When the first Plants vs. Zombies game released two years ago, not many people seemed to “get it”. Why would you take a game full of personality and twist it into a different genre, one that some feel is overpopulated as it is. I fell in love with the original Garden Warfare but it definitely had its limitations. After a few months, despite it being a game I thoroughly enjoyed, I only jumped back now and then to play the same few bits over and over again.
That lack of content and things to do seemed to resonate with a lot of people and there’s no way you can say that Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 lacks content. In fact, upon starting the game it can feel rather overwhelming by what is presented in front of you. There are no main menus with a list of modes and options. Instead, the menu is “alive” with a sprawling map in front called the “Backyard Battleground”. It can seem a little daft and cumbersome at first but it wasn’t long before each time I started up the game, I picked a character, earned some XP and then jumped into one of the modes.
The Backyard Battleground is an excellent place to understand and get the grips with the 14 classes available. That 14 though is vastly increased when you consider that each class has variations which includes small stat changes as well as totally different approaches to play. This means there are over 100 different variations of players in which to play. This living menu is an excellent place to understand each class better and potentially find the one you want to play as that sessions.
That doesn’t mean that the backyard is devoid of anything else to do. It’s surprisingly intricate and features many areas and secret places to find and unlock. There is a lot to do and uncover here alone and that’s without playing what would be considered the meat of the game.
The first game lacked any real direction but Garden Warfare 2 features campaigns from both sides as well as a quest board that regularly updates that keeps you completing quests in order to obtain coins to buy card packs as well as obtain stars and improve the XP multiplier.
It’s really great to know that you have a mountain to climb rather than a hill to rush up. You never feel like you have to spend dozens of hours to get real enjoyment form it but it also offers that much to unlock and enjoy for those that truly love that game.
The game gives you equal options for both the zombies and plants side with three new classes and their own quest boards and campaigns. There is also a co-op mode for the zombies this time around and honestly everything is just so much fun to play around in.
Visually, the game is spectacular. Bright colours coupled with surprisingly impressive details make Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 one of the most beautiful games I’ve played all year. There’s just this charm that oozes through every single asset in the game.
The modes are just as plentiful when you finally go online. You can go into the Welcome Mat playlist that limits all classes to their base variation and then eventually move on up to the multiple modes on offer. The map count is vastly improved on the original and they feel better designed too.
The most impressive thing about Garden Warfare 2 though is the mechanics themselves. Visually, it may look like a casual game aimed at younger audiences but when you get your hands on a controller and start shooting you’ll realise that Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is as competitive and as serious as shooters get. This is a deep, responsive, and for the most part, balanced class-based shooter. You employ tactic, play roles and when a team works well together, they can dominate an entire map. It’s satisfying to a degree that I easily hold the game up there with the best of them.
I loved the first Garden Warfare game and this one is infinitely better. Everything about the game has been improved and content has been added to it to almost a fault. You will feel lost at first with how much is thrown at you but once everything makes sense, be prepared for one of the best class shooting games out in the market. This one is staying in my rotation for months to come and with free updates promised, you won’t be running out of things to do for some time.