When we first heard about Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare from EA and Popcap, I thought it was yet another instance of EA cashing in on its popular franchises. Which it may well be, but Garden Warfare does it with charm and style – and the irreverent silliness you’ve come to expect from PvZ.
In Garden Warfare, players will control a squadron of heavily armed plant life, who must fight off waves of invading zombies using some unique, organic weaponry. Each unit boasts its own weaponry, and the game can be played in first person, class based co-op action.
The units we got to see today are some of the series staples. The behind closed doors demo at EA today started off with the the stalwart Peashooter. As with the PvZ proper, it serves as your standard line of defense – your fighters on the frontlines. Spitting out peas, it easily tears those hungry zombies apart – but when entrenched n the ground (an ability all the plants have) it becomes immobile – but has the added damage boost of being a chaingun. It’s also a nimble plant, able to jump about the battlefield to easily dodge the dumb zombie horde.
The Chomper plant better at close combat. It’s a slow, ambling beats of a plant – but when it swallows the enemies, it’s able to turn them into a sticky purple goop that can be fired at zombies, slowing them down and making the easy picking for the rest of the team.
Then, we saw the Sunflower which provides currency in the original game is now used to shoot out beams of yellow happiness at zombies. It also has the ability to heal other plants, serving as your team’s medic. .
The Cactus. was the last plant we saw today – and it’s best suited to long range attacks, shooting its deadly, piercing needles at enemies. It can also place wall and tall nut barriers. there are also a number of set pot on the battlefield that can be used to plant helper plants – that bring in new abilities like planting those ever useful potato mines.
You won’t just face off against the regular zombies though; other types like the Disco dancing zombie and that unnecessarily large Gargantuar serve as bosses, and you and your team of flora will have to work together to bring the undead menace to its knees.
It’s an odd game – and I’m not really sure it’ll find it audience. the people who love PvZ will continue to playthat game, while those who like class based shooters will stick to what they know. But Garden Warfare, from what I’ve seen, really is something quite special.
Running on Frostbite 3, it’s really quite a beautiful, intricately detailed game adding a new layer of personality (and detail!) to the tower defense characters you already love. It’s utterly charming, and oft-times hilarious – even poking fun at the game from which it lovingly thiefs its name. I initially worried that this game would dilute the series with unrelated play…but in the end it mostly makes sense. And I loved it.
Plants vs Zombies : Garden Warfare is exclusive to Xbox platforms, and has no release date as yet.