The shooter genre has plenty of games each and every year, and for the most part, a lot of the games we see are gray, serious and in some cases, take themselves far too seriously. I'm happy to say that Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is none of those things, except for being seriously fun.
This week, EA released the PS4 and PS3 versions of the critically acclaimed shooter, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. It's perhaps one of the most surprising shooters of the year and is one we recommend to just about any fan of the shooter genre. Garden Warfare is not afraid to aim at some common themes we see from shooters, and have a bit of fun at their expense. Rest assured, it's all done in good taste, though.
Lighthearted, addicting and engaging gameplay are two of the factors that truly make Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare a gem to experience on PS4. Much like what we saw when the game launched last February on Xbox, there was a strong amount of customization you could have with your characters. That is no different with Garden Warfare on PS4. From your character's appearance to their weapons, there is a very strong variety of customizations to choose between and players will be thrilled with the variety.
There is strong diversity in the game's maps, as each of them brings something different to Garden Warfare. The varied color palate helps each map shine on its own. The settings of each map adds to the overall experience in a unique fashion. Weapons and classes also follow a similar path and present plenty for people to choose from. The types of guns you have to choose from are plentiful and each class emphasizes a different style of play, which I can definitely appreciate.
We mentioned how Garden Warfare is not afraid to have a little fun and take friendly jabs at previous shooters that have graced the console space. For starters, the title of the game, Garden Warfare, is a cute shot at Activision's highly popular series Modern Warfare, and apparently now Advanced Warfare as well. A few other fun parodies are game modes Garden Ops and Vanquish Confirmed, which both take friendly shots at Kill Confirmed and of course, Black Ops.
The same competitive multiplayer that we thoroughly enjoyed when the game launched earlier this year is back on the PS4. Every game mode is extremely fun to play and being able to enjoy split-screen makes the experience that much better. Split-screen was a major plus for Garden Warfare, and the competitive multiplayer modes like Garden & Graveyards, Team Vanquish, Gnome Bomb and Vanquish Confirmed are all a blast to play.
Personally, my favorite mode to play was undoubtedly Garden & Graveyards, which makes players defend their garden bases from invading zombies who wish to turn them into graveyards. I'm more of a player that likes to implement strategy into a gaming experience and so this mode fits perfectly with that.
It's not all competitive gameplay and that's a great thing as players can partake in the four-player co-op mode called Garden Ops. This mode is much like zombie mode you'd typically see in a game like Call of Duty: Black Ops, except Garden Warfare brings four people into the mix, instead of just two. Garden Ops challenges players to fight off wave after wave of enemies and really forces players to use team strategy and tactics in order to survive. It's a blast to play and really inspires that party feel you want from an online game.
Let's get to what is unique about the PS4 version of the game from a content standpoint. First, players will have access to the Garden Variety Pack, Zomboss Down, and Tactical Taco Party Pack DLCs as soon as they pick up their copy of Garden Warfare. Remote Play has been enabled on the PS4, much like many, many other games on the console. While playing Boss Mode, gamers can choose to either play with their DualShock 4, PS Vita or PlayStation Companion app. This feature is great if you have to share a TV with other people you live with, which I did.
I found the level of customization to be thoroughly enjoyable and engaging. It kept me coming back for more and wanting to find new unlocks each time I played. The game modes in Garden Warfare present enough gameplay opportunities and variety to keep my interest higher. The inclusion of local co-op earns big points from me as I am a strong advocate for local co-op still being implemented in games today. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare's value is tremendous as it only checks in at a price of $39.99, instead of the $59.99 we typically see from a game at launch.
Overall, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is a thoroughly enjoyable experience on the PS4, much like it was on the Xbox One. It still remains one of the best shooters of the year, and that's with no story or campaign mode being attached to the game. PopCap Games and EA have a gem on their hands and if we could be so lucky, we'll see a return to the garden sometime in the near future.
A PS4 copy of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare was provided by EA for the purposes of this review.