Saturday, November 02, 2019

"Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville" Review

Evolving the seeds of "Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare" beyond the multiplayer arena to tend to a bountiful crop of activities, "Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville is a confident step forward for the franchise.

Developer PopCap refines the established, family-friendly FPS formula and expands it into a fuller-featured game that seems built to last.

As in the past, you take control of an eclectic array of battle-ready plants and undead creatures who annihilate each other via a dazzling array of creative attacks and zany power-ups.

In addition to the standard array of squad-based death matches, there are a multitude of co-op activities to take part in. These are such an impressive addition that it's feasible to get the game and spend so much time on these modes that you won't feel the need to go online.

Couples, parents and children or roommates -- particularly those of vastly different skill levels -- can mildly grief each other, help each other out and enjoy the giddy thrills of conquering shared challenges.

Reports of server issues have hampered the launch, but PopCap appears to have worked out many of the problems, striving for a stable online realm that offers up quick, fast-flowing action to most anyone who logs on.

Those who are familiar with the "Garden Warfare" games will feel right at home -- maybe to a fault. While there's much to be said about not messing with an established formula that has proven to work well, it could be argued that PopCap spent so much time fleshing out the co-op activities that they neglected to reimagine the standard multiplayer. That's not a fatal fault, but something that the dev team can build upon for future games.

And if "Battle for Neighborville" proves anything, it's the certainty that there will be more games. PopCap has plenty more to do and say with this series, EA continues to throw its weight behind the franchise and players continue to respond with adulation. The future for "Plants vs. Zombies" is bright, and the present is a joyful garden to tend.

Publisher provided review code.

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