team member then the enemy loses a point so it makes for more challenging gameplay. I felt so chilled out playing, never feeling like I had to worry about dying because 90% of the time a team member would be there to revive me.
Then you have Gardens and Graveyards mode, which is a generic attack and defend mode where zombies have a number of gardens they have to destroy before the time runs out. It feels just like a normal capture the flag or point mode from a normal third person shooter making it the weaker mode of the three. But it doesn’t come without its perks, as on the last round there will be this great challenge that has to be completed. The challenge is always randomised so it can be get a total number of zombies to a location or destroy something as crazy as a giant sunflower. It makes for a fresh bit of variety on an otherwise generic game type.
In Gardens and Graveyards mode you have potted plants that are placed all around the map where you can plant your plants that you have. Which when you get started start off as very limited the common peashooter and a sunflower. But you are able to buy more cards with in game currency that you earn through playing the game, which I like because no one likes micro-transactions. So to explain to get more cards you have to buy packs, which give you more cards and are randomised so you won’t know for the most part what cards you’re going to get. Once you use your card it’s gone and if you use all your cards you have to buy more packs to get more so its not always beneficial to use them all in 1 match.
What’s great is that it only took me a couple of hours of playing to be able to afford even the most expensive of cards. It gets rid of that feeling of having to grind for days on end to get what you want and you never feel like your going to be over whelmed by over powered players. There will be micro-transactions added down the line but when you can play for a few hours and manage to afford packs that way I wouldn’t feel that micro transactions will be greatly beneficial. Packs will also contain accessories to make over the classes so you can make your class feel more unique.
Garden Warfare sticks to its routes and remembers where it came from. The humour carries over amazingly and feels like it was meant for consoles. It’s a fresh take on a dying genre and is a breath of fresh air bringing humour and the want to play with friends and have fun to the shooter genre, leaving behind that competitiveness and instead bringing back that fun aspect and comedy back into the genre. With fun modes, customisation and some great classes it makes for a game that has a lot of potential for great future DLC and future sequels.