Last year I wrote a review on the first Garden Warfare, and now I am happy to be writing the preview for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. The first third-person plant shooter kept my son busy for months, as he and a bunch of other younger kids played it on Xbox Live. It was a great experience and it looks like they are adding many new features on this upcoming title, from new game modes to offline support, and more new playable characters.
A few people had the opportunity to play Garden Warfare 2 at PAX Prime, and so far everything we’ve heard about the upcoming title is good! New characters, new game modes, support for offline multiplayer, etc. These are things I really felt like the first Garden Warfare lacked, and needed at the same time. Now, I will be able to play split screen with my son, and this is an experience that many developers leave out. Halo 5 won’t support splitscreen multiplayer, and so many other new titles are leaving it behind.
Garden Warfare 2 is set after the events from the first title, in a world where Suburbia has been taken over by Zombies and renamed to Zomburbia. This game will have a larger emphasis on the zombies than the first one, which had a very strong emphasis on the plant characters. Now, the plants have to fight back and invade Zomburbia to take back the town once and for all.
New Features in Garden Warfare 2
The first Garden Warfare game was nothing but online multiplayer, but now that has changed. This third-person shooter will provide you with plenty of online or offline hours of gameplay. There are 14 playable classes and each of them will have their own unique gameplay, but the main seller is that fact that this game will seriously include over 100 playable characters. Many of the characters will be new to the series, while all the previous characters will be making a return.
I personally felt like the last game lacked in features, from maps to weapons and customization options. PvZ: Garden Warfare 2 will deliver 12 new maps, taking us to entirely new places, and even to the moon! Yes, their website says “This struggle for suburbia goes across the time stream through history, the great white north, and through space – all the way to the moon!”
This game is certainly not lacking in features and the maps will have “hidden secrets” for you to discover during your time playing the game.
The Backyard Battleground
Garden Warfare 2 is getting a new feature called Background Battleground, which is basically an area in the game that lets you customize your character’s abilities, or find a multiplayer game. The Backyard Battleground is where you will invite friends to play a co-op game against AI, and its where you will plans your attack before starting a battle. All the customization options aren’t clear at this point, but it’s good to know there will be more to combat then there was in the first Garden Warfare game.
The Backyard Battleground is also where you will meet up with Crazy Dave (or Dr. Zomboss) to take on new quests. The entire purpose of Background Battleground is to replace the main menu system which we saw in the previous title.
There are six 24-player game modes in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Wafare 2, they are Herbal Assault, Gardens & Graveyards, Team Vanquish, Vanquish Confirmed, Suburbination and Gnome Bomb mode. For fans of co-op gameplay, you will be excited to hear there are two different co-op modes to choose from, and they are Graveyard Ops and Garden Ops.
Everything can be played online, and you will have the option to play in a custom match or private match. The private matches let players restrict certain characters or maps, as well as adjust health and ability cooldown times. All this will begin from the Backyard Battleground.
Offline Gaming Included
The first GW title lacked in offline gaming, and everything had to be played online. Which is fine for some people, but you would expect a family-friendly console game like Garden Warfare to come with splitscreen multiplayer. I mean, how can the family get-together and play without taking turns? Not many people own two Xbox 360s or PS3s, so at the time I felt like it was ridiculous for them to leave out splitscreen and offline multiplayer.
It looks like they have changed their mind this time around, and every single game mode can be played offline, against AI. So, many folks will be happy to know that you will not need PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold to play GW2.
The lead gameplay designer of Garden Warfare 2, Chris Fox, recently spoke on the upcoming game saying “People are there to have a good time and unwind. It’s competitive, but it’s not as serious”. This is a great way to describe the series, as it is highly competitive but the learning curve isn’t so ridiculously sleep that it’s hard to pick up and enjoy the game without hours of practice.
Chris Fox also said they will likely roll out free DLC like they did with the first PvZ: GW title, as it was “super successful”, and apparently it kept the community together. This makes sense, as fans strongly appreciate free DLC at a time when gaming companies are trying to squeeze out every dollar they can make from their fans by only offering paid DLC.
This time, zombies will be the ones who are playing defense, so it’s going to be interesting to play as plants who are on a mission to take back their city from brain-hungry zombies. Right now it looks like the title will include everything we could possibly ask for and even more! From new characters and maps to splitscreen and offline gameplay.