Tuesday 22 March 2016

Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2

It’s the age-old question – one that has divided school yards and friendships for decades; One side never budging in their opinion and the other unwavering in theirs. Many arguments have been had and many valid points raised but still the two sides are at an impasse. Today, we finally get to talk about it and maybe get a little closer to finding a solution that have divided lives: Who would win in an all-out war: Zombies or Plants?

Developed by Popcap and out now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is bloody brilliant. Don’t let the colourful visuals or the quirky personalities fool you, PvZ Garden Warfare 2 is a balls to the wall excellent competitive shooter. While the first game was surprisingly good given what it essentially was, Garden Warfare 2 holds up against the biggest there is and honestly, it’s a contender.

While the first game was fun, it lacked content or even depth to the whole overall structure. It had a simplistic menu that allowed for competitive or cooperative and that was about it. Everything was based around playing online. Here, everything can be played by yourself and you won’t be at a disadvantage.

Even if the first Garden Warfare looked good and played well, it felt like a budget title. Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is feature-rich; in fact, upon first glimpse, it can all feel a bit overwhelming. The main menu is actually a mode called Backyard Battleground where you are free to explore an open area. This area is used to practice the classes (14 in total). it’s also used to understand all the mechanics as well as get to grips with the feel of the gameplay as well as buy sticker packs, complete missions, check the bounty board, and jump into the multiplayer. I feel like just breathing out reading that. There are a ton of things to do and although the framework may look a little unusual, it’s a great way of breaking things down without feeling overwhelming. When you’re done playing around in the expansive Backyard Battleground, the game gives you a number of missions, co-op, and the competitive multiplayer to enjoy.

This is when the game really gets its rotting nails (or thorns depending on which side you choose) into you. Everything you do earns XP which levels up each class as well as your overall level. You will also earn coins which are used to buy sticker packs that will either give you consumable cards that allow you to spawn small buddies in battle or cosmetic items for your characters to even unlocking sub-classes that can drastically change how a certain class plays. There may be 14 base classes but these sub-classes make it a whole lot more ensuring options are always available. The gameplay and its mechanics are incredible. There’s a great sense of balance to the vast roster, their abilities, and a certain character being overpowered doesn’t nearly feel the same way as it did in the original. There is also a better variety to the maps on display and everything comes together in a truly special way.

After more than 10 hours with the game, I feel like I’ve only begun which is a great thing. The first Garden Warfare felt barebones and you only continued your playtime with it solely on the enjoyment factor of actually playing the game. You always feel like you’re progressing in Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2. Couple that with excellent variety in terms of classes on both sides and game modes and you’ve got the makings for one of the most memorable shooters to come out in some time. While the first game felt like an experiment, Garden Warfare 2 is the real deal. 

It looks stupid and/or weird but trust me, it’s roots are firmly planted with the best of them. 5/5.


Jason Redmond


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