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Review: Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (PS4)

On September 20, 2014 by Aaron Meehan

Six months after its initial Xbox release, the multiplayer only third-person shooter, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare makes its way to the PS3 and PS4. Before playing Garden Warfare I had never touched a Plants vs. Zombies game in my life, and honestly if Garden Warfare is anything to go by I think I might have to go play them because I I enjoyed my time with this colourful shooter.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is a game that wants to be different from any other multiplayer only shooter as it has a unique levelling and class unlock and systems. The game’s levelling system take the traditional experience grind and replaces wit with a challenge system, which means to level up classes, gaining new equipment, abilities etc. you must complete certain tasks such as killing X class Y amount of times during a game. This is nice at first, but as I played more and more, I started longing for an experience bar.

Garden Warfare contains two factions Plants and Zombies, and each faction has 4 classes each. Each class has some way of mitigating or reducing the ability of an opponent’s class, such as the Zombie engineer’s ability to stun underground foes. Although, you aren’t heavily punishing for not picking the optimal class to counter your opponent, as this would detract from the overall game experience because at its heart Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare feels like a casual experience. This casual/laid back approach is best seen in the fact that running out of ammo is impossible, because once you run out all your ammo returns after a short reload cooldown. This idea of infinite number of ammunition is great as means the game flows well and there is no need to have a class dedicated to giving out ammo or needing your character to die so you can respawn with some ammo.

Another point towards the casual/laid back approach is how you unlock new variants of existing classes. New classes are unlocked by collecting five stickers of the new class you want. To gain stickers you need to open packs, which can be bought with in-game credits that are gained from fighting in multiplayer and in the co-op ‘Garden Ops’ mode. While most people will aim for the packs that contain stickers for new classes, packs also contain accessories to customise your look and plants for the above mentioned co-op mode.

Garden Warfare game modes are your bog standard affair with your basic team deathmatch and strategic modes such as: attack & defend, kill-confirm, and search and destroy. While these are all pretty, standard for multiplayer shooters they have their own Plants vs. Zombies spin for example: the attack & defend mode has the zombies attempting to destroy all six of the plants gardens. There are also newcomer modes that act as barebones starting experiences as all unlockable content apart from abilities is unavailable for use.

 

While these modes are fun, my personal favourite is the co-op “Garden Ops” mode, which is essentially a recreation of the Plants vs. Zombies tower defence games. In this mode you and up to three others take on the role of plants and attempt to defend your garden from ten waves of zombies. To make it as close to a tower defence game as possible you can place various plants in pots that can help you defeat the zombie waves and keep you healed up. While it is an enjoyable mode the fact the system for planting plants is a bit annoying, as you are required to unlock plants by opening sticker packs, which means you are reliant on a certain amount of luck, but at lower levels, you can get away with a limited number of stationary plant support.

If you take away some of my above criticism, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is a fun casual colourful experience. If you have a young family member and want to introduce them to online shooters in a more child friendly way than Garden Warfare is a good purchase.

Conclusion

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is an overall fun, family friendly online shooter, but the focus on challenges over experience, while a nice idea gets boring fast. However, if you like the Plants vs. Zombies franchise and shooters I recommend giving the game a go.

Score: 8/10

Pros/Cons

+ Colourful and stress free multiplayer experience
+ “Garden Ops” co-op mode is fun and a good call back to the franchise’s roots

– The challenge levelling system set-up feels overly complicated, makes me wish the game had an exp bar.
– Unlocking new characters is a gamble, as you have to rely on getting lucky with a sticker pack

Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
PopCap Games EA Multiplayer shooter 7+ Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 XBOne, XB360: Feb 28
PC: June 27
PS3, PS4: Aug 22

For more information on Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, visit http://www.pvzgardenwarfare.com/.

Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.


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