EA shocked and amused the gaming world last year with the release of Plants Versus Zombies: Garden Warfare, a third person shooter–yes, you read that right– a SHOOTING game based on the beloved mobile strategy game. Today we are less than a month out from the sequel’s release, and the Beta is already swarming with zombie fanatics and aspiring botanists.
Sprucin’ it Up in Zomburbia:
No question this shooter stands tall with the first game in terms of color. The Beta boasts a vomit-inducing amount of color, from the rainbow bright palette leading to Crazy Dave’s garage to the to the ominous fog lingering over Zomburia. Like the first Garden Warfare, the sequel’s zany atmosphere and diverse map enable hours of multiplayer or solo fun. Forget the lag; the sights and sounds of Beta are extremely promising for full release in February.
Guns and Roses:
Anyone who played the first Garden Warfare was pleasantly surprised by the diverse selection of character classes. Beta gives us a sneak preview of the new plants and zombies ready to join the fray. For Team Plant, meet Rose, a magic-caster with a flurry of ranged spells, Citron, an orange with an attitude packing a raygun, and Kernel Corn, the Rambo on the front lines. For the Zombies, Captain Deadbeard boasts a fiery ranged attack, Super Brains mows down plants with a deadly tornado attack, and the squishable Imp makes a big splash in his mech suit designed for total melee destruction. Beta also features a few hero sub-class characters and new customization options, all with unique abilities that lend to the unique look of the game.
Grow in Solo or Thrive in the Horde:
With the surprisingly expansive map in Beta, it was a pleasure to see a spot for solo exploration. The quaint neighborhood provides the perfect atmosphere trying out different character abilities in gorilla warfare with the CPUs backing you up. As a noob to the shooter genre, it was encouraging to see Beta lay out the foundations for missions and lots of opportunities to level up. The learning curve for the complex list of abilities is pretty steep, and I tend to flounder in online play given the amount of gamers who pour hours into the genre. Solo mode has its own bosses, however, as well as a ridiculously challenging Capture the Flag mode.
That said, the Turf Takeover multiplayer option was a bushel of fun. Instead of mindless killing, Turf Takeover features a base-stealing system where you must rely on your team to survive. You can hang back in the second string to revive allies or release a barrage of goat magic on unsuspecting powerhouses (thank you, Rose!), or charge into the front lines like the gluttonous zombie-eater you are (Chomper loves to nom some zombies).
For fans of the shooter genre, look forward to the full-release of Garden Warfare 2 as a break in the often monotonous barrage of war games. Those new to the series will certainly enjoy the zippy cast, but should be warned: this game is no cakewalk. The Beta period may be gone, but you can pre-order this infectiously fun game for yourself for the February release.