The release of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare back in early 2014 came off as a real surprise. Following its huge success on both the Xbox One and PS4, PopCap Games and EA decided to do a sequel, giving fans of the original game something to look forward to in terms of new features, and enhanced gameplay. For those who have played the original Garden Warfare, there are a lot of improvements and few new features that are added in the sequel that makes it worth buying.
In Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, players now have a home hub where they can chill and do all sorts of preparations before a huge fight with either the Plants or the Zombies. Story-wise, there is something to see in the sequel, though it’s not as heavy as you expect it to be. Since the Plants and Zombies are still at war with one another, the home base is divided into two sides; the East side where the zombies reside and the West, where the plants stay. Depending on which side you choose, there are quests that players can pick up from NPCs in their home bases. The quests vary from picking up items or rescuing other characters sometimes near the base of the player’s opponents. It’s recommended that you do the quests as it’s one of the ways to gain coins that you can purchase sticker packs, and more from the shop. Sure, the quests may get dull and repetitive but there are several characters that you can unlock that you can use in both single-player and multiplayer mode.
When staying at the home base, all of the things you need are there. Starting from a leaderboard to check your standing with friends, a sticker shop that allows you to buy packs, a portal to play with friends online, and check the characters you have unlocked and customized. Similar to the original game, customization is a big thing and unlocking characters are the things you will be doing throughout the game. In terms of playable characters, three new ones are added in each side. In the Zombies side, the characters that are new are the Imp with the Z-Mech, Captain Deadbeard, and Super Brains. As for the Plants side, there are Rose, Citron, and Kern Corn. These six new characters have their own unique skills that gives you a slight advantage when using them in either the single player or multiplayer mode. One of my favorite characters is the Imp’s Titanfall inspired mech suit, though all of them are great as it balances out the game.
Regardless of what modes you play, you are able to play with by yourself or with your friend. If you are alone at your home base, you can ask a friend to jump in together with you and do quests together. Since Garden Warfare 2 is a multiplayer game, the game gets quite fun when playing with friends. Up to four people can play with another and the amount of modes that are available are decent enough to keep fans satisfied. Since Garden Warfare 2 specializes in multiplayer, there new game modes that joins in while the modes from the first game makes a return. The new modes that are available in the game are the Gnome Bomb and the Suburbnation. These two modes are remixes of modes from other shooters and it’s quite an addition for anyone who wishes to do new things with friends.
Unlocking stuff is pretty important in Garden Warfare 2. Similar to its predecessor, the amount of characters that you get relies on the sticker packs you open. One gripe that I have on this game is the time that it takes to unlock new characters. Since purchasing packs requires coins that you get from battle and opening it relies on luck, you will spend a lot of time opening packs in order to find good stuff in them. If you are lucky, you can collect up to twelve characters, though it’s hard to rely on luck and you will need to grind a lot to get a lot of coins.
In addition to the characters that you can unlock when opening sticker packs, there is also a one-time use characters that you can plant in pots that helps you fight hordes of zombies or vice versa. These character cards can only be used once, so pretty much to get a new one, you will have to keep buying sticker packs, and this is where the grinding can get tiring. Sure, the game offers a fun, yet diverse gameplay but the amount of time needed to unlock new characters can be quite troublesome to a few of people.
While the single-player mode can be a let down due to the dullness of the quests available, the game makes up for it via the multiplayer mode. Yes, playing with friends is a lot fun, especially with the game modes available in the game. Just having that drive to grind to get coins, you will be playing the multiplayer portion a lot. It offers a challenging mash up and modes for players who are looking for something new to play early this year.
Visually, the game looks fantastic. Compared to the first game, the sequel looks identical. Since there is now a home hub available, fans will be able to see more of the game’s beautiful environment. Character designs are spot-on and the new characters are just lovely to look at. From the characters alone from both sides, you can tell that PopCap Games put a lot of effort in making the characters as they are quite charming and lovable.
Regardless of the game’s boring and dull single-player mode, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 offers a fun multiplayer mode that is somewhat better than its predecessor. The new modes available and characters are a welcome addition to the game, though overall new things added in the game are fairly small. While there are new items to unlock via the sticker packs, the amount of time that it requires for players to spend in grinding those coins can be quite annoying. Fans who love the first game, should definitely consider buying this game.
[Editor’s Note: Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 was reviewed on the Xbox One platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Review,