Impressions, Video Games

Impressions: Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is the follow up to the 2014 Garden Warfare. Garden Warfare was a bit of a surprise to many gamers. It took what was a tower defense game, and turned it into a 3rd person shooter and multiplayer experience. In spite of that the game ended up being a hit, and people have been anticipating it’s sequel.

Plot Summary

There is not much to say as far as story, as there isn’t really one. The basic premise is what we’ve seen before with Plants vs Zombies. Zombies are trying to destroy everything, plants some how have the power needed to stop the zombies. It’s silly and wonderful.

Impressions

Garden Warfare 2 proves that companies can actually learn from previous games and improve. Almost everything that gamers asked for after playing Garden Warfare is here. The game is significantly more balanced. One of the biggest problems people had with the previous game, is there was more to do as plants, as such plants tended to level up a lot faster. This game does away with that issue. If you can do it as plants, you can do it as zombies, and vice versa. There are offline quests for both factions, which help you learn the characters, and allow you to level on your own. Garden ops makes it’s return, as does graveyard ops (essentially the same but for zombies).

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In addition to the factions being balanced, the leveling process has been stream lined. Instead of leveling being determined by preset (virtually un-skippable quests), it is now a balance between xp for using characters, and quests. Quests do make a come back, but you are no longer forced to take them on, nor are you stuck if you can’t beat one, just drop it and move on. That being said, leveling will take a lot longer because instead of classes leveling each and every single character has their own level. That means each peashooter has to be leveled, each scientist, each chomper, etc. While leveling itself is now easier there is a fair amount of tedium that will go into leveling each character, and most likely many characters will be forgotten by a number of gamers.

Multiplayer game types have a good range. Most of the past game types made their return, the only missing was the Taco game, but it was basically the same as Gnome Bomb so it’s not really missed. Turf takeover replaces Garden and Graveyards, but is improved over the other, so it’s a welcome replacement.

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There is really only two things that bothered me with this game. 1) Server issues. This is to be expected, but I don’t think it should be. I feel is companies are going to do online games then getting their servers in working order for launch should be top priority. 2) Imbalance in matches. There seems to be no set formula for who gets matched with whom, so my first match out I was matched with people that had clearly been grinding the game and were already rank 50 or above. Rank system in multiplayer games can be good, but it can also present an unnecessary challenge to lower ranked gamers.

Bottomline

Honestly I have to say the game is pretty much exactly what I wanted. Missing elements from the first Garden Warfare were added. The new classes and game types are fun and entertaining. There is so little to be upset about here. If you are going to make a sequel, if you put this much effort into improving on the first game then you should be solid.

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