A shooter even your mother could love.
Update: While this article is still relevant, I have a newer article that is more game-descriptive and where I will continue to add new material as new game additions come out. There were major additions in July and August, and there will be yet more in August. Please see that article for details. Garden Warfare (PvZ): Hosting, False Flowers, and that Bomb Carrying Gnome
Update: A free DLC with significant new game content came out on April 15, 2014. The article linked below contains new content information.
Update: If you to want to find out more about Garden Warfare after reading this little post, you can take a look at my newer, detailed article. I wrote it after having played it a good deal and investigating it some more: Garden Warfare (PvZ): Hosting, False Flowers, and that Bomb Carrying Gnome
Update: Free DLC (via automatic download) will be available March 18, 2014. It adds a new map, new game mode, and lots of extras for the characters.
The wildly colorful and chaotic, as well as constantly delightful, Garden Warfare is now out! This new everyone-rated third person shooter is based on the fun and popular “casual” game, Plants vs Zombies, and isn’t shy about comparing itself to Modern Warfare. It is currently available for XBOX 360 and XBOX One, and comes out for PC on June 30th. (It is published by EA–and there is a note about this company at the end of this post–and was made by subsidiary PopCap.)
A popular reviewer summed the game up: “Garden Warfare is a surprisingly good third-person multiplayer/cooperative shooter. A refreshing light-hearted twist on class-based multiplayer games, with the depth and polish that you would expect from usual suspects in this genre.” (Visit the linked page for his excellent review.)
My son, who plays third-person shooters but is getting a bit tired of them (he’s already regretting buying COD Ghosts), was more than happy to try this game out, however, and he loves it. I like colorful things done well, and odd humor, so I love it as well. I don’t like playing third-person and I’ve never been into “shooter” games, but still, this is fun. The characters move in cute ways, have gestures, make fun noises, and have a surprising number of unlockables to change appearance. When someone vanquishes you you get to see a slow-mo of them seconds afterwards, which helps to see all the different characters and their diverse and often hilarious get-ups.
There is no blood, gore, sex, or cursing–and muting fellow players is easy–so it’s all just extreme “duck-shooting” chaos, “gardening,” explosions, avoiding tunneling zombie-eating plants (Chompers) or flower power death rays, shooting yourself out of a cannon to get to the last part of a map, and so-on. The three levels of game play, as well as the variety of characters and their numerous options, makes for continually complex and fresh gaming fun. (A note on bugginess–we have played it on the 360 and haven’t noticed the bugginess, at least so far, reported by players on XBOX One.)
It’s technically possible for you to play by yourself in Garden Ops mode, but unless you’re really good, you won’t get far nor get as many rewards as you could playing with others; the game is made to play with with a small group (and this can be in private with friends only), in Garden Ops, or a large group, in public multiplayer mode. Of course, you need XBOX live to play the game.
There are many maps (I love the first one that includes a very bright and homey trailer park) and types of game play, such as just shooting it out, defending your garden, or defending multiple bases, etc., and oodles of unlockables. Just one example of the fun-being-a-kid aspect of this game is the manner in which customizations are had: you buy packs of “stickers” to open the surprise inside. These look like packs of real-life game cards, like for Pokemon, that you buy at the store.
Besides customizing the eight basic classes of characters, there are powerful variants to each character that can be purchased via sticker-pack too, as well as items like spawnable plants and zombies. Who can’t but love an “outhouse zombie,” the zipping “garlic drone,” the goofy yet impressive “robotic zombie head,” or the giant corn cannon that releases explosive popcorn? So if you’re looking for a “clean” game that easily rivals, if not improves upon, the popular shooters out there, I don’t think it could hurt to give Garden Warfare a try. Enjoy a sampling of game images, below (these official images actually don’t do the game justice, and I will add screen shots from a video feed when I have them).
A note to Christian readers (and those who try to only buy products from reputable companies): For anyone who’s come here looking for something satanic to avoid, this might be a tough choice; I was loathe to buy an EA game myself. I get views to my blog daily from readers looking for something satanic, and in this case, Garden Warfare’s publisher EA (Electronic Arts) might be considered evil. However, Garden Warfare was developed by PopCap, the makers of the Plants vs Zombies series for some time now.
I haven’t done a ton of research on PopCap, but from what I know, they seemed like a good company prior to their purchase by EA. This happened in 2012, after which “EA and PopCap” fired 50 employees. Besides that wonderful move, EA has a bad reputation among many gamers for these reasons (it was voted the worse company in America two years in a row), and others on this page–do scroll down to the lawsuits and such. April 26, 2014 update: I missed a good article on this subject earlier, but better late than never; EA is the Worst Company in America, Now What?
[This post was updated and expanded on March 11, 2013]
Another great review (besides Fanboy’s, above): Review – Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare will have you surrendering to the silliness
At the time of this writing, the Garden Warfare wikia page was up but many subpages were not: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare