The controls are very easy to grasp, too, with a scheme resembling most third-person shooters. Even with class abilities mapped to L1, R1, and Triangle, the controls are quite easy to grasp and never get in the way of fun. It’s a nice surprise, given how complex the game can seem at first.
Where Garden Warfare really shines is in competitive multiplayer. Here, you see where the balancing of the character classes comes together with the addition of playable Zombies.
To balance out the Plants, there are also four Zombie classes: Soldier, Scientist, Engineer and All-Star. The balancing would appear to be a nightmare from a casual observation, but when playing, it isn’t a problem at all. Balance comes from each class being able to negate a class on the other team. For example, the Engineer can throw stun grenades that can bring up burrowed Chompers. The Soldier and Pea Shooter act in the same way as general foot grunts. The Scientist is a medic class like the Sunflower and the All-Star is a defensive class, like the Cactus. The All-Star also happens to be decked out in American Football gear and carries a big machine gun.
There are several different game modes in the competitive multiplayer realm. There’s Team Vanquish, which is your run-of-the-mill deathmatch. There’s also Vanquish Confirmed, which is identical to the Call of Duty mode it’s based on, Kill Confirmed. The main draw, however, is Gardens and Graveyards. This is inspired by the Rush and Conquest game modes in Battlefield; here, Plants defend their garden from the oncoming Zombies and, if it is lost, the Plants fall back until one team wins. It also plays to the strengths of Plants vs. Zombies as a whole, as knowing each class’ strengths and weaknesses is required for a win. It’s something different in this crowded online shooter space, but it’s also well-crafted, making Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare highly rewarding to play.
Leveling up in Garden Warfare differs from most modern-day shooters in that it’s challenges, not XP, that earn you ranks. Challenges range from using certain abilities to getting kills in various ways. Each class has its own set of challenges and completing those increases your viewable rank in-game. As a result, it’s actually useful to see who has a higher rank because it means that they have unlocked more and complete skill-based tasks.
Let’s touch on microtransactions for a bit. For unlocking new items or characters, there is an in-game currency called Coins. Coins are earned by killing enemies and completing challenges and objectives in the mode you are playing. The coins you earn can be spent on sticker packs, which share a similar function to the card packs in FIFA Ultimate Team and Battlefield 4’s Battlepacks. Each sticker pack contains different items and the more expensive ones contain the more rare items. Here’s where the cynic in me gets critical, as you can also buy Coins using real money. Coin integration didn’t exist when the game first launched on other platforms earlier this year--why is it necessary now?
There isn’t an abundance of content, either. You can unlock a lot of items in a short space of time if you experiment with the different classes, and there’s only so much “Port Scallywag” you can take--it’s the highlight out of a somewhat scant 12 maps.
The positives outweigh the negatives with Garden Warfare, and if you’re jaded on the current modern military FPS and want something different for your online multiplayer fix, then you should give Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare a try. It’s wacky, chaotic, colourful and full of humour, and is far, far better than a casual glance will imply.
|Plants vs. Zombies:Garden Warfare Review by Paul Kelly|
-The Final Word-
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is surprisingly adept at multiplayer mayhem and character balanced, making for a seriously enjoyable diversion from military shooter ad nauseum.