E3 Preview - New 'Plants vs. Zombies' is a rose among thorns
Amidst the booming games inside the EA booth at E3 like “Battlefield 4” and “Need for Speed: Rivals” was a game that didn’t match the rest of the loud action motif. “Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare” from Pop Cap Games was not only the best looking game in the EA booth, but one of the best in the whole show.
“Garden Warfare” takes the “Plants vs. Zombies” franchise in a completely new direction. Rather than a new chapter in the tower defense series, it’s a third-person, class based shooter. Built with the Frostbite 3 engine, the game looks gorgeous with its bright color palette, and running at a smooth 60 FPS.
The mode on display was the 4-player co-op mode, which is similar to “Gears of War’s” Horde mode. Rather than taking on increasingly difficult waves of the same enemies, new waves introduce different kinds of enemies. These waves build towards a boss battle. The boss shown in the trailer was the Gargantaur, a massive zombie that carries a smaller zombie in his hand.
“Garden Warfare” is class-based, so strong teamwork is key. Four classes of plants were shown including the Pea Shooter, Chomper, Sunflower, and Cactus.
Pea Shooter is the standard assault class, having a strong mid range distance attack. Rooting Pea Shooter keeps the character stationary, but allows for faster and more powerful shots. This is a nimble character.
Chomper looks like the tank class. This character is slower, and more dangerous up close. The Chomper can shoot goo to slow enemies, and can grab them with its vines.
Sunflower is the healer. It has sun pulses for an attack, but its main purpose is to keep the team healthy.
The cactus is the sniper class. This class can shoot needles from afar and put up barriers to stop zombies in their tracks.
“Garden Warfare” looks as fun to play as it is just to watch someone play. This game is packed with goofy, cute humor. The Disco Zombies stole the show.
This horde-type mode was just a portion of the game. It will also feature 12 vs. 12 multiplayer. It is unclear if the competitive multiplayer will have the same class system on both the plants and zombies sides.
Unfortunately, we still have awhile to wait before we can take the war to the garden. “Garden Warfare” is slated to release next spring for the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One.