With so many other titles like Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts emphasising a reality-based approach to first-person-shooters with violent encounters and convincing sound effects, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare proved, time and again, to be a zany and often ridiculous parody, but it also proved to be fun nonetheless.
Until now, encounters between a variety of soil-dwelling characters and their undead opponents have been confined to smart phones and tablets. And though the ‘tower defence’ aspect of the Plants vs. Zombies series has been thoroughly entertaining, it’s always been lacking something. And it appears that that ‘something’ was a first-person counterpart. But here, developer’s PopCap haven’t taken their product too seriously, in any way. But that’s the best thing about this game: its Mad Hatter approach. And the result is a fun-filled shootout that often mimics and even overshadows Battlefield 4 in some regards.
Combat is purely multiplayer-based; there is no campaign option in Garden Warfare. And I’m happy with that. Any form of campaign would probably have descended into terrible mimicry of the original Plant’s vs. Zombies. But providing you have access to Xbox Live, you’ll be greeted with several mode options: Garden Ops, Team vanquish, Gardens and Graveyards, Gnome Bomb and Mixed Mode. Garden Ops is a team based option where up to four players face waves of zombie-based enemy combatants. Team vanquish is your straightforward team Deathmatch variant. Gardens and Graveyards is similar to Battlefield’s Conquest and Rush mode where players capture or defend various objectives. Gnome bomb involves getting a bomb (somewhat unceremoniously strapped to the back of a garden gnome) to an objective to win. And Mixed Mode combines Team Vanquish and Gardens and Graveyards but alternates between the two, and the player changes sides throughout each match.
The actual combat is very straightforward. Regardless of whether or not you opt for a plant or a zombie you have full and complete mobility, even if some are faster than others. But like the Battlefield series, players are divided into classes that feature unique abilities to assist in victory and survival, ranging from increased but short-lived speed boosts, to balloon bombs and the ability to jump onto roofs or tall obstacles. The pace of combat within PvZ: GW isn’t as frenetic as the likes of Battlefield 4, and it probably won’t appeal to the hardcore gaming elite, but it is, nonetheless, a hugely enjoyable and colourful experience with ‘fun’ being the main focus of the game. And it’ll appeal to adults and kids alike.
There are games out there with better graphics, better sound and a narrative to die for. But if you’re after a simple, fun-filled and relaxed encounter then I can’t recommend this enough.