Sunday, 16 March 2014

Raucous Reviews: Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare

Before I start the review, I just want to say sorry for it being so late. Somehow, the postal service took TWO WEEKS to deliver it.

Ever heard the saying "There's nothing like defending a a mentally unstable man's house with genetically modified killer plants."? Well, that's the creed Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare lives by, and, for PopCap's first venture out of the puzzle world, it sure follows it well.

Let's start off with the part of Garden Warfare that makes me want to love it sooooo much: it's a BALANCED class-based shooter, a la Battlefront 2. Sure, some people claim that the Chomper is overpowered, but I found killing it just as easy as playing as it, as is the case with all the other classes. The fact that all the different classes have different abilities, like the Foot Soldier's High Jump, or the Cactus' Garlic Drone, means that you can slaughter those not so dumb Zombies (Or human-sized "plants") in a variety of different ways. It's truly a third-person shooter done right.

You can also customise your Plants and Zombies cosmetically and ability-wise using stickers found in packs, for instance upgrading a Chomper to a Fire Chomper, giving it the ability to breathe fire, or putting a top hat on a Sunflower. The game contains no microtransactions at all, as coins are pretty easy to get. I found myself getting about 5,000 coins a match, and since the most expensive pack is 40,000 coins, anyone can do well. It's a fun, easy game to play, but can also be hugely competitive when you want to.

However, since it's a multiplayer-only game, you'd expect it to have quite a lot of modes and maps, but you'd be wrong. This is where Garden Warfare falls the most, as it only has 5 modes (2 of which are just "classic" versions of other modes) and only 8 maps to play them on. Still, the Garden Ops mode is impressive (More on that later) but the Team Vanquish and Gardens And Graveyards modes are copies of Team Deathmatch and Battlefield's Rush respectively, but they are still fun, albeit very short. Garden Ops, however, is a gem of a mode, with Horde Mode-style gameplay. You and up to 3 others (As plants) pick a garden and defend it from waves of Zombies, working together as a team and planting Potted Plants, which are little turrets that each have their own ability. The Boss Waves are determined by a slot machine, and the imaginative and creative enemies are really fun to defeat with your friends (Or strangers).

Unfortunately, that's really all Garden Warfare has to offer, but the fact that it's an easy game to play, yet still replayable, makes it a good game to play if you're short on time. The controls are simple and responsive, so easy anyone could play it! The sound effects are cartoony and quite funny, so it seems it's a game that takes itself seriously at times, but can make you laugh when it wants. Still, the graphics are a bit of a letdown, as I found that textures seemed to take ages to load, but I was playing it on Xbox 360, so I 'm unsure whether that is the case on the One or PC. 

The Verdict
Garden Warfare is fun game. It's not deep and contains almost no story, which means it's a great game to pick up and play when you're short on time, but the pack system and character customisation keeps you coming back for more. Sure, the Garden Ops mode is a great one to pick up and play, the map and mode count don't seem to justify the £40 price tag; I think it suits more of a £25 to £30 price range, but if there's a good deal on it, or you have money to spend, I would buy it. I recommended Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare to anyone that is short on time and wants something to pick up and play, or any casual gamers who are looking for a shooter where their mum isn't insulted a kajillion times. Overall, I give Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare a...

Easy to play
                                                                                                                      Limited modes and maps
Great Customisation
                                                                                                                      Price is too high
Pack system is well made

Easy to find a game

A huge thanks to Tristan Rosenfeldt at EA for providing us with a review copy of the game.

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