‘Garden Warfare 2’ raises the bar for the series

“Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2” is the sequel to the third-person shooter developed by PopCap Games and published by EA Games. This entry came as a shock considering the first “Garden Warfare” was a surprise hit no one saw coming, with more than 8 million players online since it was released.

Although it was an entertaining online multiplayer experience, many gamers felt the online-only feature was a wasted opportunity, missing out on playing it split-screen. When the sequel was announced, it was promised that this entry would be bigger than the first and even feature co-op play, making it possible to play with friends in person and not having to worry about going online. With this result, this entry is a breath of fresh air, straying away from the “Call of Duty” and “Battlefield” series.

Dr. Edgar Zomboss and the Zombies have taken over Suburbia from the Plants, renaming it Zomburbia. The Plants decide to go to war and take back their home, creating a “Backyard Battleground,” which is one of the welcome additions to the game.

It’s an open-hub world where it creates a stalemate pitting Zombies against Plants, and the player can switch from Plants to Zombies at any time. You can go on missions, complete challenges on both single player and online multiplayer to earn rewards such as coins, XP multipliers and stars to unlock special items in the world.

“Garden Ops,” the famous Plants survival mode, makes a return where it pits you against waves of Zombies, completing certain tasks, and a boss wave. This time, the sequel has “Graveyard Ops,” which is the same thing but this time letting you play as the Zombies against Plants, which adds a different perspective.

You can play these modes solo or with a friend via online or at home split-screen. In addition to the playable Plants and Zombies returning there are new batch of characters that have their own unique feel. On the Plants we have Citron, which is an orange that can shoot a laser beam, roll into a ball attacking enemies and a shield. Rose can turn Zombies into goats and slow them down over time, and Kernel Corn, a war veteran, can call in airstrikes.

PVZ CMYKPopCap Games

Kernel Corn (left) rains down re on a construction worker Zombie in a multiplayer match in “Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2.”

On the Zombies we have the Imps, which have a low health but makes them special is they can call in a controllable mech to give them an edge. A pirate Zombie named Captain Deadbeard has a parrot drone and puts himself in a dynamite barrel, making him a walking bomb. But the one that stands out is Super Brainz, which is the Zombie’s first melee class, getting inspiration from Superman. Each class for each side has its own unique feel and makes you want to try each of them out.

Multiplayer modes such as Team Vanquish, Vanquish Confirmed, Suburbination and many more make a return in this installment. The best part is when you play online with each match being intense and there is no Internet lag to be found. EA and PopCap promise additional content through updates, giving gamers free DLC, which is a major plus, and will have fans coming back for sure.

“Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2” is a major step up from the first one with great gameplay, online multiplayer and a variety of classes to make this a shooter that stands tall with the rest. This is a game you do not want to miss out on playing and is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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