Thursday, March 3, 2016

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Review

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Review

I don't usually like multiplayer shooters. Gears of War is the only shooter that has held my interest for any length of time. When I got my PS4, the first free game I got for being a plus subscriber was Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. I was hooked immediately and played so much that I ended up getting the platinum trophy for it. Now the sequel has arrived and it is everything a good follow up should be.

It has the same basic structure as the first game. Players are put on either the plants side or the zombie side at the beginning of the match and duke it out for supremacy. Each side has three new classes to play as, all with interesting new abilities. The plants get the offensive powerhouse Kernel Corn, the defensive focused Citron, and the magical Rose class at their disposal. Meanwhile the zombies have the high risk-high reward Imp, the pirate sniper Captain Deadbeard, and the melee based Super Brainz class added to their ranks. All the classes have their faults, but overall they integrate with the old classes nicely. The exception to that is the Rose, who's support powers and strong firepower make her a completely broken class. That being said, a patch to tone down her offensive capabilities has already been announced and that should fix the biggest balance issue I've had with the multiplayer so far.

I rest my case
Also new to the game is the Backyard Battleground, which functions as the hub world, and as the menu system to traverse the different modes. It is also home to the new single player missions the game has added. Many people complained about the lack of solo modes in the original game, which they have solved here to mixed results. Both factions have their own campaign, most of which consists of fighting waves of enemies with AI controlled teammates. It's fun for short bursts and is a nice way to learn how to play as the new classes, but it isn't somewhere you're likely to spend a ton of time.

Although this sewer seagull that wants you to find snow globes is pretty cool
I've already poured upwards of 40 hours into the game and have felt no signs of slowing down yet. The game boasts so many character unlocks and upgrades that it seems like an overwhelming challenge to try and collect them all. That, plus the beautifully bright and whimsical visuals make it easy to keep saying "okay, just one more game" for hours on end. This game is such a nice departure from the gritty realistic shooters of today, it's a great reminder that games can be competitive but still be goofy, charming, and most of all FUN. As long as plants and zombies remain mortal enemies, I'll be there to join in the brawl. 



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