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- Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
[Update]: Electronic Arts and Popcap Games revealed at a review event this week that Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare will launch without microtransactions of any kind. This is particularly good news as it means that all players will unlock the powerful character variants gradually, rather than buying them all at once.
Electronic Arts also told us that free maps and game modes will be available as DLC, starting in March.
[Original]: Before getting hands-on with the co-op Garden Ops mode in Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, producer Brian Lindley walked us through the Sticker Shop, an expansive item shop that works a lot like Mass Effect 3's multiplayer ordinance packs, but he wouldn't say if the game will allow for microtransactions where players can pay for packs with real money.
Players will go to Garden Warfare's Sticker Shop with the coins they earn in gameplay (Lindley suggested that players could earn roughly 20,000 coins per hour of gameplay) and buy different packs of items and unlocks. The Supremium Pack, for example, comes with 9 different items and unlocks of varying rarity.
In our hands-on session, Lindley got a few character variant unlocks, a few weapon modifications, and some power-ups for use while in-game. A few more packs and we'd almost completed a new Peashooter variant, a new Zombie variant, and even a few unique mods for the Flame Chomper variant itself.
All told, Peashooter alone had 150 stickers to collect. Lindley flipped through Cactus too, but I couldn't keep count of the total stickers for that character and we didn't get to see how high the Sticker Shop tally goes with all eight playable characters between Plants and Zombies.
Still, don't expect to stick your credit card into your Xbox One on February 25th just to buy all the packs you need to unlock stylish character variants like you see in the screenshot above. Lindley says the game will probably launch without the controversial microtransactions EA has helped pioneer.
"We haven't actually figured out yet whether we're gonna allow packs to be bought with real money," Lindley said. "I think we'll probably launch using just in-game currency before we turn any other options on."
Certainly adding microtransactions after launch would be easy for Electronic Arts, but we hope that earning unlocks proves more rewarding, satisfying, and ultimately means microtransactions have no place in Garden Warfare.
It's true that the random element of unlocking items and variants via sealed digital packs might make getting the character or mod you want frustrating, but from our time with Team Vanquish mode and our latest hands-on with Garden Ops, grinding for coins will be its own reward.