This insane idea of plants killing zombies was brought to you by Popcap, part of the Electronic Arts family. This american based video game development was brought to life by John Vechey back in the year 2000. Fourteen years ago this small portion of the EA family was brought to life by the jewel-swapping game Bejeweled. This game alone set the company rolling with a whopping 50 million copies sold world wide. This game bagged the company millions of dollars and awards. Popcap became really popular which allowed them to produce more exciting games for us all to enjoy. Some of the well known games you may have heard of also came from this very small portion of EA, for instance: Bookworm, Feeding Frenzy, Peggle, Zuma and many more! Popcap have earned over 25 Industry awards including the Computer Game Wall of Fame for their prize game Bejeweled. In August 2006, Popcap caught the attention of Valve, which many of you know, own the biggest digital distribution system on the world wide web. Steam opened a whole new window of opportunity for Popcap to explore, and the distribution of their games expanded rapidly.
Now enough history, let’s dive right in! From Plants vs Zombies, the tower defense game, comes Plants vs Zombies: Garden warfare. Let me say quickly that this game rocks! From cracking that seal on the case and inserting it into my Xbox, I am going to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. Immediately I found myself sucked into the game, unable to draw my eyes away from the screen! This is like no other game I have played before, the aspects of a tower defense, in an online multiplier third person shooter. There are two very exciting game modes to endure. Firstly, Garden Ops, a mode that takes you back to the original Plants vs. Zombies game, in which you have to protect your garden from a variety of undead. You may be wondering what makes this any better than the original, and my friends; this is a four-player third person shooter! Choose your plant and get to work protecting Crazy Dave’s garden, as you run, dodge and shoot the attacking zombies. If this isn’t enough excitement for you, they have included boss waves, in which a gigantic zombie is summoned. You need to use all your abilities and skills to take it down before it destroys everything in its path.
The second choice of gameplay is multiplayer. Here you can play the traditional Team Death Match and defend your base. More game modes will hopefully be added in the future. Giving this game mode an exciting new twist, however, is being able to play as either plants or zombies! Each has their own unique style of play. You got your long-range damage dealers, your medics, your engineers, and finally, your melee thrashers! With a total of four plants and four zombies, there is an abundance of replayability value here, and the more you play, the more experience you gain, and the more thrilling upgrades you unlock.
The game looks fantastic! I still cannot believe how they managed to create this from a board-based tower defense game. They have thought of everything! The characters are smooth and cartoon like, which gives the game its own personal touch. The scenery, from what I witnessed, is remarkable; from some of the wacky levels complete with pirate ships, trailer parks and busy cities, giving the game terrific style and detail for the players’ enjoyment. Whilst playing the game, some of the sound effects were really impressive, from the ‘pew pew’ of guns or the ‘crack’ of a head shot really adding to the chaotic war zone.
Without checking the manual, I instantly got the hang of the controls, just like any other third person shooter. The triggers are left to aim, right to shoot, and the buttons for your various abilities. The analog stick for direction, which can be adjusted in the games settings, and the D-pad you can customize for gestures or signals to your enemy and/or team mates.
There are plenty of hidden items to unlock as you progress through the game. Without giving any spoilers away, I will mention some of the basics. When you start up your game you will notice a tab that says “Stickers”. On this tab you get a few free packs. Like any other game that contains a sticker-like feature, you obtain items to help you out within the game. In these packs you gain seeds in which you can plant in the game to assist you in victory. Also hidden in these packs are some visual perks to give your characters a little bit of cosmetic flair. Who wouldn’t want a plant in a top hat and shades running around slaying undead monsters? From skins, hats, weapons – all these can be changed to spice up your Plants vs. Zombies experience.
Every game has its good and bad features. This game, for instance, is very enjoyable from its online multiplayer and player vs player perspective, but I found it to be lacking some solo story line features. I feel like PopCap can update this game and increase the level of enjoyment by implementing a campaign mode, maybe even the story of how Crazy Dave’s plants became the unwilling victims of a zombie attack! If you are a fan of multiplayer, then this is an exhilarating, fast-paced shooter with hours of enjoyment. I can see myself clocking many more hours on this game in the future and look forward to building up my little plants, giving them crazy new looks, and fending off a horde of zombies in Garden Warfare.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is available currently for Xbox 360, Xbox One, and soon to be making its arrival to your PC. The price for Xbox 360 currently stands at around £25 and Xbox One at £30.
Check out the official game trailer below!