We’re not quite ecstatic to tell you this, but Plants vs. Zombies 2 is actually not worth the hype. Sure there are new zombies, new plants, and even new stages; but there’s just not enough at this point. In fact, its sort of looking a lot like an unfinished game to us, given the lack of actual length and/or gameplay variations. Compared to the first game, this is but an expansion, a subset of the original’s varied and lengthy campaign. What happened, you might ask? Well, its probably because its free to play. And that might be the only thing that’s making it worthwhile.
Remember having to bunker down for ages just getting through the stages on PvZ1, only to find out there’s a night campaign for it as well? And speaking of that night campaign, remember those cool mushrooms that slept during the day? How about Zombie Bowling, remember that? How about furiously clicking on coins to save up for that extra seed slot or that Gatling Pea, the zombie seeking Cattail, or the Winter Melon and feeling genuinely thrilled to use them? How about those pesky tunneling Digger Zombies, or the stages with Fog? And how about those minigames where you smash vases to get plants? The varied gameplay, length, and difficulty is what made Plants vs. Zombies 1 so compelling and addicting at the time. Oh, and finally, remember that credits song? PvZ1 was the shit.
By the way, there’s no water plants or water lilies anymore.
What you get from Plants vs. Zombies 2 is nowhere near that deep, lengthy, nor rewarding. Its short, with little to no variety, no mini games to speak of except the one where a conveyor of plants gives you what you might need – and they’re very few and far in between to say the least. And what do you get in exchange? Some weak ties to a freemium model that unlocks premium plants and/or gives you coins for powerups and touchscreen gestures. Yeah, that basically guarantees no PC release anytime soon.
Explore a… 3 world universe.
So what exactly is Plants vs. Zombies 2? Well it’s a fairly competent free to play tower defense game where you pit armed plants against waves of zombies. What’s new about the game is that the campaign is no longer linear – once you finish the initial run of a world you have to earn a specific amount of stars to get to the next one by replaying the levels you just finished. Each normal level can give you 3 Stars, but you actually have to play it a minimum of 3 times just to get all the Stars. Does that sound boring? It sure as hell does. And just to be blunt, each world’s unique gameplay concept is repetitive throughout all of the levels in it.
Speaking of worlds, currently there are only three of them. And if you’re no slouch you can hit the “End” in just a few sittings. And we put double quotes on calling it the “End” because it actually isn’t. It’s a blank space for a future world that isn’t programmed in yet. Lazy and anticlimactic, you say? It sure is.
The Yeti ain’t much of a boss. But he’s the only one you got.
Is there anything else, you ask? Is there a survival mode, or mini game collection? Nope. There is an endurance-type scenario on each world but you have to rebuild your plants every wave. (With the next wave identical to the last, so no real variation to what you’ll build.) There’s a Piñata Party (that doesn’t play much different than the main game) which happens regularly for extra prizes. There are no mini games except for “protect this plant” type scenarios, and as you might have guessed they’re few and far in between. There’s an occasional Yeti that visits the game in a random level and wins you some nice keys or coins, (keys unlock new plants or upgrades) but isn’t even all that tough if you think of them as the only “bosses” you’ll see in the game.
So what is it with Plants vs. Zombies 2 – is it really just a crappy shadow of its original self? It sure as hell is. But it is free to play so you might as well see it for yourself.
PvZ2 is available free on iOS here and on Android here. Just don’t expect much of the original’s staying power.
Alex likes doges and wowes. Much bio.
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