For close to seven years now, PopCap and EA’s Plants vs. Zombies has been an iconic presence at gaming gatherings throughout the world. Now, even after two tower defense games and a third-person shooter the franchise is still able to bring something new to the backyard in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. PopCap is framing this follow-up as “bigger” and “badder” – and as the series returns to the third-person shooter realm, nearly half of the classes are new, meaning that you’ll have to train up with a significant set of new tactics.
The biggest news, however, is that the zombies have won after the events of the first Garden Warfare, turning the serene backdrop of suburbia into some sort of twisted “Zomburbia.” For the first time, the plants are the ones of the attack, and they’ll have several new variations of the shambling hordes to confront this time around, making the challenge all the tougher.
Shamblers of Zomburbia
Superheroes are all the rage right now, so it only makes sense that Plants vs. Zombies would get in on the hype, too. Super Brainz is effective with both close-range attacks and from far away (thanks to a handy laser attack), making him a go-to class for any occasion. What’s more, he can leap into the air with heroic aplomb. And while this caped incarnation of the undead takes most of his visual cues from Western superheroes, he can fire an intense energy blast that would impress even Goku.
Next up, there’s the Imp – and before you protest that you’ve seen this diminutive zombie in plenty of different forms over the years in Plants vs. Zombies, rest assured that you’ve never seen him quite like this. The Imp sports some pretty impressive abilities in his own right, with a spinning blaster shot and gravity grenades. But when he needs to run roughshod on the battlefield, he can hop into Z-Mech, a robo-pal who’s a plant-stomping, missile-firing machine. And when the plants get too much even for Z-Mech, Imp can eject from the bot and escape, catching the enemy in a spectacular explosion.
Finally, Captain Deadbeard shambles across the battlefield with impressive buccaneer swagger. While he may not share Johnny Depp’s dashing good looks (being trapped in a block of ice for hundreds of years will do quite a number on a pirate’s looks), his offensive prowess is as impressive as it gets in Garden Warfare 2. His parrot pal serves as a handy drone of destruction, while Deadbeard himself can hop atop a cannon and blast away plants with destructive force. He can also take out foes from a distance with his sniper skills.
Plucky New Plants
The plants aren’t without their own trio of debutantes – and since they’re the ones taking the fight to the zombies this time, they’ll need all the firepower they can get.
Kernel Corn is a military man who was overseas during the events of Garden Warfare, and now he’s back for the war to settle the score. He packs as much firepower as any class in the game, and his Butter Barrage, which rains down dairy destruction from above, might be the most crowd-pleasing attack in Garden Warfare 2.
Citron is perhaps the most intriguing of all the newcomers to Garden Warfare 2. To begin with, he’s no ordinary citrus fruit; he’s a bounty hunter from the future. He can also transform into a ball, increasing his speed and jumping ability. If you need to chase down an elusive horde of zombies, Citron’s definitely the class to choose in Garden Warfare 2.
Finally, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet… but could it transform zombies into harmless, bleating goats? We think not. The enigmatic Rose manages to set herself apart even in the wacky world of Plants vs. Zombies; this sorceress from the past foresaw a zombified future, and she’s jumped forward in time to set things right. Rose isn’t all about magic spells, though: She can blast away enemies with her Magic Thistles, an extremely effective long-range weapon.
A Backyard Brawl
While the new characters might be the most intriguing element here – and it’s great that they don’t feel like anything you’ve seen in Plants vs. Zombies before – Garden Warfare 2 offers so much more. The biggest draw might be Backyard Battleground, a hub world that offers plenty of adventures to take in on your own time. You can look for treasure or take on quests, and if you’re feeling brave, you can raise the Flag of Power and take on waves of enemies in a war of attrition. If you’d like to get some practice in, you can hone your aim in a colorful shooting gallery – and earn bragging rights on the leaderboards if you do well enough.
Backyard Battleground is replete with shiny trinkets that will keep you motivated to track down everything Garden Warfare 2 has to offer, with stickers and bobblehead figures of the characters you’ve unlocked. Backyard Battleground even allows you the chance to see what the over-the-top combatants of Plants vs. Zombies are doing when they aren’t at each others’ throats.
The battle between plant and zombie is always raging, however, and you’re more than welcome to jump in at any time. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is available now, so come join the battle for Zomburbia!