You’d be wrong in thinking that a tower defence game couldn’t possibly turn into a decent third-person shooter. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is different from other shooters. It is a fun affair, with fast paced combat between 24 players.
The game has a unique class system. Neither side has a real advantage in any of the game modes. Every class in the game features three abilities. These abilities are varied and offer a unique twist in terms of gameplay. On the plants team we have the Peashooter, the Cactus, the Chomper and the Sunflower. The peashooter is assault based, the cactus is a sniper and the sunflower is a medic. The peashooter can boost his/her speed and turn into a Gatling gun. The Cactus can plant barriers and drop mortars and the Chomper can sneak up on enemies before eating them whole. The zombies have soldiers, engineers, scientists and All-Star American football players. The classes play out similar to their plant counterparts.
You get your standard shooter modes. Team Vanquish is a typical deathmatch mode, where the first to 50 kills wins. Reviving downed teammates subtracts a point from the enemy’s score. This encourages teamwork, much like the Battlefield series and its ticket series. There is also Gardens and Graveyards, which is an attack and defend mode where the Zombies need to overtake a number of gardens before time runs out. The final round always features a unique activity like destroying the roots of a giant sunflower lighthouse.
You also get a mode, which is similar to the tower defence gameplay from the original game. It’s a horde-like survival mode that pits you against AI zombies. This can also be played split-screen, which is unavailable in other modes. Players have to build and protect a garden from waves of zombies. You aren’t just stuck to one area, like Nazi Zombies in Call of Duty. You have to arrange your defences based on which type of wave you are against. Engineer zombies can teleport past your flowerpots; meaning long-range attacks are key. You also have a limited number of pots and earn more via booster packs that can be purchased with in-game currency. This makes matches tenser and you tend to keep hold of resources. These booster packs also provide accessories, meaning you can customise your classes. It’s limited but is a nice addition.
Garden Warfare implements the humour found in the tower defence game. The Cacti run around sniping enemies with spines and can plant bombs on their backs. Chompers burrow underground and spit goo on enemies to slow them down. You get the overweight engineer zombie with his but crack hanging out and the whole game oozes fun. It’s surprisingly tactical and is best played with friends or with a headset.
The maps on offer add a bit of variety each time you do the same game mode. Some have high ground advantages, whilst others are confined and close quarter orientated. There’s a huge variety in level design, making sure the game doesn’t feel repetitive.