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    Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

    Game » consists of 2 releases. Released Feb 23, 2016

    Building on the first game, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 features a single-player campaign and plants going on the offensive.

    Beta IMPressions

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    Tonic7

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    If a title pun doesn't hook you, nothing will.

    I've been reading through the Neogaf thread on this game's beta and came here to see what other people thought; I was shocked to see no threads up yet about it! I'll post my quick thoughts below. Short version: It was going to be a day 1 purchase for me, and now it is not. I've been playing on Xbox One.

    Positives: New classes feel - for the most part - unique, if not a little imbalanced. Each seems to fill a gap and provides a counter-balance to classes on the other side, which is ideal in any class-based game. Although there feel like odd changes to classes I loved (the solider's jump just doesn't have the same 'Oomph!' anymore), I think the new classes fit in fine. An obvious exception is the imp, the class everybody seems to loath. I get it. I also loath this class, but I feel that with an increased size / hit box and a serious nerf to its grenade, it would be a fair "glass cannon" that the developers seemingly intended it to be. This game, like the last, has a gorgeous and now newly-uprezzed cartoon art style that's easy to love, at least in my opinion. Animations are sharp and funny, characters all look and sound unique, and it's just damn charming. The first game was, too. The maps don't seem especially noteworthy for better or worse, and the "low G" moon gimmick isn't all that interesting, but they seem functional and look nice.

    Negatives: Every game just feels like a hot mess. I'm currently Rank 20 and I'm not sure how many games I've played so far - perhaps 20-30? I've played approximately 70+ hours of the first PvZGW and each match had a nice rhythm to it. Encounters were intense but not utter chaos; this game is the complete opposite. Too many particle effects, too many graphics, too much chaos on the screen. No matter how balanced you've made your character classes, if you pit 12v12 with essentially instant respawn times things just devolve into people spamming every power they have at every opportunity. It also seems like they've made the cooldowns shorter for almost every power/class; I could be completely wrong about that, but the games just feel like a spam-filled mess at this point. One easy solution I could see working would be to reduce the matches to 10v10, but who knows what changes they'll make before release. I'm usually a fan of smaller team multiplayer shooters, Halo's 4v4 and sometimes 8v8 big team being favorites, so I'm not really interested in games that propose that "more = better" on a battlefield.

    It's a shame this game just feels off; I fully expected to buy it day 1. Now, I'll wait and see. I hope they make changes to their Gnome Bomb and Vanquish modes. As I mentioned, reduced team size might make the game a bit more tactical and less chaotic. Or perhaps a few changes to the cooldowns on the powers. What do you guys think of the beta so far?

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    rocky019

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    I feel the same way as this was going to be a day one purchase for me as well. However, apart from the six new classes and maps the game modes seem to be the same, except for Herbal Assault which is basically still Gardens & Graveyards. Add to that the game is now $60 instead of $40 for what feels like a big DLC for the first game and I might hold off and wait for a price drop now. I agree about the feeling of chaos especially around the Graveyards and Gnome Bomb sites which feel like they are constantly bombarded with Imp and Rose grenades which both seem to be guaranteed death if you're hit. Maybe it's because those two classes are new so returning players want to try out the new characters, but I feel like every game I was in there were at least four or more Imps on the zombie team leading to constant mechs and grenades. I hope the dev team is aware of some of this and nerfs the Imp some, the rest of the new classes seem to be pretty balanced with the original classes though. It also felt that I was getting more coins for each match than I would in the first game, not sure if that is the case or not. I'll probably wait now and watch twitch streams/ youtube videos when the game launches to see if there is enough new content for the $60 price tag or if this will end up like another Evolve or Titanfall.

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    ProfessorEss

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    #3  Edited By ProfessorEss

    @tonic7@rocky019 Any insight regarding the instant, single-player "backyard" gameplay? Also any info on splitscreen gameplay would would be hugely appreciated.

    I love PvZGW1 and am still strongly considering buying the sequel despite the steep asking price, but questions surrounding improvements to splitscreen options and what looks like a cool "play around in the hub" mode has me sitting on the fence.

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    rocky019

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    @professoress: I ended up buying at launch and in my opinion $60 for this game is justified.The "Backyard Battleground" is surprisingly bigger than I thought it would be as a whole. There's the Plant and Zombie bases on each side with the field in the middle with the "Flag of Power" that you can fight over which is a decently fun horde modish experience. On top of that there are random NPC's on the map, I've found three plants so far (haven't played much as a zombie in this mode). They will give you random things to do like a timed bounty kill on a zombie boss or a target shooting range. Doing these things seem to reward you with just cosmetics like hats and such as far as I can tell. Also, there are collectibles and chest scattered throughout. The chests which you have to open with stars(another form of currency that you get by completing missions/quests) give you cosmetic items which you can use to decorate your base(Chomper Hedge, Sunflower Urn, etc.).

    As for the main single player "campaigns" there is one for each the plants and the zombies. I only completed the plant side so far and it took maybe 4-5 hours. It's maybe 20 missions in total which as you progress unlock some secret areas. Most of the missions can be completed under 10 minutes and they vary in type. About half of them it seems are a light version of Garden Ops, where you can summon 3 A.I. plant characters(all the character variants that you have unlocked you can use) and defend a base for 3-4 waves. One cool thing about this and you can do it in Garden Ops as well is that you can switch between all four of the characters with the D-Pad if you want to. The A.I. actually seems to be competent as well(Sunflowers will heal you, Cacti will place down Potato Mines, etc.) which is nice if you want to have some help but are playing solo. The other missions vary in type, but overall there's no deep story line like some games but there's some good light-hearted humor that is a nice change of pace from multiplayer.

    I haven't done anything with split-screen yet so I don't know what games you can use that in, it would be great if it works in everything though. One of the great things in this game is you can play the multiplayer solo or in a private match with and it will fill the other player spots with bots. This is very useful because you can adjust settings so there teams can be all scientists or chompers, which makes the quests to kill a certain enemy type much easier than through traditional multiplayer.You can also adjust settings to give infinite ammo, make the game low gravity, give everybody a speed buff and more which seems like it could be very fun if you can get a lot of friends in the game with you.

    As for the the coins in this game you can earn them through just playing, as well as completing quests. It seems like I'm earning more coins in multiplayer games(had a couple of Gardens and Graveyards games where I got 35,000) than I did in PvZ1, which is nice so buying card packs is much easier. You also earn the stars though quests which you use to open the chests I talked about previously. Multiplayer itself seems to be more of the same (no new game modes apart from Herbal Assault which is basically Gardens & Graveyards) and maybe a few more maps than PvZ1 had at launch. Everything seems to be balanced pretty well, except for ROSE which is ridiculously OP and definitely needs a nerf.

    All in all if you enjoyed the first game I'm sure you'll enjoy this one too. Still the same aesthetically, humor, and gameplay wise. There's also lots of hidden stuff in the game that is pretty cool that I don't want to spoil if you do decide to buy and more that I know I haven't found yet. I'm playing on Xbone and haven't had any problems with game crashes, glitches or lag, so it the game seems to be fairly polished on that level. If you are on xbox and want someone to play with my GT is the same as my username.

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