I’ve always been a fan of Plants vs. Zombies but was in two minds when I heard about Garden Warfare, turning a tower defence game into a third-person online multiplayer one is not exactly a small change for fans and one that I didn’t think would work out, how wrong I was. Sure, it’s annoying that it’s online only and that you need Xbox Live Gold to play, but if you have a gold membership then Garden Warfare is worth every penny.
The game is set up into different modes like your typical deathmatches/team deathmatches, it also has a 4-player co-op Horde-type mode known as Garden Ops, which can be played solo…but only if you are connected to the game’s servers, weird I know. The gameplay itself reminds me a lot of Team Fortress 2 in its design, you have two very different teams but each with their own customised character and classes to choose from.
There is a progression system in place and it doesn’t work just by playing games, it works by completing challenges set to that class and as a result, will unlock other abilities for you to use against your enemies or to heal your teammates. You can earn coins from playing and spend them on booster packs to give you consumable and customisable items, luckily you can’t buy them with real cash…but I bet it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a reality.
There is an Xbox One version as well, but I didn’t get that to review. From what I’ve seen, it looks a lot brighter and detailed but both versions look more or less the same. The real shame is that there’s no cross-platform play, it would have been nice for them to work out a way for both 360 and X1 owners to play together, but I can see why it’s not possible. There are a good number of maps for the game’s reduced price, the only quarrel I have is that the content runs a bit thin after a while and while they are going to add free DLC in the future, it makes me question if anyone will still be playing by then.
The visuals look great, although sometimes textures do take a while to load and it’s really noticeable…which is a shame, but not the end of the world. The character models are well designed and animated brilliantly; all of them are memorable in their own unique way. Handling each class takes some getting used to, but they do all handle well when you master them.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare was a risky move for the franchise, but it works out spectacularly for it with its hilarious take on online multiplayer and co-op. It may not have the most content, but at a reduced price…it’s well worth the investment.