Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare is the future of organic conflict

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Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare was announced by Electronic Arts and PopCap Games a while back, at E3 in June 2013. It’s coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 3 and ostensibly PC simultaneously, then an XB360 port after that. All are apparently sprouting up in 2014.

Windows is planned but that might mean exclusivity for Origin since that’s what EA did with Battlefield 3. I think that would be a mistake, but given the more hard-core system requirements etc that PvZ:GW will require compared to the low-tech original PvZ EA might not care.

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It’s a multiplayer co-op and team based shooter, with the players taking on the role of the plants. Later it was reported that zombies would also be controllable as the opposing team, similar to how Left 4 Dead worked. Pretty cool in terms of visuals and it certainly retains the silly/fun cartoon style where the plants truly shine. It uses the FrostBite 3 engine – the same one that powered Battlefield 3.

We don’t know a whole lot about this one yet, other than it’s a 3D action game where each plant will have its own abilities and likely so will the various zombies. I have seen one quote of 24-player support, which is an interesting if unusual number. I did see the football zombie sporting a chain nerf gun or maybe it’s a launcher in the video below. Right now I am not sure how I feel about that – sorta cool sorta hokey. One of the things I liked in the original was that each zombie was so single-minded it amplified its personality. Time will tell if I enjoy said Nerf Zombie.

Further, there’s a developer diary out now. It gives a glimpse of the passion and interest behind PvZ Garden Warfare. You’ll get a chunk of gameplay in this video, which is what we want to see.

The Pea Shooter is of course a key character, as is the Sunflower of course. Without them, the basic ingredients in the player’s arsenal from the original Plants Vs Zombies would be thoroughly missing. I thought the Sunflower’s sunbeam attack was awesome – and reminiscent of the satellite laser from the Die Another Day flick. And the Pea Shooter’s patooey launch sequence is equally satisfying to watch.

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Not sure I dig the Cactus character, but the Chomper is also pretty funny, although it seems pretty one-dimensional so far. I have to imagine that these core characters can then activate other archetypes somehow – such as the Potato Mine, Snow Peas, Jalapeno, Cherry Bomb, and so many other awesome plants, possibly in a powerup situation, or perhaps as deployables as is shown for the Peashooter mini character.

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Similarly the zombies shuffle forward with their characteristic dumbfounded personality. The ubiquitous orange cone zombie and bucket zombie are present, as well as Gargantuar. But I hope the undead ranks will also include such fun zombies as the Pole-Vaulters, those flippin Dolphin Riders, and plenty of others. Of course the Disco Zombie and his undead entourage was truly memorable.

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One of the videos I saw mentioned another event on Aug 20 at GamesCom. Hopefully they’ll release more gameplay details.

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