8.5 out of 10.
By Cameron M. Bray ’16
Though the specifics now elude me, I remember seeing “Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare’s” trailer début at E3 2013 for the Xbox One, and I was actually a bit excited.
It looked exactly like the kind of wacky, fun shooter that was severely needed in an industry dominated by ‘Call of Duty’ lookalikes, meaning the bland, homogenized first-person shooters that seem to be in excess nowadays.
Now that “PvZGW” is out for on the Playstation 4, I have had the opportunity to play it, and it really is great.
The game is a multiplayer, third-person shooter, offering a variety of interesting game modes as well as a colorful cast of characters.
In the main menu, there are three game modes available: Garden Ops, Split Screen and Multiplayer, which its own game modes.
Garden Ops and Split Screen are fairly similar in that they are the closet things to the tower defensive gameplay of the original “Plants vs. Zombies.”
Both are horde-like survival modes, where you and up to the three friends defend a garden from increasingly powerful waves of zombies.
Other than fighting the zombies directly, you can also protect your garden by planting various types of plants in flowerpots scattered throughout the map.
However, these potted plants are finite: You start the game with only a small inventory of common plants.
But you can purchase more via booster packs, which are bought via an in-game currency that is earned either through play or with real money. (Tip, avoid these microtransactions; you don’t want lose track of your wallet.)
One good thing about Garden Ops and Split Screen is that there multiple locations in which you can plant your garden before the waves start, so there is some replay value there.
The real creativity of “PvZGW,” however, shines most brightly in its multiplayer modes.
Though Multiplayer has many diverse game modes, my two favorite are Team Vanquish, a standard 24-player deathmatch mode, where the first team to 50 kills wins, and Gardens and Graveyards, PvZGW’s most unique game mode.
It’s an attack and defend mode featuring a series of gardens that the zombies need to capture before time runs out.
While it may seem a bit standard at first, its final stage is always unique, and it is always a game mode of hectically fun firefights and shootouts.
Other than the game modes, “PvZGW” also boasts a diverse cast of unique and humorous characters.
On the plants’ side, you have the Peashooter, the Sunflower, the Cactus and the Chomper, who play the roles of the soldier, the healer, the sniper and the assassin respectively.
And on the Zombies side, you have the Foot Soldier, the Engineer, the Scientist and the All-Star, a football-themed zombie brute wielding the powerful and infinitely cathartic Football Cannon.
On the whole, the various characters are quirky and enjoyable, and they can be personified as you like via in-game accessories, which are also earned through booster packs.
In addition, each character possess their own unique weapon, and each has three unique abilities. None of these feel overbalanced or unfair, making the game accessible to new players, while still fun for the experienced players
Lastly, the characters are very well rendered; they look surprisingly great in 3D.
And the maps are very well designed—not too big, not too small.
Like the characters, they too have their own unique styles.
Overall, “Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare” is a very good game that will entertain you for a while, featuring addicting gameplay, flavorful characters and fun maps, and for that it gets an 8.5 out of 10.