EA’s released Plants Vs Zombies 2 in Australia and New Zealand only, for now. The good news is that it’s free. But only sort of.
This is just a hands-on; my own early impressions of Popcap’s followup to the phenomenally successful and genuinely fun Plants Vs Zombies.
Plants Vs Zombies 2: So far, so good
It’s Plants Vs Zombies, and that’s a good thing. Yes, Plants Vs Zombies 2 features new Zombie units, and new plants to face off against them, but the basics of planting, harvesting sun and ensuring that your own sweet brains don’t get eaten are still present and correct. There’s even a semblance of a plot (planting pun not intended… ah, heck, but that’s a good one, so I’ll keep it in there), as you travel through time chasing after Crazy Dave’s Taco, which he’s already eaten.
Yeah, like I said, Plants Vs Zombies 2 has a semblance of a plot.
Plants Vs Zombies 2 also has a lot more animation on display here, while in some ways that’s just shiny for shiny’s sake, it’s cute to see pea shooters gathering pressure to spit out their peas, and zombies shambling along with more of a shuddering step.
It’s also free, so, if you’ve never played Plants Vs Zombies before, Plants Vs Zombies 2 will offer you a taste. If you have, you can skip Plants Vs Zombies 2’s tutorial, which is nice. I’ve played through the original a number of times, and I always get annoyed having to deal with those first few early tutorial levels, because they’re just so slow.
Plants Vs Zombies 2: So far, too bad
I knew that IAP was coming in Plants Vs Zombies 2, and I knew that it was an EA game. That’s not always a good combination, as Tetris Blitz showed, but it’s not entirely clear to me on a small amount of play just how much IAP is required for play. I don’t have an issue with developers earning a crust, but some games tip way too far into the realms of picking your pocket. So far, Crazy Dave has yet to open his shop (if indeed, it is his shop way back in time), so there’s nothing to spend my game-earned coins on, although EA seems keen for me to buy a whole host of them, suggesting that they’ll be necessary in bulk amounts.
There are also plants that are IAP-only (or so it seems), which is a little troubling — but I really need to play more to get a properly balanced view on that.
Equally, it’s Plants Vs Zombies, and so far there’s a mostly if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it thing happening here. The new coat of paint is nice, but I can’t help but feeling that I’ve played this all before. Again, I need more play time to sort out whether there’s enough “new” content (be it IAP or not) to make a considered judgement there.
EA is “soft launching” Plants Vs Zombies 2 in Australia and New Zealand only, so there’s also the prospect of payment models and some minor gameplay element tweaks as well, but this does mean that it requires updates as well. Interestingly, that’s not a matter so far of updating from the iTunes store, but within the app itself.