Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: Short-lived fun

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare: out now for Xbox One and 360 for a budget price.Online shooters are traditionally grim, with bleak settings like World War II battlefields and distant ravaged planets. The crazy cast of pugilist plants and zany zombies in seems the perfect antidote.
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Initial impressions of Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (out now for Xbox One and 360) are mixed.

There seems a paucity of playing options, particularly for solo players wanting to sharpen their skills before battling faraway friends and fiends. But once you begin, the charismatic plants provide a refreshing change of pace.

The Peashooter can jump high, obtaining a vantage point to spit volleys of peas and the occasional bomb. The Chomper is even more fearsome, able to burrow underground and devour a zombie in one bite. The Cactus shoots spikes and can lay deadly potato mines. The Sunflower provides healing support as well as firing a sun ray.

The undead offer a more traditional line-up, with a foot soldier, engineer, slow-moving heavy weapons specialist and a scientist that can create healing stations.

The co-operative Garden Ops mode provides waves of enemies in a series of quick-fire rounds before a final escape sequence.

It’s challenging even on “normal” difficulty, especially if you don’t have a full squad of four players.

You can spend hard-earned coins to buy single-use items such as defensive plants to provide assistance, yet they rarely last long.

Traditional team deathmatch is joined by the superior Gardens and Graveyards mode, which accommodates 24 players.

Every garden the zombies seize turns into a graveyard before a final climatic battle that plays out differently on each map.

The sides are well-balanced and the action always chaotic.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to unlock most of the special powers and learn the intricacies of each of the 10 maps, ensuring accessibility but robbing the game of depth and lasting appeal.

While an entertaining multiplayer shooter, don’t expect longevity.

What have you been playing lately?

– Jason Hill

Jason Hill is on Twitter: @thatjason

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