Contributed by Alex Ashcroft
For those unaware, Plants Vs Zombies began its life as a mobile game. The basic premise was that you were to defend your house from zombies by planting many differing kinds of wacky and wonderful plants. In an age of serious and dark zombie games, PopCap gave their creation a cartoony flair that instantly became a hit. Following a hugely successful release, mountains of merchandise and a mobile sequel, PopCap announced the 3rd Plants Vs Zombies game. Surprisingly, it was to be…….. a third person shooter? Many were skeptical.
Garden Warfare is a third-person class based action game. Each side has 4 different classes, and unlike shooters like Battlefield, each is very different. Each class has 3 core abilities that range from Sticky Grenades for the Zombie Scientist to Sun Beam (think Death Star lasers but made of sunshine) for the Sunflower. Taking inspiration from Team Fortress 2, PopCap have given each class hundreds of different hats, accessories, and skins; guaranteeing that no two players will look the same.
The Plants side consists of the Peashooter, the Sunflower, the Cactus and my personal favorite the Chomper. The Zombies consist of Solider, Engineer, Scientist and All-Star. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, bringing a balanced firefight between said plants and zombies. Each match falls down to which side can play as a team better, and not being carried by a single individual.
Once you play a few matches and unlock each classes abilities, extra combat mechanics are revealed that further deepen the experience. Each class has 5+ variations that can either slightly alter the play style or vastly change it. The Chomper for example has variations that boost its health, but suffers with slower movement speed. Another variation is replacing the standard ‘Chomp’ attack with elemental breaths (fire, electricity, poison) that transforms the Chomper into a group killer, instead of killing 1 person at a time.
These variations promote teamwork within the game, allowing plants to team up in order to vanquish their opponents. A Peashooter Ice variant slows down enemies, making it a perfect teammate for a Chomper that needs time to approach and consume. Many times I employed this tactic and watched my teammates vastly improve as a result.
The Game modes available to players are separated into 2 parts, Online Multiplayer and Garden Ops (parodying Spec Ops from the Call Of Duty franchise). Garden Ops is a wave survival mode, allowing 4 Plants to face off against 10 waves of computer controlled zombies. Each wave increases in difficulty, with the final waves truly testing your rag tag team of Plants. There are many unique zombie enemies (Gargantuar, Disco and Yeti) that don’t feature in the Multiplayer that really make this mode shine. Multiplayer is separated into Team Vanquish (Deathmatch), Gardens and Graveyards (Battlefield’s Rush mode) and Gnome Bomb (Battlefield 4’s Obliteration). Each of these modes is intense shooter action, rivaling Call of Duty and Battlefield. Unfortunately, the game offers no offline modes meaning that if you don’t have an internet connection then don’t expect to be able to play this title. That’s EA for you, apparently they think that people living in a place without reliable internet and wanting to play locally, are not their eligible customers.
Overall, no PC gamer should miss out on this title. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it’s almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face whilst testing your skills at the same time. Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare PC, is now available for sale in the Origin store priced at $30.