Plants take on the most famous members of the undead family with multiplayer action in true Battlefield style. Pick your side and let the battle commence!
I'm sure you know the mechanics of Plants vs. Zombies and its sequel: protect the plants from wave after wave of imminent zombie attacks. We love this gameplay, and it's been imitated many times, but we've always wanted to play on the other side: the side of the undead.
This will now be possible thanks to Garden Warfare, the first spin-off of the original franchise, which leaves the innocent puzzles aside to put you at the epicenter of a war between plants and zombies that plays like a third person action game.
A traditional shooter
Intended as an online multiplayer game, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is a shooter battling 12 against 12, or various users against the computer. Both sides move around in urban settings that are recognizable from the original games, except that they're now in 3D and can be fully explored.
Don't go expecting realism, though. Instead, you'll get a faithful representation of the universe that PopCap Games created with their first Plants vs. Zombies, along with a reminder that each character is important.
Two sides, eight classes
Both sides have soldiers made up of 4 classes, each with unique physical characteristics in terms of both powers and weapons.
In the zombie camp, there are four classes:
Soldier - The soldier is always in the line of fire. Equipped with two guns: a BB gun and a grenade launcher. They also have the advantage of being able to duck out of the action at any stage, thanks to their jet pack.
Engineer - An expert in creating equipment that he and his other colleagues will benefit from, the engineer is equipped with firearms and a stun grenade.
Scientist - The scientist is the only one who can heal his companions. That doesn't mean he can't be combative, because for weapons, he has a sticky gun and bomb, as well as the ability to teleport.
All-Star – The big-hitter in the team, the all-star is equipped with a heavy machine gun and the ability to carry out melee attacks. On the downside, he's slower and larger, which in certain situations can make him defensively weak.
The Plants aren't lagging behind, and are also divided into 4 classes, somewhat strange classes with no real equivalent in the more conventional zombie classes.
Peashooters – The equivalent to the soldier, the peashooter is the most offensive member of his team and has interesting weapons, like pea guns, as well as the ability to literally plant himself in the ground to generate bursts of gunfire.
Cactus – The closest thing to an engineer, the cactus' greatest skill is throwing barbs; the key is to use it over long distances. It's also equipped with mines that can be spread across the battlefield, and can build individual trenches.
Sunflower – The "scientist" of the plants, the sunflower can cure his friends in two ways: using a daisy, and with sunshine. In addition, its rays can also be harmful to its opponent.
Carnivorous plants – The carnivorous plant is an expert in knocking out the enemy by gobbling them up as snacks, as well as the great ability to be able to move underground, allowing him to get behind his enemies and take them by surprise. The most offensive class is equivalent to the the All-Star of the zombies.
Customization beyond the classes
Classes aren't the only thing that you're able to customize in the game. All of the characters have a variety of costumes and accessories available, as well as skins for the weapons they use. Some merely provide cosmetic changes, while others slightly vary the gameplay.
Although the name Garden Warfare is a reference to the famous Modern Warfare, it's certain that this new Plants vs Zombies has a more direct influence, the Battlefield series, which isn't really surprising considering developer PopCap belongs to Electronic Arts.
Specifically, both games share modes. The mode called "Garden and Graveyards" is inspired by two famous Battlefield modes, "Rush" and "Conquer".
Intended to support up to 24 players online, "Gardens and Graveyards" is a variation of the classic Capture the Flag, where the zombies are trying to take control of the plant's base to turn it from a garden into a cemetery.
Another common mode in Battlefield and other games like it is Team Death, which makes an appearance in this game with "Team Vanquish", a competitive multi-player mode where the first group to kill 50 of their rivals wins.
Another classic that has had a noticeable influence on the game is Gears of War. Not only does this saga and Garden Warfare share a third-person view, it also has a Horde mode, where you take on waves of enemies, each more complicated and numerous than the last. The further you get, the greater the reward, which you divide up with your other three teammates.
Direct action, but with some strategy
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare shouldn't face any great difficulties because it aims to capture part of the casual audience that already enjoys the original games of the franchise. It's because of this that the gameplay is based on fast multiplayer games with no trace of a campaign mode, which is normally very common in war games.
The game, however, does include details that come together to form a challenging game in its own right. For example, it's essential that you have a balance between the classes, and although there is infinite ammo, you've got to reload weapons. Finally, special powers can't be used indefinitely, and you have to let them recharge over time.
You don't have to wait until Spring to fight in the garden
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare will go on sale on the 18 of February for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. PC gamers will have to wait a little longer to play.
Taking advantage of a household name, Garden Warfare aims to break into the third person shooter sector – it's a sector that is jam-packed with good, consolidated titles but is perhaps missing a less sophisticated game that's suitable for the whole family.
Do you like this shift in the Plants vs. Zombies franchise?