We went to the presentation of the title at Gamescom, Germany, where Electronic Arts explains what it wants to do and where it wants to go with the project.
The Plants vs Zombies saga is one of the most successful as well as silent Electronic Arts in recent years. We say this because, despite being known to virtually any video game player worth his salt, his media power has not been so much on the covers of video game magazines but in the most casual player, the one who seeks fun above all else. Personality, ease and playability are some of its hallmarks. Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville is all that, but it is much more. We have already played it.
Neighborville, what happened to you?
His announcement was an open secret; Not surprisingly, the development study knew that its community was waiting for a new installment like May Water, one that took advantage of the current hardware and presented a new future for intellectual property. It is surely now when Plants vs. Zombies reaches its point of maturity, both for the money that has been invested in making this delivery a reality and the content plan that will begin to emulate from now on, from now on, because Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville will launch on October 18…. But users of the so-called Founder’s Edition can start playing with all the previous content.
EA wants to make sure everything goes over silk and, in a way, the test we could taste in the German city of Cologne, during Gamescom, felt like a finished, commercial, determined and convinced product in its approach. The level of detail of the scenarios may not be appreciated in the trailers, but it really is much better. They themselves recognized it: they felt better than ever working with the tools they had available. The genre is not abandoned, a tower defense vitaminized in structure and form, but the playable possibilities have been expanded to resemble other greats of the genre. Also in its approach to content, full of seasons and elements that make us understand that this is a long-term project, a game as a service. EA goes very seriously with Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville.
These first ten years of PvZ have served to understand several things, one of them that the saga should not be anchored to mobile devices because of its potential and because its audience demanded to be able to sit down and play at home with their friends, their relatives and strangers.
To start the game in one of its multiple game modes we will have a kind of city that will serve as an operating table. There we will have all the menus, character selection, customization … everything. It is comfortable, visual and allows us to familiarize ourselves with the controls from the beginning. We prefer to play with command, surely the option that is going to be chosen more often because domestic consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) are the main sales objectives of the game, without neglecting the PC.
But if there is something that surprised us is the control of the camera, perfectly located, without getting closer to the account or deviating from the objective center of the screen. The character, always located slightly to the left of the sight, has as a rule a behavior with animations that do not bother. It is not a first person game, but it does feel like a first person shooter. That mixture of sensations is very successful, but we do not know to what extent it can reach true fans of the genre or if it will be too much for those looking for a much more casual shooter. Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville is very ambitious in its playable approach.
We did not like the structure of the stages too much, everything is said, at least in the games that we could play in the “Town Center” scenario; Everything felt a bit empty, life was missing. If in the playable we are left over convinced that the work will respond to expectations, we believe that there is still work to be done so that the maps are not mere mazes to hide and point from impossible positions, but also an element that intervenes in the future of the game, that there is interaction and more verticality. We insist: we could only play on a couple of maps and there will be many.
But let's go with the news. After the success of Garden Warfare and Garden Warfare 2, it was time for the saga to mature and put aside the excessive simplicity in options, customization and game modes. This is something else, play in another league. And we like that.
The return to Neighborville of PopCap Vancouver has little to do with what we saw a couple of years ago. Now we can customize all the characters – familiar faces and new faces – with 20 launch classes adding plants and zombies, each with its own characteristics, peculiarities … and extravagances. When we got to the controls they told us: “Forbidden to take the default character; The weirder the better. ” In other words: it is almost impossible to cross a person who has a plant or zombie identical to yours. We saw things that we didn't know very well if they scared us or laughed, but it's part of the saga.
Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville takes it all out, all is joy in Neighborville. In case anyone asks, yes, there is a local multiplayer split-screen mode, but only on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was a question we asked almost by chance, but on a computer – at least from the start – it will not be possible to play in a way local.
The title has been thought to play online, they insisted on it. PopCap has worked in a surprisingly fast matchmaking. The rooms will be up to 24 players online, a considerable amount to match everyone in such a short time, but it works. The cooperative adventure will accept up to four players online at the same time, yes. In total, six multiplayer game modes including the new Battle Arena.
At the content level, the title will start this October with three regions and an Operations mode that will go beyond Neighborville, as the developer will explain throughout this September.
Editions, prices and dates: a content plan with seasons
Available in different versions and packs, Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville will launch this October 18 in physical and digital format for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (via Origin) at a price of $ 39.99; there will also be other options that we will detail below.
If you want to play before, from this September 4, on any of the platforms, not only is it possible but it is also cheaper ($ 29.99). The so-called Founder’s Edition, only available in digital format, will offer a total of six weeks of renewed content, with different modes, tests and content that can only be achieved throughout these weeks (aesthetic, cosmetic content). If we choose Origin Access Premier there will be an additional discount of 10%.
Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Founder's Edition will cover from September 4 to October 18 this kind of beta – which is actually the final game – so that developers can take note of any problem in the user experience, chat with the players and make the community itself indicate what is yet to be polished. Every week there will be rewards, small implementations of improved changes and rotations in game modes.
Once you arrive on October 18, you will kick off everything else. This is the calendar of contents of the game from September to October:
Founder’s Edition – Content Calendar
4th of September
- PvP: Turf Takeover (24 players)
- PvE: Neighborville Town Center Region (Plants)
- Rewards: Fire Defender Item Set for Snapdragon
- PvP: Team Vanquish (16 players)
- PvE: Weirding Woods
- Rewards: Ultimate Champ Star for the All-Star Zombie
- PvP: Various modes (16 players)
- PvE: Ops (Horde) Mode
- Rewards: Dave Bubbles Victory Slab
- PvP: Weekly Event: The Reinforcements
- PvE: Mount Steep Region
- Rewards: Pea of Valiance Customization for Peashooter
- PvP: Battle Arena (4 vs 4)
- PvE: Neighborville Town Center Region (Zombies) or Lawn of Doom Festival (Halloween Themed Prizes)
- PvP: Weekly event: Space Nuts
- PvP: Weekly event: Elite Rando Ops
- Launch of all content except Rux’s Emporium and Rainbow Stars