Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: First Impressions / by Benjamin Sawyer

I picked up Plants Vs. Zombies on a whim this weekend. I wanted a game to play with my little brother on my Spring Break. Having played each of the prior games on mobile devices, and owning the PopCap Collection on my 360, the prospect of a PvZ title that turned the franchise into a third-person shooter had been intriguing to me since I saw it revealed at E3.

The charm of this casual game turned casual-core hits you immediately. Whether it’s from the cartoonish aesthetic or the comedic quips that the zombies mutter without breath, I caught myself giggling almost constantly in the first hour. Now, I've only played the game for a little more than that hour I just mentioned, so my experience is very limited. Despite that, there is a ton to say about the immediate impression of this title.

Just as I mentioned the inescapable charm that PvZ brings, along with that charm came a distinct feeling of youthful exuberance. I couldn't help but feel like a child as I flew around a Garlic Drone, called down a corn strike, and watched the ears of corn explode in a ball of popcorn and zombie parts. The game is creative in all of the best ways. And as if it couldn’t get any more fun, Garden Warfare has split-screen co-op. That alone was justification enough for grabbing it off of the shelf (not to mention the $40 pricetag, $30 on 360). Games don't do split-screen co-op nearly as often as they should. Sure, in Plants Vs. Zombies it’s only for a wave-based horde-style mode, but that is leagues above 90% of the titles that have launched in the last 6 months.

Obviously I need to spend more time with Garden Warfare to get a better idea of what it has to offer, and trust me, that time will come. But for now, with just the little experience I have with it, I would definitely throw down two Jacksons for this game.