When Popcap first announced Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare, it almost seemed like a joke. When the original Plants Vs Zombies launched, it was super successful and ended up launching on every platform imaginable. So Popcap decided to launch a 3rd person, class based, multiplayer only game. So does it work? Well you’ll be pleased not only does it work, it creates a one of a kind experience with tons of charm and addicting unlockables and customizations. So while everyone is looking for Titanfall to reinvent multiplayer, you owe yourself to check out Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare. Microsoft snagged an excellent exclusive (for now).
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Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare on the Xbox One is a third person, class based shooter, that pits 24 players (12 vs 12) into chaotic deathmath (vanquish mode), first to 50 kills wins, or in an attack and defend objective mode (Gardens and Graveyards), where the plants must stop the zombies from capturing their gardens and the final capture point is always an intense push, zombies rushing to get into a mansion with walnuts rolling or attacking a giant sunflower lighthouse to finish the game. Gardens and Graveyards is truly where the game shines the most, where a balanced team and teamwork truly come into play. There is also a four player co-op mode, Garden Ops, where you must work as a team to defeat wave after waves of incoming zombies. What makes this so much fun, there are potted plants scattered throughout the level that you can use to help you fight or help heal each other. It adds a deeper level to the standard horde with a sort of risk and reward, because when the boss rounds come, you definitely will need to plant some powerful plants and keep them alive to survive. The Garden Ops “horde” mode is also available via split-screen.
This isn’t just a shooter with Plants and Zombie skins. Popcap took it’s time and created a wonderful and deep class system while still keeping each side balanced. There are four different plants and zombies to chose from. The Plants have: Peashooter, Chomper, Sunflower, and Cactus. The zombies have: Foot Soldier, Engineer, Scientist, and the All-Star. Each character has a distinct feel to it, and by completing challenges you unlock one of 3 abilities (along with a “cute” little video explaining that ability) unique to that class. The Sunflower can root itself into the ground the use a very powerful solar beam to attack, the chomper can dig under ground and travel then come up and swallow an enemy whole, the engineer can ride a jackhammer (plummer crack showing and all!) and so much more! Why those are the main classes, you can unlock different options of those classes, such as an ice pea shooter, by purchasing card packs with the money you earn from playing. What I love is that neither side feels like it has an advantage. Even though the sunflower can always heal teammates and the scientist cannot, the scientist can do a ton more damage and easily escape situations. It takes a balanced team and teamwork to win, not just individual efforts. Add to that the CRAZY amount of customization options for each class (after playing for MANY hours I RARELY see the same customizations on characters) Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare will have you addicted to unlocking all the content.
After each match, you earn money that can be used to purchase card packs that have either customization options, more potted plants or zombies for co-op or Gardens and Graveyards, weapon upgrades, or stickers to unlock other characters. Each pack rains from 1,000 to 40,000 which will have you saving and contemplating when to spend your hard earned cash. (Vanquish matches range from 1500 to 2000 on average, while Gardens and Graveyards and Garden Ops have larger payouts, thanks to lasting longer) The basic packs for 1000 only have potted plants, so if you play a lot of co-op it’s nice to purchase a lot, but the more expensive packs will have a mixture of rarer potted plants (snapdragons etc) and all the other unlockables.
The stickers and unlockables aspect could have easily been put in as a quick cash grab aspect for microtransactions (cough cough FORZA 5), but I must applaud Popcap for the structure they put to work. I found myself playing “just a few more” matches so I can afford the 20,000 pack (which has character stickers and other rarer content) just so I could finish the set and unlock the ice pea so I could see how he plays differently (which he can freeze enemies in place with a few consecutive shots. ) There are so many unlockables and options that I find myself reliving my Pokemon Card days from my youth and opening each pack to find a holographic card (which using that example, each pack 10,000 and up pretty much comes with an equivalent to a holographic pokemon card)
Popcap and EA have created a beautfiul looking, fun to play game with tons of charm. Matches when my team are losing are still a blast to play, which is hard to say for most games. After playing many levels and getting to Level 20, unlocking tons of customization options and a few extra characters, I can not wait to get back to the game and see what my next pack of cards unlocks. This game is accessible to gamers of all ages and can be perfected by dominating teamwork. Plants Vs Zombies Modern Warfare is a must own for shooter fans and PvZ fans out there.
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Note: While there were some server issues on launch day, EA and Popcap have fixed it and the game runs smoothly with no major issues.
What seemed like a joke ended up being a well balanced, fun to play, class based ,third person, crazy all out war between plants and zombies! Highly recommended if you enjoy multiplayer games or the PvZ universe!