Making the jump from a tower defense mobile game to a third person shooter on consoles and PC was never really going to be easy. Plants, Zombies and Crazy Dave all make their appearances.
Graphically, the art style suits the transition to these new platforms extremely well and pulls you into the PvZ universe like never before. However, that immersion does get broken every now and then with texture popping on the environment and spawning inside what appears to be “brown water” until the terrain loads correctly.
The Frostbite engine used by Garden Warfare works well to keep the frames moving smoothly even when the action heats up in one particular location. If you expect Battlefield levels of destructible scenery, then, you won’t find it in PvZ as the destruction is limited to fences and set pieces.
For newcomers to the game, starting in Welcome Mat game mode is almost a necessity until all three abilities for each class have been earned as going up against leveled up players puts you at an obvious and heavy disadvantage. Going straight up against those with unlocks will feel a lot like grinding your way up as you are under powered in comparison.
Joining with friends isn’t the most straight forward part of the game requiring you to form a party with friends through Xbox Live (PC version isn’t currently available) before matchmaking, even then you aren’t guaranteed to be on the same team as your friends and frequently end up on different sides. Without a server browser or friend lobby system, you are at the whim of PopCap’s automated system with no apparent skill based matchmaking service in use.
Character Creation and Customization
The controls are pretty solid and in itself there is not much that can be said against it. Hit detection works for the majority of the time with an occasional miss that should have landed but nothing unexpected with Internet play.
PvZ Garden Warfare offers a short lived but fun and amusing 3rd person shooter at a lower than normal price point compared to other games in its class. But, once you have played the handful of maps through a few times you’ll feel like it is all too familiar. For the price it is strong enough to get your moneys worth until the next big thing comes along.