Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare

Everyone loves Plants vs. Zombies.

It’d be easy to assume that there are only a small percentage of people who are interested in both the casual tower defence game Plants vs. Zombies and more hardcore shooters like Battlefield.

Ad FeedbackAdvertisement

But PvZ game developer PopCap seems to transcend boundaries that are normally strictly drawn between casual games and serious gamers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered that my hardcore gamer friends love Peggle - I even took part in a Peggle tournament at a BarCraft event once. Let me reiterate that: at freaking BarCraft.

Why is almost every PopCap game a smash hit, even amongst the snobs? Because the company takes a look at proven mechanics and well-treaded ground and says, “We can do that simply, cleanly, and broaden the appeal.”

Which is exactly what they’ve done with Garden Warfare.

PopCap’s latest creation, a multiplayer, class-based third-person shooter which predictably pits various different types of plants against hordes of different zombies, has the shortest learning curve of any shooter I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. That’s not to say there isn’t more to unlock and discover as you play, but rather that every time you discover a new ability you can pick up how to use it as quickly as you can press a button.

There’s no campaign in Garden Warfare, just a series of game modes which are all designed for multiplayer (although there is one game mode, Garden Ops, that can be played solo). Garden Ops is a horde mode, wherein you play only as plants holding off waves of AI zombie opponents who are trying to attack a base - pretty much the same horde mode you’ve played in many, many other shooters. It’s fun, but not as great as when you get to play against real people.

In multiplayer mode, you play as either plants or zombies. Both sides have several different classes that are familiar in many ways - medics and heavies and soldiers, oh my! - but each one is drastically simplified and, because of the art and subject matter, sublimely ridiculous. Both plants and zombies have extra abilities that can be unlocked by completing goals and earning stars. Most of the goals are fairly easy - you might have to use an ability four times - but as you level up your plant or zombie they get a tad more difficult.

When you’re playing competitive multiplayer there are two main game modes - Team Vanquish, wherein two teams fight to get to 50 kills before the other, and Gardens and Graveyards, which is a capture-the-point game mode. As zombies, you try to take a series of points from the plants. As plants, you do everything you can to defend those points.

As you play, you earn coins. These coins can be used to buy different booster packs which will unlock summonable plants and zombies that help you fight, and also help you to unlock extra characters. These extra characters are all some variation on the existing eight characters - Peashooter, Sunflower, Cactus, Chomper, Foot Soldier, All-Star, Engineer, Scientist. Unlockable characters are generally more powerful, however.

That might seem a bit unfair on newbies who are just getting into the game - those who have played a while could be pretty OP - but if you’re struggling to keep up, there are ‘classic’ versions of the two game modes which don’t feature any customisations or unlockables.

Clearly I loved Garden Warfare, so what’s it’s problem? PC gamers will not be surprised by the answer: the problem is Origin. In order to play any game mode at all in Plants vs. Zombies - even if you’re playing solo - you have to have an Origin account and be logged into it. It’s not so hard if you just need to sign up, but if you already have an Origin account you can’t connect it to your Xbox Live account from your console. Annoyingly, you have to do it from your PC. Of course, the game doesn’t actually tell you this.

It took probably half an hour to get over that hurdle and actually start playing the game. Classic EA, huh?

This is going to seem strange, but my other main concern with Garden Warfare is that it may be cannibalised by coming out so close to the release date for Titanfall. In my experience people tend to play one multiplayer game at a time, and let’s be real here: for almost every Xbox One owner that multiplayer game is going to be Titanfall, probably for some time.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
"A great, simple shooter for all ages."
- Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Follow Own it? Rating: PG   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 5 Min


Relevant Articles


Comments Comments (13)

Posted by phantom
On Monday 17 Mar 2014 2:28 PM
mmmmfff I want this soooo badddd. Oh well, soon enough, you will be mine, PVZGW!
Posted by Jakted
On Monday 17 Mar 2014 2:53 PM
sucks it not on playstation
Posted by Seraphim
On Monday 17 Mar 2014 3:18 PM
Really enjoying playing it, didn't think i would be to interested but its quite fun. Gf also prefers this to Titanfall so they both get played.
Posted by reavers
On Monday 17 Mar 2014 7:17 PM
Looks like a fun game to play :D
Posted by Outlaw213
On Tuesday 18 Mar 2014 3:33 AM
Timed exclusive, will come to PlayStation 4 soon.
Posted by atipuss
On Tuesday 18 Mar 2014 7:50 AM
True about the timing for me! What to play each night. much fun :)
Posted by Bappernz
On Tuesday 18 Mar 2014 12:33 PM
might have to check this one out
Posted by rocketman12
On Tuesday 18 Mar 2014 2:04 PM
This franchise continues to grow and grow and I am not surprised . The games are really fun to play and offer heaps of replay ability.
Posted by Goonertron
On Wednesday 19 Mar 2014 2:22 AM
Hard to justify when my time is split between TF and BF4 but if they want to make games with gold better this would be a great candidate in a years time.
Posted by whataboutki
On Wednesday 19 Mar 2014 8:01 PM
This looks like my find of shooter. Simple fun.
Posted by Jermachi
On Monday 16 Jun 2014 10:22 PM
Still come back to this game a couple of times a months. Loving the unlocks. They just keep coming!
Posted by Jermachi
On Monday 16 Jun 2014 10:23 PM
19 March 2014, 02:22 AM Reply to Goonertron
Hard to justify when my time is split between TF and BF4 but if they want to make games with gold better this would be a great candidate in a years time.
I've played my fair share of TF and BF and I keep coming back to this because it's fun.
Posted by TenguNZ
On Tuesday 2 Sep 2014 3:00 PM
Rented this today for PS3. Hope its as fun as it sounds :)