Having a surprisingly good time with PvZ: Garden Warfare

plants vs zombies garden warfare cover

I have to admit I’ve been having more fun with Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare on the Xbox One than I thought possible. I’ve enjoyed everything about the mobile games, from the ‘cute’ art style to the addictive gameplay and you’ll find everything you love about PvZ in this third person console shooter. Garden Ops is an addictive blast. Basically you set up a garden and have to defend it against waves of zombies, which is the basic premise of the mobile games. The similarity stops there though. You and up to three other players will have to work together to succeed in surviving the zombie onslaught. There’s a variety of classes to choose from such as the peashooter who is a offensive ranged unit to the sunflower which is the healer class. You’ll want a variety of classes in your party to make survival more likely.

You can also plant consumable plants in pots around the map which will aid in your defense of your garden. There are several different types of plants each with its own advantages. You can strategically plant sunflowers to create healing rally points while you want to place some offensive plants near your garden in case you get pulled away and can’t make it back in time in the event a few zombies make it through your defenses.

Garden Warfare achievements

The game rewards you with coins for various accomplishments such as getting kills, surviving waves, completing a perfect wave and also for completing challenges it throws at you. During boss waves there’s also a chance you can earn some bonus coins (I just landed a jackpot spin in my last game which awarded a whopping 10,000 coins!). You’ll use your coins to buy packs of cards that vary in value and include consumable items, cosmetic items and more. The more expensive the card pack the better chances you have of nabbing uncommon and rare cards. I’ve enjoyed decking my plants out in the rare loot I’ve gained from card packs (especially the 10,000 coin card pack!).

There’s also a split screen co-op mode which I played a bit of (it’s pretty much the same as Garden Ops mode). The only downside is that both players must have an active Xbox Live Gold account and you must remain connected to Xbox Live at all times. PvZ: Garden Warfare isĀ not an offline game and requires an internet connection at all times.

Lastly, there’s multiplayer which includes team deathmatch and a variety of other modes. I played a few team deathmatches and they were quite enjoyable. The gameplay is colorful and silly but no less competitve than other shooters. I had a lot of fun in deathmatch, but Garden Ops is my favorite mode. It’s worth noting you also gain experience and coins in the competitive multiplayer modes.

A gamer vacationing with limited internet

So I’m 3 days into my 21 days of leave I’m spending back home in Pennsylvania and it’s been nice so far, except in one area: internet. My dad has Hughe’s Net satellite internet since he lives in the middle of nowhere and while it may be faster than dialup I’d hardly consider it usable as a gamer. Sure it’s fine for basic tasks, but there’s a 10gb monthly data limit that makes doing many things impossible. No Netflix streaming. YouTube videos are slow to load anyway, so I doubt Netflix would be enjoyable to use.

Now I know you may be thinking ‘hey you’re on vacation, get off the internet!’ but I’m just home visiting family. If I were on vacation I’d be in Florida or Seattle. Besides most of my friends and family are at work during the week, so it’s not like I could hang out with them anyway. My girlfriend is flying out from Boise on Friday and she’ll be here for a week so that’s when we’ll be going sightseeing in D.C., NYC, Baltimore, etc. since it’ll be her first time on the East Coast.

Anyway. I tried playing Call of Duty Ghosts over Hughes Net and there’s about a 3 second delay between input and response due to the nature of satellite internet, making it entirely unplayable. I’m able to play Forza’s career mode without issue on this connection at least. It has no issue populating my races with drivatars and updating leaderboards, etc.

I was able to connect using my iPhone 5’s mobile hotspot which did make Call of Duty play smoothly over an LTE connection. I used about 400mb of my 5gb data plan after a couple of hours which isn’t ideal, but I think it’ll do for the rest of this week at least. I’m probably going to have to go to a friend’s house to download the March 11 system update that coincide’s with Titanfall’s release (and with any luck Titanfall will probably have a day one update).

Anywho, just figured I’d stop in and update on my trip so far. Winter Storm Titan turned out to be a dud here in southern Pennsylvania as it only dropped about two inches of snow as opposed to the 8″ and up that was predicted. Now I’m just hoping it warms up enough before Vanessa gets out here so we can enjoy some decent weather in D.C. and New York.

I also picked up Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare but haven’t gotten to play a whole lot yet. I tried playing Garden Ops over HughesNet and managed to create a game but couldn’t connect with any other people so I only survived one round. I played a few split screen games with my brother which was nice, but we got disconnected from the EA servers a few times which terminated the game. It’s also worth nothing that both players are required to have an Xbox Live Gold account even though you’re playing on the same Xbox. This is weird because no other game on Xbox One has this requirement, only one Xbox Live Gold account is required on the console.

I’m off to make another cup of coffee. See you soon!