Garden Warfare 2 Is Still A Thing, Gets Free Update

Ever since Plants vs. Zombies turned into a multiplayer shooter in Garden Warfare, I somehow manage to forget that it’s a thing that exists in the world. I guess that my subconscious is trying to protect me from the idea of EA taking a cute and quirky franchise and turning it into a multiplayer shooter filled with references to other EA franchises. That does sound like the perfect recipe for a trainwreck, doesn’t it? And yet, if you ask someone who has actually played it, they’ll likely tell you it’s not a trainwreck at all. Some people actually think it’s fun. Go figure.

During my bouts of amnesia I missed the fact that Garden Warfare 2 [official site] is out, and after two weeks it’s already received the first of many promised content updates and balance fixes, bringing a new map, new activities, and “lowered time as a goat.” I wonder if that’s a good thing.

Let me refresh my memory: Garden Warfare 2 is an asymmetrical class-based, team-based shooter that largely builds on the first episode, so much so that progress and unlocks carry over from the older game in case you’ve played it, and mostly adds stuff on top of the same formula: new classes, new maps, new game modes, and new solo content and activities, just to mention a few.

This week’s update adds a new map called “Aqua Center” as well as the night version of an old map and a couple of new missions. It also brings new control options, like aim sensitivity and the option to either toggle or hold to aim. Finally, a whole lot of balance changes, bug fixes and quality of life improvements on which I’m really in no position to comment on. I didn’t even find anything that stood out on its own, aside from the goat thingie. Go take a look for yourself.

Here’s a video of plants and zombies dancing that shows none of the new things that came with the update. I believe they’re dancing in the new Aqua Center, maybe?

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is available for PC via Origin for £49.99/€59.90.

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  1. The Sombrero Kid says:

    It’s worth noting that EA took the infinitely shady approach of not mentioning the “Free” update introduced microtransations suspiciously soon after all the glowing reviews about how it didn’t have microtransactions.

    EA are an irrelevance now. I never thought I’d see the day I’d struggle to remember never mind get excited about a new Mirror’s Edge or Mass Effect. How far they’ve fallen.

    • Antongranis says:

      Irrelevence for You or the industry? IF You mean the latter, they clearly arent…

  2. Zankman says:

    I’ve seen some gameplay videos of this game and it seems to be pretty cool, polished and well-made, featuring a nice little aesthetic and setting.

    Likewise, it seems to be ignored or dismissed due to it being tied to PvZ and EA.

  3. KeepItClassy says:

    Disclaimer up front: I don’t want anything that follows to come off as an attack, or an attempt to stir up trouble, and even though I tried, I don’t want it to come off as condescending or “I’m right, you’re wrong.” I’m not an EA employee, although I do work in the game industry on a non-competing title. The extent of my involvement with Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is that I know a guy at the office who says it’s fun, so I have no opinion on the product.

    I just signed up for the comments after reading RPS for 5 years so I could pop on and say that while we are all welcome to any opinion on any game, I do think this whole article, which is ostensibly about a game getting a patch, instead comes off as an attack on the concept of the game itself. And it’s a game the author hasn’t even played.

    The flippant dismissal of a game, a developer, a publisher, or even whole genres is a thing that we see too much of with the gamer audience. We learn our social norms from the people we look up to or respect, so it’s articles like this that teach people that at least part of the game industry (and the press is part of the industry, no doubt) thinks it’s cool to behave like that.

    What if that opening paragraph read like this instead?

    The author’s opinion that the game isn’t for them is still in place, as is the fact that they disagree with the very concept. But gone is the snark and the cooler-than-thou attitude that are so boring in our (industry and press) combined audiences.

    That’s my bit said. I don’t know why this struck such chord with me on a lazy Saturday, but I wanted to say something to the people who might hear it.

    • KeepItClassy says:

      Cool. I f’d up the html because I haven’t written it in forever. *sigh*

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      Cross says:

      I’m with you. It’s a pretty sniffy and uninformed dismissal of a widely positively regarded game.

    • Melody says:

      I’m sorry it came across that way. My intention when writing the piece was completely different from the impression you got, and it may very well be my fault for not properly translating what was in my head into words.

      If anything, in the intro I was making fun of my self for initially dismissing this game, and pointing out that it’s actually not that bad. I was going for pretty much the opposite of what you are accusing me of doing.

    • The Algerian says:

      Are you sure you’ve been reading RPS for 5 years? I just started like two or three days ago, and it’s already pretty clear to me that none of the articles I saw so far can actually be interpreted as “bashing” any game. (Not by someone who can remain a little objective that is.)

      And this one is no exception, it clearly says that the author isn’t interested, but anyone who actually played the game will tell you that it’s good.

      It looks like you like the game, a little too much, and you just can’t stand someone simply stating that it’s not for them. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Sarfrin says:

      I don’t come here to read articles about games getting patches without flippancy and wry, self-deprecating humour. How dull would that be? 5 years is a long time to fail to spot that RPS rather likes that sort of thing.

    • Minglefingler says:

      I didn’t see any snark in the article at all, it came across as good natured when I was reading it and I was honestly surprised that anyone would read it differently. I’d rather see pieces like this that’ll raise a smile on my weatherbeaten face than a stright report saying “this is out and this is what it is.” Also, as someone who’d being enjoying Melody’s writing over the past few weeks, I’ve not seen any evidence of spite in her work so even if I’d shared your interpretation I’d have reread the paragraph and likely given her the benefit of the doubt.

      • Minglefingler says:

        I’m delighted to see that I still can’t manage to proofread a comment before bashing the send button.

      • Melody says:

        Thank you very much, you’re too kind.

    • Mags says:

      The thing is, the start of the article is exactly what I feel. I rather enjoyed the original PvZ, but while the microtransaction stuffed sequel was highly disappointing, it was at least recognisable as a related game. The deeply sideways and inexplicable move into an FPS, on the other hand, is so bizarre to me that I keep forgetting it happened.

      If you enjoy it, good for you. My inability to comprehend its existence has no bearing on how good a game it is, and you are of course free to enjoy it.

      Just don’t ask me to pretend that I remember that it exists.

    • Dinger says:

      I’d have to agree with the crowd. The intro tag is not so much the flippant dismissal of the game/EA or the rest as the summary of the collective opinion of the contributors to this site (and no, they don’t have collective opinions) masking as a personal opinion. And, in typical RPS fashion, this summary is followed by an immediate acknowledgment that this collective opinion isn’t the Infallible Judgment of Gaming.
      Like developers, these journalist types have their narratives they need to create, maintain, reinforce, and repudiate. The long arc of Electronic Arts is one of the great narratives in the gaming world. But for this site, PopCap has been particularly important. At a time when games seemed to be all AAA, PopCap produced a series of low-overhead, highly-iterated, genuinely fun games. They also started to make bank in the mobile market. Peggle became an obsession for RPS. PvZ generated a lovestorm. Then EA bought and absorbed the company, and there was speculation about what would happen? Would they continue the PopCap tradition of crafting low-overhead games that combined refined mechanics, compelling effects, and a whimsical premise, or would PopCap become yet another sacrifice on the altar of a corporation where those who wanted to express really great ideas needed to present them at meetings where they got lost among the shibboleths of ‘Monetization’, ‘IP’, ‘Whales’, ‘Microtransactions’, ‘Dolphins’, and ‘Millennials’?

      That’s the question we were all asking when the sequel to PvZ was announced, “Garden Warfare”.
      And you can see where GW would fit in that narrative. Ultimately, it won’t quite fit, because any game journo narrative is a story that won’t quite match your expectations. There are certainly other narratives you can make, like where GW becomes the one-reel cartoon to EA’s big releases, at once lampooning them and celebrating their conventions. But that’s not the RPS one.

      Oh, and what I always enjoy about Walker’s Deponia reviews is wondering how many people who attack him on the subject actually enjoy the game, vs. how many people dislike his persona as an aging adventure games fan trying to come to terms with his waning ardor for the genre (or for games in general) while still aware of the need to make everyone aware of the power of the medium as a force in society.

  4. Punning Pundit says:

    I very badly want Mass Effect Andromeda to be a Tower Defense game, with Garden Warfare 2 to be the MP mode they add onto it. Why not? It would make zero sense, but it could actually _work_.

    I mean it lovingly, and with good intentions: sometimes the weird stuff does work, and is awesome.