|System: Xbox 360, Xbox One*|
|Dev: Popcap Games|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: February 25, 2014|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Animated Blood, Crude Humor, Fantasy Violence|
Taking another page out of the shooter genres book, the class based character selection is another nice (although expected) addition. Each side, Plants or Zombies, have four defined classes. Though they are named differently for each side, they are basically your Assault, Medic, Support, and Sniper classes. Each class has its benefits and drawbacks, which balance the field quite nicely. As you complete challenges for each of the classes, new abilities will be unlocked. You can have up to three active abilities at one time, which are mapped to LB, Y, and RB. These actions can be used at any time, but must be recharged once used, so use them wisely.
If you’ve played a shooter before, then the control scheme of PvZ: Garden Warfare will be no surprise to you. All the basic controls are there, and the simplistic mapping of the abilities buttons make it easy to pick up and play. Although, I did find that the controls for PvZ aren’t as tight as they could be, especially when it comes to aiming. But, by and large, the control scheme functions as it should and does its job.
The visuals transfer well to the next-gen platform, Popcap has done an excellent job of translating their characters to the 3D realm. The environment retains the cartoon charm, without forcing it down your throat. Even though the graphics are sharp and clean, the best part about PvZ: Garden Warfare from a visual standpoint, is that it doesn’t overdo it. It could have been easily bogged down with unnecessary animations, screens, and effects, but the developers seemed to focus on gameplay over worthless eye-candy. In addition, the soundscape earns some cool points by retaining the signature soundtrack while expanding it with comical sound effects that adds a lot enjoyable nature of the PvZ.
Perhaps the best part about Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is its price point. At only $39.99 US for Xbox One and $29.99 US for the Xbox 360 version, it’s a relatively cheap and extremely fun take on shooters, which is all too rare these days. To date, this is the lowest-priced disc-based game to be released on the Xbox One, which is sorely needed to bolster the consoles anemic lineup. If you love the original PvZ games and want to try a different type of shooter, you really can’t go wrong here. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to call in this Corn Strike with my Garlic Drone. I’m sure you understand.
Date: February 26, 2014