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Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare; 1000 Steps Backward

Plants vx Zombies Garden Warfare Signs

When I saw images of these posters pop up all over the web, I thought to myself, “That’s some clever marketing for Plants Vs Zombies 2.” It was cute and to my mind, it laid out clearly the direction the games industry has been going for a number of years. The PvZ game has always had a different take on what makes a game fun, engaging and eternal. In fact, it is one game that my entire family loves and plays regularly. You can possibly imagine how disappointed I was to learn that this was not a clever marketing ploy for PvZ2 but a horrible new 3rd person shooter based on a classic franchise.

Just watch this E3 trailer for the game:

 Here are some screen shots of the actual game play:

Garden Warefare Gameplay Peashooter

Garden Warefare Gameplay Chomper

How can any self respecting game designer look at something as clever and beloved as PvZ and say to themselves, “You know what this game needs? Epic gun battles.” I am reminded of a comic I saw once, but can’t remember where to find it, that showed the life of a game. It starts out with a great idea. Then guns are added to it. That is basically what happened here.

This is not Plants vs Zombies. This is Battlefield with a Plants vs Zombies skin applied. This is a huge step backward for the games industry. An industry still trying to shake off its violent image in the wake of such tragedies as Sandy Hook. What good does it do for us as an industry to take family friendly entertainment and turn it into the very thing people complain about? I am sorry, but this is a huge step backward for this industry.

2 Comments

  1. Frank
    Frank June 12, 2013

    It worked for Orcs Must Die, so I think it could work with PvZ. It still has all the charm of a PvZ game; it’s a spin-off and we still have PvZ 2 and even a Facebook game.

    Considering it seems like you’re just basing this on images and not-first hand experience with the game, I think you’re not really getting a point across.

    A step-backwards? This is an original concept on a genre that genre that needs something fresh. People complain about the lack of original idea in the shooter scape, then when someone actually take a chance by genre-busting, people complain that it’s “not what we wanted”. Gamers are fickle and part of the reason why people still view the industry in such a poor light. If you want something different, make it yourself.

    Hey, at least you can say one person actually bothered to read your “op-ed”

    • Zachary Knight
      Zachary Knight June 13, 2013

      Firstly, ad hominem attacks don’t make very good arguments.

      Secondly, I think shooters are over done and we need to move further way from them, as I lean toward in my closing. The games industry has an image problem. We have an image that says we are all about violence and nothing more. When we take a relatively nonviolent and family friendly game and turn it into a shooter, that shows that we are not moving away from that image. That is bad.

      As for “hands on experience” with the game. Of course I don’t have any experience with it. I am not at E3. However, I did watch as 3 people played the game. I watched as they took something as fun and clever as Plants vs Zombies and turned it into something it is not.

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