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Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Preview

Anthony_Severino By:
GENRE Shooter 
PLAYERS 1- 22 
E10+ Contains Animated Blood, Crude Humor, Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Four-player third-person pea-shooting.

Zombies definitely didn’t eat the brains of the shot-callers at EA, because they had the smarts enough to take one of PopCap’s most successful franchises and expand into a next gen third-person action shooter, but keeping all of the aspects of what made the original so darn fun in the first place. These Plants are pissed, but they’re so damn cute. Don’t be fooled by their appearance, though, they’re ready for Garden Warfare.

Zombies still attack in waves, but now they’re much faster, and spread around a hectic battlefield. The Plants, which have now sprouted “legs” that let them run freely are equipped with the same sort of weaponry as before, but slightly altered for the war at hand. The few Plant options not suited for mobility—like potato mines—are used as special attacks. All of the Zombie classes are back, but I’m sure there are a few surprises. Bosses are big, mean, and they deal damage fast and demand a lot of teamwork and firepower to bring down.

The action is frantic, fun, and features co-operative multiplayer for the campaign with up to four plant players. It’s designed in such a way that it’ll instantly be familiar to Plants vs. Zombies fans, but accessible to anyone who has ever played a shooter game.

What really got me, though, was the look of the game. The Plants had a Pixar-esque shimmer to them, and their movement appeared firm and fibrous, but with a slight squishy-ness. If anything, I’d go as far to say that it’s EA’s best-looking game using the Frostbite engine yet. Movement was incredibly fast and fluid. Battlefields were filled with obstructions in the form of graves, hills, coffins, and more, adding to the Zombie chaos.

When I first had heard that Plants vs. Zombies may end up being turned into a shooter, I scoffed at the idea. But that Crazy Dave ain’t so crazy after all, because this harebrained spin-off earned one of our Best of E3 awards. We’ll have more on Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare before it releases in Spring 2014 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. We suspect it'll be available for PS3 and PS4 eventually, but EA was tight-lipped on the subject.
More GR previews for this game:
Hands-on November 2013 posted on 11/21/13.
Hands-on November 2013 posted on 11/21/13.
Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare preview posted on 01/27/14.
Tags:   E3

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