How to play Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare

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Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare has arrived on the Xbox One and Xbox 360, with gameplay unlike anything the series has ever seen. It’s so wildly different, I thought you folks could use a few tips.

Since Garden Warfare is an online multiplayer game, we’re giving our review an extra day to see how servers hold up. Until then, here’s some helpful advice to get you started.

Play The Original Plants Vs. Zombies

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is an online multiplayer shooter, which is almost the complete opposite of the original game, an offline, mostly single-player tower defense variant. While there is a little planting to be done in some of Garden Warfare’s more elaborate game modes, for the most part it’s completely unlike the series that spawned it.

So why bother playing it in preparation? For one, it’ll help you appreciate the look and feel of Garden Warfare — it’s quite impressive, seeing the static locations from the lane defense series coming to life.

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Playing Plants Vs. Zombies before Garden Warfare will also give you a leg up when it comes to some of powers the plants and zombies bring to bear on the battlefield. When you do get into a mode like Garden Ops, which requires setting up plant defenses, you’ll understand what each unit is capable of.

And finally, it’s a damn good game.

Where We’re Going There Is No Single-Player
Prepare to be one of many. When Popcap and EA said they were making an online multiplayer shooter based on the Plants Vs. Zombies property, those words were carefully chosen. With the exception of a split screen co-op Horde-ish mode, all of Garden Warfare is online and multiplayer. There is no story mode tacked on, no training area to practice in. The closest you can come is starting a round of Garden Ops — plants defending against 10 waves of enemies — and set the room to invite-only.

Know Your Character Classes
Everybody has their own particular play style, especially when it comes to multiplayer shooters. If you’re new to the genre entirely, go ahead and hop from class to class until you find one that feels right. If you’re coming in with a play style in mind, however, read on to see which plants and zombies are right for you.

The Plants

The Peashooter: The cannon-fodder of the original game is a little bit front-line fighter and a whole lot of scout. The Peashooter can fire bombs, which is nice, but it can also briefly run super fast and jump super high. Coupled with the ability to root itself and become a fixed turret, the Peashooter’s primary role is to sit on roofs and be complete jerks.

The Chomper: Possibly the scariest plant to see up close, the Chomper has the ability to burrow underground, popping up under enemy zombies and devouring them in one bite. Normally a player can be bursed back to health when they die — Chompers ensure they have to respawn back in a proper, out-of-the-way location. The trade-off is that once the Chomper eats, it’s slow and vulnerable for a brief period, so choose your targets wisely.

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