It’s safe to say that no one expected Popcap to release such a polished third-person shooter last year, with the original Garden Warfare getting some rather positive marks from game critics and shooter fans as well. After the beta of the sequel was on last weekend, it seems that Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is better in every way in comparison to its predecessor.
The main problem that plagued the first game was its menu system. Once you lined-up in a matchmaking queue, you were simply left staring at the screen until a match started. True, you could fiddle with some loadout options or open some sticker packs, but everything felt somewhat static and unexciting.
This problem was completely solved in the sequel, with players entering a sort of hub world split into three parts, plants, zombies, and no-man’s-land. In every zone, you can access every loadout, test them out, buy some stickers, play and fool around, whatever you may wish. This type of playable “loading screen” is similar to Assassin’s Creed’s approach, even though in that case it was more like a purgatory simulator, with the main character running infinitely towards the horizon.
In terms of gameplay, Garden Warfare 2 is still fairly similar to its predecessor, with the addition of 6 characters to the original roster. Gun-play, if you can call shooting peas or footballs gunplay, has remained the same as before, but fun levels increase exponentially if you get into a full 12 vs 12 match. Game modes are still fairly generic, with team deathmatch, kill confirmed, search and destroy, and domination. But there is a slight chance that more will be added over the course of 2016.
Fortunately, the sequel allows for all game modes to be played offline, in couch-coop or other similar methods. Split-screen was not available during the beta, but gamers hope that this option will be added after the game’s release in February. If you’re not really looking forward to 11-year-olds screaming constantly in your headset, given the fact that this game is mainly marketed towards kids, you can turn-off in-game chat completely.
Taking into account how Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is better in every way, it seems that Popcap actually knows what it’s doing in terms of third-person multiplayer shooters. This is rather surprising, bearing in mind the fact that the main Plants Vs Zombies game is a 2D tower defense game.