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When publisher Electronic Arts first unveiled Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare as a surprise announcement years ago at E3, it was as impressive looking as it was smile-inducing for a brand new spin on the PvZ formula, turning it into a third-person shooter. When it released however, its great core gameplay and visuals couldn't make up for its shallow content. For the sequel, PopCap Games went all-in to address some of the feedback of the original and to flesh out Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 as a full retail product.
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Gamers were dumbfounded when PopCap announced it was transplanting the Plants vs. Zombies series from the backyard to the battlefield. To say the multiplayer-shooter spinoff is a huge departure for the casual game developer is an understatement, but the aesthetics and lighthearted tone are a wonderful change of pace for the violence-obsessed genre.
Dig beneath the surface, though, and you find some fundamental flaws that hold back this family-friendly shooter. PopCap is known for making highly polished games that virtually anyone can pick up and play. Unfortunately, that equation only rings half true for Garden Warfare.
The developer's simplified approach to the genre does away with basic concepts like sprinting, melee attacks, and limited ammo, making it easy for anyone to get into the swing of battle. However, the gameplay is uncharacteristically buggy; players get hung up on other characters and geometry, corpses twitch on the ground, and even the slightest bit of network lag renders some abilities like the all-star zombie's dash attack ineffective. A variety of classes and unlockable characters add some nuance to the simple fun, but PopCap's limited mode offerings hamstring replayability.
Team Vanquish is your run-of-the-mill team deathmatch. A classic variant of each mode disables upgrades and unlockable characters making them less interesting , and the beginner mode gives you more health the more you die, but you're still playing one of two basic formulas. Maps have unique themes, and capture points are built around interesting locations that facilitate large-scale confrontations. Every map features an interesting final objective, such as sneaking five zombies into Crazy Dave's mansion or destroying the roots of a giant sunflower growing inside of a lighthouse.
Garden Warfare's co-op offerings are equally uninspired. Garden Ops is a four-player horde mode, which tasks players with defending a garden against ten increasingly difficult waves of zombies. Aside from the occasional zombie boss or special wave, you don't have much to draw you in once you've beaten a few matches.
The Xbox One-exclusive modes are even more disappointing. The splitscreen mode is an endless version of Garden Ops, where the second player doesn't get to save his or her progress and the boss mode relegates you to providing support to your team during competitive matches from a topdown map of the battlefield.
Garden Warfare's most interesting twist is how it incorporates the series' tower-defense elements into matches. Players can spawn zombies or plants in designated locations on the map, which then attack opponents autonomously. Unfortunately, these characters are treated as consumable items that players must purchase before matches using Garden Warfare's microtransaction-ready economy. Support plants and zombies, customization items, weapon upgrades, and even new class characters are bought with the coins you earn from matches.
However, can't just buy what you want; instead you must purchase blind card packs of varying prices. Consumable card packs give you a handful of zombies and plants to summon during matches, while more expensive packs provide random upgrades or character stickers — though you have to collect all of the stickers for a character before you can actually play as them.
Like any good pusher, EA gives you a couple packs for free, but after that the grinding for coins begins. This faux free-to-play approach undermines Garden Warfare's promising tower-defense elements.
Each plant or zombie you spawn feels like a waste of money; regardless of how helpful they may be on the battlefield, buying consumable packs just holds you back from the larger goal of unlocking more playable characters, which is the only motivator to continue playing after you've learned the maps inside and out. Those extra playable characters are worth unlocking. Although they have the same class abilities, each character has its own unique twist on gameplay.
For instance, the marine-biologist zombie features a higher rate of fire than the regular scientist zombie, and the fire sunflower deals extra elemental damage. Unfortunately, characters take an exorbitant amount of time to unlock, and because card packs are random, you can't just unlock upgrades or characters for the class you're interested in. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the economy is that there's no option to purchase coins with real money, but EA says it may institute such an option in the future.
Frankly, I can't imagine a world where that change doesn't happen, but it doesn't really matter. The progression system and tower-defense elements are already broken to accommodate the possibility.
PopCap's approach to class progression also plays out for the worse. Instead of gaining experience points, you level up classes by completing a series of challenges. Things start out easy — deploy five potato mines, kill three plants with rockets — but more specific challenges distract players from what's best for the match and make leveling up a pain.
Killing two scientist zombies with a sun beam or shooting down three garlic drones seems easy enough, but what if the other team isn't using those characters? I went entire matches making zero progress with characters simply because the right elements weren't on the battlefield. Some challenges are downright devious; spawning five conehead zombies first requires you to buy consumable card packs until you randomly receive enough of them to complete the challenge.
Luckily, you unlock all of the abilities for a class in the first few levels anyway, so you can abandon the progression scheme after that. Before the tedium set in, I had fun with Garden Warfare. Spending a few hours with the accessible combat and charming world was entertaining, but the random card packs and achievement-style leveling system killed my desire to keep playing.
Garden Warfare's simplified gameplay and limited map selection can only entertain for so long — without rewarding progression, there's no carrot or brain at the end of the stick.
Digging beneath Garden Warfare's surface reveals fundamental flaws in this family-friendly shooter. Join Sign In. Post Tweet Email. Follow Us. Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare. Rooted In Shallow Soil. Publisher: Electronic Arts.
Release: August 19,Share Facebook Post. Twitter Tweet. Email Email. Comment Comment. Zombies Garden Warfare Digging beneath Garden Warfare's surface reveals fundamental flaws in this family-friendly shooter.
Purchase More Info. Graphics PopCap has done a great job of translating its lovable characters into 3D. Sound The music is catchy but repetitive. The plant and zombie voices are as entertaining as ever. Playability The controls aren't as polished as your average shooter, and the questionable stability of EA's servers results in some janky moments during matches. Entertainment Already-limited offerings are diminished by a quasi-free-to-play monetization scheme. Replay Moderate.
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Plants Vs. Zombies is a fascinating proposition as a shooter. PopCap is also a member of the Electronic Arts family, meaning it can carve out kid-friendly shooty shooty in the mold of Battlefield , relying on DICE both for input and for its increasingly ubiquitous Frostbite 3 engine. Zombies: Garden Warfare to sizzle. The game does have its share of standout elements, but uneven design too often works against the competitive team vs. The individual pieces are at least promising.
After the jump, did we really need a Plants vs Zombie shooter? Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare is good enough that I'm playing for the.
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Developed by Popcap Games. Published by Electronic Arts. Released February 25,Available on Xbox , Xbox One reviewed.
Plants vs. In the space of three weeks, EA is set to release two separate multiplayer-only, Xbox exclusive well, not available on PS4 anyway squad-based shooters.
Plants vs. Zombies has a very charming, cartoonish vibe to it that transfers well to this title. The plants boast vibrant colours whilst the zombies inhabit the duller edge of the spectrum, but they still manage to bring across a lighter tone through some great character design. There are classic version of these game modes which disable class upgrades, but at their core they are the same gametype. You and up to three others work together to hold off waves of zombies who are trying to destroy your garden.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare feels like a crazy experiment. A third person shooter featuring the cast of the wildly popular mobile series that pits players in both multiplayer and cooperative action — Garden Warfare is anything but expected. There are so many reasons that this game should not work, but it does, and on all fronts. It ties into the tower defense games found on mobile devices in just enough ways to keep fans of those games interested, and is just competent enough as a shooter to keep those who came for the multiplayer entertained for hours on end. Zombies: Garden Warfare.
Part tower defense game and part shooter, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 builds on the foundations laid by its predecessor with the.
Zo groot als Angry Birds zal Plants vs. Zombies nooit worden. Toch beginnen steeds meer mensen zich in de eeuwige strijd tussen de koddige planten en hilarische zombies te mengen. Ook shooterfans!
It seems safe to say that no one really expected PopCap Games to take the 2D tower defense Plants vs. Zombies franchise and create a third-person shooter called Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. Despite being such a departure from the franchise's roots, the first Garden Warfare managed to provide a solid gameplay foundation, but many felt as though it was lacking content. We're happy to report that anyone underwhelmed by Plants vs.
Fighting alongside this Grumpy fellow culminates with a battle against a giant zombie who wields a telephone pole as a club.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare has had something of a staggered release schedule. However, the original series had players controlling plants in a tower defense game. This is a third person shooter, in the vein of Uncharted or Grand Theft Auto multiplayer, where players take on the roles of both plant and zombie in a never ending war to see who gets the highest kill count. And it works. The Frostbite 3 engine shows itself off to good effect with a solid framerate regardless of how hectic the action gets.