Years of cultivation at PopCap Games has led to the growth of its latest title, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. This series has long been known as a popular tower defence title – however, the developer has now planted its roots into new soil by changing the format slightly. As its Call of Duty spoofing name may indicate, this fuses tower defence with third-person gunplay, allowing you to take control of plants in order to protect small gardens of flowers from the undead.
The title has a good posie of personalities to choose from, each with their own quirky advantages. For example, the Sunflower uses a sun beam to re-energise and heal its allies, while the Chomper is good for close range attacks as it gobbles up opponents like a Venus flytrap devours a bug. Meanwhile, the Cactus and Peashooter are both good from long range, firing pea and cactus needle projectiles at your foes.
In the multiplayer mode, you can also play as the plant’s green-fingered foes. These zombies come in four classes: foot soldier, engineer, scientist, and all-star. Each one comes equipped with unique attributes; for instance, the all-star zombie can throw little exploding imps, and the engineer can build teleporters to help your team get to the action faster. Each character feels unique and is a lot of fun to use. Furthermore, they all require different playstyles, which keeps the game fresh and exciting.
It’s the Garden Ops mode that represents the stunning water feature in this fun but chaotic virtual garden, though. This is a co-op experience for up to four players, with each participant choosing one of the four abovementioned plants. You can select a difficulty tier from ‘Easy’ all the way up to ‘Crazy’, with three different gardens available for you to defend from ten waves of the undead. Each location comes with small pot plants where you can plant extra flowers to help deal with the rotting horde.
If that’s not enough, you’ll also have to deal with bosses, as Waves 5 and 10 introduce some hulking foes for you to defeat. These are selected using a spinner, and range from simple zombie onslaughts to the most difficult – and ridiculous – triple zombie yeti attack. These special sequences tend to last a lot longer than a normal wave, and mix up the gameplay just at the right time. Sadly, the mode lacks an endless option, which is a bit of a shame. Still, a split-screen mode allows you to last a little longer, but it’s almost impossible to survive beyond Wave 15 with just the two of you.
Of course, co-op isn’t the only feature on offer, with a full competitive suite available, too. Modes here include: Welcome Mat, Team Vanquish, Gardens and Graveyards, Vanquish Confirmed, and Gnome Bomb. Many of these are variations on popular online multiplayer modes, but it’s the last one that is the most pea-culiar [Sorry – Ed] of the lot, if you gnome [Urgh – Ed] what we mean. Here, each team races to the centre of the map, where there is a dwarf holding a bomb. The objective is to get this into your opponent’s base and keep it there for 30 seconds in order to blow it up.
While this is fun, though, our personal favourite is Gardens and Graveyards, which works similarly to the abovementioned Garden Ops – but allows you to play as either side. As a plant, you have five gardens to protect, and you move between these when one gets destroyed. It’s a ton of fun, and because the gameplay differs depending on character, class, and side, it’s doesn’t wear out its welcome as quickly as some other multiplayer modes.
There is one issue with the otherwise polished package, though: without a party join option like Battlefield 4, it can be difficult to get into games with your friends. You can do this through the PS4’s party chat utility, but we’re hoping that a future update will change this. It’s also worth mentioning that, while this title includes a wide variety of content and modes, there’s no single player feature, so unless you have a PlayStation Plus membership and an Internet connection, you’re going to want to steer clear of this title.
Still, there really is a lot of meat for you to tuck into, and a lot of this comes from the coins that you earn, which allow you to purchase Sticker Packs similar to those in FIFA Ultimate Team. These include tons of customisation items, stickers, consumable plants and zombies, new abilities, revives, and more. Once you’ve collected all of the stickers for a character, you can play as them, and they offer slight adaptations on existing heroes, such as the Ice Cactus. Each personality also has a levelling system in which you’re tasked with completing a wealth of challenges, which get harder and harder as you progress.
And you’ll be working your way through these objectives while admiring the release’s delicious art style, which should appeal to all age ranges. The colours are vibrant and the maps always look clear and crisp, which is aided by the 1080p resolution that the PS4 version runs at. The game doesn’t just look good, though, as there’s plenty of catchy music to bob your head to, too – in fact, we’ve been struggling to get the tunes out of our head. The sound effects are equally satisfying, with every plant, zombie, and object making cute, funny, and adorable noises.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare stays true to its roots, while at the same time branching out to new audiences by switching up the franchise’s familiar format a little. The gameplay is rock solid, the music and visuals are adorable, and, while the release’s multiplayer focus won’t appeal to everyone, it’s a finely pruned package overall. PopCap deserves credit for taking an existing concept, and making it blossom all over again.
The downside for me it's just multiplayer if i buy i'll play just some matches and abandon the game while if it had a Single Campaign would be much more worth...
What's the community like, Simon? Are there many people playing?
@get2sammyb very good community. I have managed to get into games very quickly. Some very good players on there already!
I don't play online very often but this does look fun.
@get2sammyb Very big community already, never struggle to find a game! The music is so catchy I've been humming it since I heard it.
I'll get this when it's like $20
I LOVE THIS GAME 10/10 to me
If anyone wants to play please add: CostaPablo
Just send a message saying you are from PushSquare!
The costumization is awesome and Gardens and Graveyards mode is one of the most fun modes I've seen in a MP game!
@XFsWorld yep £10 here
Also, DLC is free and Suburbination will soon be on PS4!
For 40€ is a pretty good deal having tons of fun
Iv never played this series, iv just spent my last few spare quid on first light which im enjoying. Oh well maybe next month
No single player is no money from me. Plenty of good shooters like Blacklight Retribution (and Warframe) available for free.
@Vorlon It does have a solo mode but its definitely harder than playing in multiplayer since you're only one shooter vesus tons of zombies and gargantuar hoards protecting the garden.
Great game! The only thing that annoys me is the health because you can shoot at the enemy for ages and they won't die.
@Dannyboy1996 That depends on the mode you're playing as the first mp match on offer gives players more health each time they die so they can take more bullets whilst they get used to the game and its characters.
I brought this game but none of my friends own it so I've not played it as much as I would have liked. But I do have Diablo 3 and that game I play a lot because its so damn addictive lol
If anyone wants to play Plants vs Zombies sometime send me a friends request. I'm always down for a game.
My PSN ID wardie3223
I just wanted to confirm this lacks single player to skip it. If at least it has splitscreen for the main modes I may get it for my bro to play.
This is a great game. Gardens and Graveyards is by far the most addictive mode. I hope they keep adding maps in the future.
My biggest gripe BY FAR is that the splitscreen option is limited to a local only survival mode. I don't understand at all why you can't jump into Garden Ops or multiplayer with local splitscreen. I even bought a second controller for this game and that was very disappointing.
Now that it's the deal of the week I'll give it a try.
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