Piante, zombie and party favors

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
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When it was announced for the first time we thought it was a joke, instead PopCap Games and Electronic Arts have really pulled out of the strategic Plants Vs. Zombies a multiplayer-based third person shooter, managing to preserve the spirit and atmosphere that millions of people well known and to whom they are now fond of.

Released on Xbox One and Xbox 360 last February, Garden Warfare has finally found its way to the PC, clearly on the Origin platform, and is therefore preparing to conquer a new, large slice of users thanks to its simple but captivating mechanics, to an important strategic element and to a technical sector that in the Windows environment manages to give the best in terms of detail, effects and fluidity. Of course, the experience does not start in the best way, since on the one hand the game requires an always active connection as an anti-piracy measure (which would not even be so unpleasant, since in the end it is always an online shooter) on the other it uses a too permissive approach towards voice chat, which is active by default and therefore translates into shouts, shouts, rumbles, people singing (in German, in our case) and, in general, an incredible noise that cannot be deactivated permanently but which requires each time to open the in-game options screen and silence all users or just some of them, with the problem of having to repeat the procedure for all new entrants. An annoying defect, which can be remedied, at the moment, only through a workaround that is anything but official.



Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare confirms all the solidity of its playful system even on PC



Silence, the slaps speak

The game modes of Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare are not very numerous, but they guarantee a sufficient variety. On the competitive front, we start with the ideal option for novices, "Welcome Mat", which is a very quiet team deathmatch, in which you even get a greater amount of health if you die frequently. An excellent system to familiarize yourself with the control system and the philosophy behind the game, in short, which on PC we can manage with the traditional combination of mouse and keyboard (using the keys 1, 2 and 3 to activate special skills) or preferring the fully supported Xbox 360 controller.

Solution, the latter, which we tend to prefer in third-person contexts, since it guarantees support for aiming while losing speed and precision of aiming, but at the same time allows you to manage the character's movements in a more natural way. Then there are two weight modes, both also present in the "classic" variant, which does not include customizations, improvements and so on: we are talking about "Team Elimination" and "Tombs and Gardens". The first is the traditional team deathmatch in which two teams of twelve components face each other on the battlefield with the aim of reaching the fifty eliminations first and winning the match; the second is a territorial mode in which the zombie faction attacks positions, while the plants must defend them, just like in the original Plants Vs. Zombies. This is probably the most fun competitive option, given the many facets also in strategic terms, with the possibility for plants to activate turrets and tactically organize the defense by dividing the roles, while the zombies can count on a progression that, in case of success, it will lead them to conquer various areas until they arrive at the famous villa of Dave. The offer is closed by the "Mixed mode", that is the classic playlist that alternates the various situations, and the "Gnomba", a reinterpretation of "capture the flag" in which the two teams must take possession of an explosive garden gnome and deposit it at one of three enemy hotspots to blow them up. In addition to these competitive modes, there is a cooperative, "Operation Garden", which basically proposes a free and third-person reinterpretation of the dynamics that characterized PopCap Games' tower defense. Four players in command of as many plants, in fact, must defend their garden from the onslaught of hordes of zombies gradually more numerous and dangerous, with the debut of big and powerful bosses to mark the closure of each wave.



Seedlings and shrubs

We have just mentioned the strategic value of Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, which is especially evident in the territorial and cooperative modes. In fact, when you need to defend an area of ​​the map, certain classes become essential to offer the necessary support to companions and maximize the effectiveness of offensive maneuvers.

On the plants front, let's think for example of the Sunflower, a minute and not very resistant character, but with a rather precise burst attack and, above all, healing skills that can put the other team members back on their feet; or the Masticazombi, whose name says it all: the typical brawler capable of attacking only from a very short distance, but lethal and equipped with an "underground" special that can decimate the ranks of zombies without even the avant-garde realizing it . Then we have the Peashooter, balanced between attack and mobility, and the sniper on duty, the Cactus, also able to deposit dangerous explosive charges within the scenarios. As for the zombies, the lightest and most versatile unit is the Infantryman, also ideal for stalking given its ability to jump very high. Then there is the Engineer, with his grenade launcher and the ability to release dangerous drones that attack the enemy team; the Scientist, armed with a sort of shotgun but also capable of activating devices for the healing of his companions and for immediate transport to alternative areas of the map; and finally the Star Player, a slow unit but equipped with a powerful Gatling gun, capable of damaging enemies with a running charge in a context where melee attacks are practically absent. Each class has a number of variations, upgrades and customizations that can be unlocked by using the money earned during each game to purchase surprise sticker packs and piece together (literally) all of these extras. An excellent system, however, devoid of any attempt at monetization, which makes the focus on individual characters much more interesting in view of their maximum development.



PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Processor: AMD FX 8320
  • Scheda video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Jetstream
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM
  • Operating system: Windows 8

Minimum requirements

  • Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core 3 Duo
  • Scheda video: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, AMD Radeon HD 5750
  • Memory: 4 GB of RAM
  • Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8 64-bit

Recommended Requirements

  • Processore: Intel quad core, AMD six core
  • Video card: AMD Radeon 7870, NVIDIA GeForce GT 660
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM
  • Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8 64-bit

The PC version

While starting with a bit of a disadvantage compared to the console counterparts with regard to the debut date on the market and the release of the DLC (the free Tactical Taco Party package, for example, will be released on Origin ten days later than Xbox LIVE), and despite suffering from a couple of rather annoying technical flaws (in this case the management of the voice chat we have talked about, the lack of a selector for the servers and the presence of a bit of lag, fortunately quite sporadic phenomenon), Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare appears in dazzling form on PC, thanks to a graphics engine capable of ensuring a good rendering of environments and surfaces, without smudged textures or obvious slips, and to offer a frame rate stably above 120 frames per second on the test configuration, at 1080p resolution (on Xbox One the game runs at 900p and 60 fps) and with all settings on the "Ultra" preset. The feeling, therefore, is that PopCap Games has done an excellent job in terms of optimization, moreover making sure that even the owners of less powerful machines than the average can enjoy its multiplayer-based third person shooter, decreasing the aforementioned resolution. or giving up the highest quality adjustments with regard to textures and their filter, shadows, terrain, decorations, anti-aliasing and ambient occlusion (the latter present with the HBAO but not the HBAO +, to testify to the lack of specific support for NVIDIA-branded features). For the rest, the general design, the rendering of the characters and the cartoonishness of the settings are all elements that combine to compose the framework of a very pleasant technical sector, created to be functional to the action rather than to "amaze with special effects", which which does great.

Comment

Digital Delivery: Origin Prezzo: 34,90€ Resources4Gaming.com

8.0

Readers (83)

8.7

Your vote

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare confirms all the solidity of its play system also on PC, and from a technical point of view the patience of users has been rewarded with graphics superior to that seen on Xbox One, both in terms of resolution and frame rate, moreover with ample possibility to adjust the parameters so that they are easily digestible even by less advanced configurations. There are a couple of technical flaws that we hope will be quickly remedied (the absurd management of the voice chat, the lack of a selector for the servers, some episodes of lag and sporadic bugs), but in principle there are none. that to be satisfied with the work done by PopCap Games, which seems to confirm what the team said some time ago: the PC version of Garden Warfare is not a simple port. And it shows.

PRO

  • Well-differentiated classes, we wink at group strategies
  • Solid and well optimized technical compartment, the best version of the game
  • Discreet offer in terms of modalities ...
AGAINST
  • ... but more could be done
  • Questionable handling of voice chat
  • A server selector is missing, sometimes there is a bit of lag
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