“I know your type: tall, dark, and dead.  You want to bite all the petals off of my head,  and then eat the brains of the one who planted me here.”

A few years back, when Popcap was putting out some of the most addictive games out there (I’m still waiting for my Astropop sequel, by the way,) Plants vs. Zombies was one of their big massive cross-platform hits, basically turning anything it touched to gold like an undead Midas.  Last year’s sequel still remains exclusive to iOS and Android for the time being, but in doing so, exceeded 20 million downloads in its first week.  Not too bad for what, on paper, is a really strange feud.  While console gamers will have to wait a while longer to experience Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time, you get the concept shooter Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare in stores now and exclusive to Microsoft systems.  EA Gamers will appreciate the fact that PvZ: GW is situated on the Frostbite 3 engine, the same one that unleashed Battlefield 4, and will ultimately framework the next edition of the Dragon Age, Star Wars: Battlefront and Mirror’s Edge games.

Release Date: February 25th 2014 (Coming Summer 2014 for PC)

Overall Rating: E10+

Consoles: Microsoft XBox 360 / XBox One (Strategy Guide Also Available)

 

 

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is basically the shooter game you imagined in your dreams the night you caffeine crashed after playing Call of Duty and pounding nothing but Doritos and energy drinks for 24 hours straight.  From a 3rd person view, the guns and grenades are replaced with goo and cactus needles, and a lot of cutesy and silly humour ripped straight off the pages of its predecessors.  Plants are rife with different tricks, like the chompers’ ability to burrow into the ground and swallow enemies whole.  Zombies are rife with all sorts of crazy weapons and different classes and upgrades.  The game definitely isn’t short of customization and costume options, featuring a plethora of unlocks, requiring a lot of dedicated gameplay to get them all.

It’s not all just a straight PvP shooter, however.  There are different game styles mixed into all the silliness.  The Tower Defense/Capture the Flag mentality of the series is still prevalent in the Gardens and Graveyards mode, for example.  In that mode, you as the zombies must overrun the gardens or get rooted out (pun intended of course.)  Of, if you prefer the classic shooter style, you can play the fairly stock standard modes.  There’s around 10 different gameplay modes in all.  Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare isn’t a first person shooter (nor does it try to be) but it’ll do the trick for those looking for a fix on the next gen consoles, or for those people like me who don’t really like the genre, but don’t mind something a little less serious, and a little more slapstick than the Halos of the world.  Graphics are bright and colorful, and are essentially the polar opposite of what you see in normal shooter games.  It’s definitely less bleak (yet arguably just as violent) and has you rethink the whole way you go about playing a shooter title like this you have such a weird array of weaponry to go with it all.  

Perhaps the best part about this is that you don’t even need to spend what you would on a normal retail title for this game.  Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is available for half the price of a normal title on XBox 360, and just $10 more for the XBox One.  That’s pretty great – You can save a few pennies here and there, and all your friends can join in all the fun since the game supports up to 12 on 12 fire, er, pollen fights online.

It’s pretty important here to mention that the game has some XBox One exclusive modes if you’re stuck on which console to pick the game up for and have both systems.  First is the four player split-screen co-op mode, which is only available on the system.  Lastly is a bit bigger of a seller – The game supports Smartglass and allows somebody to play as Crazy Dave or Zomboss to add another element of crazy to the already chaotic mix.  That alone might be worth the additional $10.

The next time the Zombie’s on your lawn, plant your sunflower self in the grass and blast it in the face with a ray of light!  Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is available now.