When the topic of the most anticipated upcoming shooters comes up it’s usually overrun with talk of Destiny, Titanfall and The Division. Among these high-profile releases, though there are bound to be some surprise hits lying in wait. One of those such titles is Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, a fun title with a recognizable brand that impressed us at E3 2013.
Brimming with style and giving gamers a very different perspective of a world inhabited by projectile-spewing plants and gun-toting zombies, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare looks to be an incredibly entertaining and silly alternative to the many series shooters on the market, offering gameplay akin to Dungeon Defenders. Shown off in this new video is a brand new gameplay mode called Gardens & Graveyards, where players switch roles and play as zombies.
For anyone who is familiar with the gameplay of the Battlefield series or just needs a break from the most recent iteration’s connectivity issues, Gardens & Graveyards should feel immediately comfortable.
As with the previous Plants vs. Zombies games, players side with either the titular plants as they defend their gardens or the gun-toting zombies as they rush forth to erect gravestones to defile said gardens. The wrench in the machine though, is that these gardens are interspersed throughout a large battlefield as capture points. Unsurprisingly, the zombies must capture these points to progress and the plants must hold them back in order to win. This type of gameplay mode has been done to death through the years though. What will no doubt set Garden Warfare apart from the competition is its charm.
While the graphical style is different, Garden Warfare seems almost reminiscent of Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Both games pit two non-human races with their own unique personalities against each other in a repurposing of war-like scenarios. The concept of the series has always been silly, so it makes complete sense to develop the world of these iconic characters in a way that also oozes charm and matches their instantly recognizable look.
What may come as the biggest surprise though, is that the gameplay of Garden Warfare looks and plays incredibly smooth. As long as PopCap can ensure that each type of character presents a unique method of rewarding play, they could easily have a hit on their hands. Judging by the video though, there is little to worry about on this front as each plant and zombie seems to fill a clear role, from the extremely mobile and fast-shooting zombie, to the tough chomping plant that requires the player to get up close and personal.
Ever since the announcement that the next title in the Plants vs. Zombies series would deviate from their winning formula and take the form of a third-person shooter, some gamers were unsure of how the series could be adapted to such a vastly different genre. This is a fair concern as PopCap Games is not necessarily known for their forays into the realm of shooters, but if our preview of the game during E3 and this most recent gameplay video are any indication, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is shaping up to have all the charm and fun that gained the first game so much acclaim. We need to give credit for expanding and doing something different – and making it look good.
Do you think Garden Warfare has what it takes to compete with some of the huge titles due out this year? What other franchise would you like to see spin-off into a completely new genre?
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is slated to hit the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC on February 18, 2014.