Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2: Bigger and better
Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is a huge improvement over the first game, though there are still some issues that need to be worked out.
What makes The Garden Warfare series stand out is the silliness and over-the-top attitude it takes towards all aspects of the game. It has the same humor as the last game and previous Plants vs Zombies games. It is a shooter that many people can get into if they don't usually play shooters, similar to Splatoon. It is also a great game for both kids and adults. I rarely see quality games nowadays that aren't overly mature or kid-oriented and this game strikes a good balance between.
Let's look at the good and bad of Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2.
There are so many characters and variants to choose from: 7 on each side and 5-10 variants for each class. There is bound to be at least 1 character you'll like with over 100 possibilities.
My favorite things to do is try out a new character and wonder what types of possibilities each one can get.
The Backyard Battleground was a nice addition. There are multiple things to unlock and find, plus you can easily try out new characters by using the Flag of power in the middle. Sure the experience modifier got nerfed to the ground, but that's fine in my opinion.
People could easily level their characters in beta because of the Flag and you wouldn't need to play anything else to level your characters if they didn't fix that.
It is still a good way to get quests done and try out characters, so I think this was a great idea.
It is nice that I can go into the Backyard Battleground with 3 other people. This also makes searching for games much easier. You can make custom games, fight against each other, and more.
You can now play solo against A.I. if you don't want to go online. This was a much-needed option and provides more opportunities for people that may not enjoy playing online.
One of my favorite additions is the expanded split-screen for Xbox One and PS4. The last game only allowed you to play Garden Ops. This time, you can go in the Backyard Battleground and play the different multiplayer modes.
The second person also can use their own account and progressions while playing split-screen. Sadly, you cannot play online with split-screen, or do the story quests.
The new leveling system is a million times better than the old one. Leveling works just like normal games now, by gaining experience. The old system required you to complete 15 challenges with a class to increase rank.
All levels are tied to a specific variant so you can't just level up the entire Peashooter class for example. If you play and level a Fire Pea, only that one gets the levels and upgrades.
I find this progression to give more customization in the game. Which class, and even variant, I play will be meaningful and different.
Customization and Infinity Mode
Explanations about Infinity Mode contains spoilers for the story and I'll get to that after briefly going over customization.
There are so many customization options for your characters. You can customize multiple appearance options, which abilities they use, taunts, and passive upgrades for your characters. It is fantastic that you can do so much to make your character your own.
You can even customize certain things around the Backyard Battleground.
Infinity Mode is something that opens up after completing the solo missions on either side. I won't go into full details, but it is a unique mode where you don't play as any of the plants or zombies. It is a cool break and allows you to unlock some legendary characters.
Every game has flaws and one the biggest in this game is balancing, especially with the Rose. I'm not going to go over all the ways the Rose is overpowered, but it is considerable. There is a reason why you'll often see teams with 90% Roses and the Plants win most of the time.
It is so bad that it is causing some people to not play online and it gives people unrealistic expectations. You are seeing a lot of counters to the Rose, but it is still hard to go up against Roses in a normal situation where they have teammates, especially if those teammates are also Roses.
This is basically making this game Rose vs Counter and even though there are over 100 options, you won't see that anytime soon unless they fix Rose.
This is the main reason I wouldn't give this game a 10/10.
I'm not taking much off because the Rose is so unbalanced right now because I know Popcap will address this and they have been good at making changes in the last game. I'm taking a point off because there is no way the game should have launched with the Rose in its current state.
People complained that the Rose was not strong enough when they played beta, but keep a few things in mind:
- This is a new class and people that played the old game were not used to her yet.
- You could not promote in the beta. This is huge because you get several upgrades that make up for what people were complaining about.
Don't let her innocent look fool you, she is evil incarnate.
It is almost like they looked at player feedback, then changed the game without really scrutinizing that feedback. This is made worse by the fact that they gave the "Wait and See" response after everyone complained during EA Access. That is the approach they should have taken at the beginning, you know, when people didn't even see what the class could do.
Sound and Maps
There are times when you don't hear the sounds of a kill or getting hit. You often don't "feel" like there is damage being done and I've gotten plenty of kills and deaths without knowing what happened.
Some of the maps aren't balanced very well for certain sides. Great White North, or The Beaches of Normandy as I call it, has Zombies going into an absolute slaughter that rarely make it past the first garden.
Promoting and Quests
I actually love promoting, but I hate that I have to do it from my own Backyard. When I'm in a group or even just a good game, I have to leave just to be able to promote my character.
There isn't even a reason to not promote and you must do it to unlock all the upgrades so why do this? What's worse is that you have to be in your own backyard, so you must leave the party to promote if you joined someone else's game.
I also love the new quests, but again, you must go back to the Backyard to pick up new ones.
I have complaints
But I also feel the game is still very fun and worth it. Most of these issues will get patched and since I know from experience with the first game that they will get addressed, I'm not lowering my score by much.
This game definitely deserves a 9 or higher with these small things addressed and I look forward to more content coming from this game.