Bud Reviews: Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare (Xbox 360)
I've got to hand it to Popcap, they made the original PvZ and acknowledged how good of a universe it was. It's like they discovered Plutonium by accident. The PvZ recipe was already unique, but taking it in a whole new shooter direction is a very good move. Calling it Garden Warfare is a punch to Activision by playing on the "Modern Warfare" tag.
It's the plants you know and love vs. the standard zombie invasion. The premise is still great. At a $30 price tag, I went in expecting a multiplayer experience that's meh. I saw the trailer and thought this might be stupid, the soundtrack they selected for all their trailers wasn't of the quality that I was expecting. Naturally I'm expecting an amazing soundtrack, and if the trailer don't got it, does the game have what it takes?
The short answer is an absolute yes. The game lacks the amazing music from PvZ1, but makes up for it with intuitive gameplay that is quirky, funny, and just plain old fun. Coming from a history of shooter games, I felt that I won't like it. That's where I was wrong. This is a pure shooter. It's a shooter killer app (the concept that is). The gritty shooter for troubled teens is no more, especially with the gun debate about gaming being the cause for many of the shootings (which it isn't) .But having an alternative less violent game available that delivers the satisfaction of shooters shows a positive direction. Personally, I'm tired of all these serious shooters that have no spirit. Even when Titan Fall comes out, it's nothing we haven't seen before. Garden Warfare however is completely new.
The audio (sound) is phenomenal, while music is not the best. The atmosphere is right on. The game is very balanced, both teams having their own strategies and still engaging. Each class is exciting to play with. Elements like splash damage and accuracy are well done. Matchmaking menu music was relaxing and very sims like. I enjoyed the revival cam, seeing yourself injured and twitching.
The absence of any dialogue gave the game its perfect feel. Each character has gestures that you can unlock, you can dance, wave, and nod for example adding to the craaaaaaazy fun .
However, there was no replay feature which I would've liked for streaming. The sticker shop has no variety, and my trading cards aren't accessible in a nice way like the sticker book. Nice to have trading cards, but I would like to see my collection on demand. The environments were destructible but didn't have any physics to them except some beach ball, that's it. It would've been better if there was more interaction with the environments.
PvZGW is astonishing similar to Team Fortress 2, and that's exactly why I like it.Popcap/EA rehashed and improved on the TF2 formula. As much as the characters in TF2 are fun, they aren't as lovable as PvZ's cast. Does it mean that EA ripped off Valve and Activision? In Garden Warfare's case, their point is perhaps that we can have the same gameplay and make it more fun. The answer is that Garden Warfare is original and improves on the formula.I'm not as pleased with EA's overall strategies, but I have to call it when I see it. Plants vs. Zombies is a diamond in the rough, since PvZ 1 and now with Garden Warfare, they really raised the bar. It's a franchise that directly competes with the likes of Mario in its own way. Ever adding to the list of great gaming. The $30 price tag is fair, and you get your money's worth. I am so glad that micro transactions are nowhere to be found. Did you learn your lesson from PvZ 2?
All in all, despite its low price tag (a good thing) Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare ranks as one of my favorite games ever, because I had fun playing. It made me want more and rewarded me with dancing plants and soldiers. It's not without its flaws, but the cumulative experience is very positive and unlike any other. As with other PvZ games, the target audience is everyone and that means the game will have a childish tone. Almost all Pixar movies are targeting the same audience and they're amazing. That doesn't mean PvZ is not "cool", it just means you can enjoy it with everyone, and the more the merrier in my opinion.
I still don't know where these zombies are coming from, but they ain't eating my brains!
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare gets a B on the B.U.D scale:
Loads of fun for everyone. Poison Ivy will love you for it (unless you're the zombie team).
The B.U.D scale:
U= Useless (Not recommended)
D= Do not buy