The zombie fighting plants have a new installment, but for newcomers to the console games, how does Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville hold up?
Title: Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
Developer: PopCap Games
Publishers: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One (version reviewed), Windows
Release Date: October 18th, 2019
Plants vs Zombies is a common name in my house. The iOS versions of Plants vs Zombies 1 and 2 have been played and beaten countless times; so much so that we are practically pros.
What I haven’t played before is the console version of the game and I was extremely intrigued by how it would be different to play this game on a console vs the mobile version. Granted, there have been console versions out for years, but this was my first experience at defending against the hordes of the adorable undead on a console with Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville.
There is no grand story for Battle for Neighborville as this takes the core concept of plants battling zombies in various scenarios with a single-player exploratory and quest mode as well as online multiplayer head to head or co-op play. It is a third-person shooter and while I do usually love playing shooters in online multiplayer modes, that is not really something that I associate with PvZ. I found myself having more fun with the single-player exploratory route.
First and foremost, this game looks incredible. It is so bouncy and colorful and just the environment looks alive even against all of the zombies. The plant designs are better than ever with the Sunflowers being my favorite for their balance of cuteness with surprising morbidity. The Sunflowers embody my actual personality and I feel that they are my spirit animals… I mean plants. They are the chlorophyll filled version of Tiny Tina.
There is a command central of sorts where you can earn XP by killing zombies in a fairgrounds area, getting daily freebies and accepting quests. You have a station where you can change your playable plant as well as giving them boosts and skills. I was surprised by how powerful some of the plants were right from the beginning (shout out for team COOOOOOOORNNN). There are also times when you can play as the zombies, which I quite enjoy.
When the game launched close to Halloween, the entirety of the home base area was decorated with jack-o-lanterns and looked like a spooky wonderland. As of now, there is a Food Fight event going on.
I love when games have events that change the environment and add something extra. One of my favorite things in games like FFXV was when they had the Assassin’s Creed festival event. It can break the monotony of gameplay and adds some atmosphere.
I did enjoy story mode and PvE versus the PvP or Turf modes just because it is more true to the franchise, in my opinion. The quests are pretty fun although if you pick the wrong plant for a quest, you’ll find yourself stuff dying repeatedly because you just can’t fight off a zombie that’s difficult.
The big question is if Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville is fun to newcomers to the console versions. I never played Garden Warfare, so my PvZ experience is through the original mobile games.
This game is pretty fun but I find myself longing for the simplicity of the original game. Even though there wasn’t a deep story for the original games, it was linear and cohesive.
Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville looks incredible and I could watch this game for hours; but, in terms of playing it, I find myself getting a bit bored after a period of time.
I was hoping for more of a focus on story mode and when I play story mode, it just seems a bit shallow. If I wanted to play an online multiplayer game, I gravitate more toward Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Plants vs Zombies: Battle for NeighborvillePopCap Games
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.