After a series of leaks, Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville (the spiritual successor to the Garden Warfare series) finally had a soft release last week in the form of The Founder’s Edition. Each week will release new features of the game until its full release on 18 October, which will come with even more content. From the get-go, it is clear to see that the charming shooter is off to a strong start. As someone who played both Garden Warfare and Garden Warfare 2, this was my experience through the game so far.
The game has a HUB world named Giddy Park where players can buy cosmetics and goof around. It’s a small theme park with a Plants base and a Zombies’ base on either side. I was surprised to see other players in the world with me, and yes, there is some casual PVP in this HUB world and some great ways to earn XP like shooting targets for example.
There’s a dancing mini-game as well as the portal to get into the multiplayer mode, though the only mode available during week one was Turf Takeover, a capture the point-based mode, where one team defends and the other attacks. As with the last games, it is a fan favourite mode with lots of action.
The first thing I noticed was the addition of a sprint button. No longer will the characters stumble around like in the older games, as the sprint feature adds a whole new dynamic to maneuverability for all characters. It’s a welcome addition, which is being well-received by fans.
The previous games in the series had a really unique and cute art style, which looks absolutely amazing in this one. The characters look silly and the cosmetic options are ridiculous, which adds to the game’s theme of being as crazy as it can be. It’s a lot of fun, especially with the new movement for the characters.
However, it does feel a little unbalanced at times, but with the game being a class-based shooter, these things are to be expected. Some characters just scream “overpowered” and it is easy to find matches filled with the same overpowered character. Hopefully, they bring a rebalancing update soon.
Another thing that is a bit odd is how cosmetics are acquired. There is a capsule vending machine that dispenses a capsule with one cosmetic item inside, which is cool and all but it costs thirty thousand coins, which is quite steep (considering it is only one item that is in a blind capsule.) So. players aren’t guaranteed to get an item for the character they are using.
I saw a player buy five capsules while using the Kennel Corn character and he didn’t get anything for his character, which caused him to rage quit. It’s just too steep of a price but as of right now, it is the only thing to spend coins on as the in-game store is still a work in progress.
A nice addition is the new PVE zones. During week one, Town Centre was active, which came with narrative quests, boss hunts and collectibles to find. This is a huge expansion on the Backyard from Garden Warfare 2 and there seems to be a ton of secrets for players to uncover.
Week one was a good start for this game though it would be nice to see them work out some of the kinks with the balancing of characters and the game’s economy. With week two going active, I’m excited to see how the new region compares to the first one and to see the direction that it is heading towards.
Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighorville’s Founder’s Edition is available now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.