Before Titanfall releases in March, Microsoft platforms are getting another online-online exclusive title from Electronic Arts in PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. A surprise announcement – and a surprise hit- at E3 2013, the extension of the super-popular casual game franchise aims to blend third-person shooter gameplay with elements of tower defense games.
Interested gamers can read our full PvZ: Garden Warfare review for our detailed thoughts on the game as whole but the best way to give a quick look at what this game is all about is to see for yourself so above, I walk through the game’s main menu, the progression-Sticker system and the game’s co-op mode, Garden Ops.
There’s no single player campaign in Garden Warfare, and although Garden Ops (think Horde/Survival mode) can be played solo, this title is meant to played with and against other real-life players. In addition to Garden Ops, where players fend off 10 waves of increasingly dangerous zombies and zombie bosses, there are several competitive multiplayer modes.
There’s a deathmatch mode dubbed ‘Team Vanquish’ and the more involved ‘Gardens and Graveyards’ where the Zombies team must attack and takeover a series of seven gardens while the plant players defend, letting all players spend their consumable to raise tower defenses or AI minions. All of these consumables are collected via Stickers which are purchased with the in-game currency (PvZ coins) earned just from playing the game.
It’s a simple and smart system to keep players feeling as if they’re being rewarded, while also providing the gratification of growing a collection, customizing and improving their character, but it takes a hefty time investment to earn big to buy the bigger packs and earn rare items – and there are a lot of rare items. Our big concern in our review is that the game’s limited and familiar modes, and limited maps, may work against replayability, making the relatively small title’s price a point of contention, especially with Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare costing $10 more on Xbox One – the system we’re playing it on.
Still, what’s there is simple, fun and harmless, and there’s joy to be had working with friends (and strangers) in destroying plants or zombies. Interested?
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is available for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Its PC release date is currently unannounced.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.