Although released as an Xbox One exclusive back in February, the game has swept from console to PC then back finally to the long awaited PS4, and although maybe this title has been a tad abused, bouncing from platform to platform, it still keeps it charm and originality all the same.
Now with added micro-transactions, (it’s a good thing this time) PvZ: Garden Warfare has planted its feet firmly, confidently leaning on the PS4, and so it should, with the hardcore and surreal games we usually view on our Sony consoles we now see a light hearted, challenging and all round entertaining distraction from all the “real life” scenarios we have encountered, such as our viral fungi apocalypses and gun toting levaluations. Although these games are intensely engaging, adrenaline pumping and sometime heart stoppingly amazing, Garden Warfare is just good, simple, hysterical fun. It’s a title the PS4 has indeed been missing.
Firstly, before we start. Garden Warfare could be considered as a shooter, but is far from technical enough to take you away from your Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty titles. It’s smooth and easy to control but not as refined to compete, but this is fine by me and I’ll tell you why.
Garden Warfare is simple on the surface, meaning you can get anyone involved. With both splitscreen and online supported you can drop in with friends or cause some riots online. Choose from one of the two factions and then from one of four classes on each team. For the Plants you have your returning range of characters from the mobile game such as the Cacti and the Chomper with their specialised abilities such as mines and ambushing for defense, and for the Zombies you have engineers who can call in support and teleporting mad scientists that can warp and deal some heavy damage.
Both teams have some great appeal but from the get go you see the classes complement the teams but negate each other in different areas, with the mass difference in classes across the board I found it a fun challenge that put me on my toes trying to learn what’s best and where I could do better on taking down a Zombie or best munch on a flower. I experienced this all the way through the game, which consists of 3 modes: Team Vanquish, Garden Ops and Graveyards. All of which are able to take up to 24 players, and all with simple but fun objectives.
I found Garden ops the most fun and interesting as it felt nostalgic to the mobile games where you play a similar tower defense game with pots led around. Place stickers you obtain in the pots for extra support by spawning a different character, some of which you may find familiar. This felt very traditional to the previous games and works surprisingly well with the hoards coming to destroy your garden and a few boss waves thrown in the to mix things up.
While in your matches you level up, opening whole new abilities and new ways to play, this also comes with new customisations which can tailor your favorite character to be just how you like, giving you new skills and perks from the range they supply you, this then, paired up alone with the crisp, colorful visuals gives you a healthy change from the norms of dull greys and browns on other more hardcore, realistic titles.
The visuals have to be my favorite, but a close second is the sound effects, well thought out they put a smile on your face, the maps are bright and full of quirky artwork and designs, the tiny details on the characters like your turbo charged chomper which speeds along rumbling with its beautifully designed turbocharger slung on its head. What you see and hear give you some real cartoon styled depth and take you away from the conventional shooters usually masked with the sound of shells dropping and carnage dust and dirt everywhere.
In short, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is every thing I expected it to be, but is still relateable to most shooters or warfare-esk game in some form. It’s definitely going to be the most easy going and colorful shooter/tower defense title you will play.