Plants vs. Zombies Review
Plants vs. Zombies is one of those games that is relatively simple in concept but a lot of fun to play, as evidenced by its appearance on just about every platform that supports games. It's taken a bit of time, but the game has finally come to the PS3 as a PSN downloadable title. If you've enjoyed the game on another platform and are considering adding it to your PS3 library, I can assure you that the port to Sony's console has been done expertly – the graphics look great in hi-def (yes, they're cartoon like, but they're not iPhone graphics stretched to fit a higher resolution) and the controls work really well. So, in short, go for it. If you're new to PvZ, here's what you can expect from the game...
Plants vs. Zombies can best be described as a tower defense game, but there aren't any towers in the game per se. You defend your home from a horde of zombies with, you guessed it, plants, but these are no ordinary plants. Some shoot peas at the zombies, others explode when stepped on by a zombie, and some will eat a zombie whole in one gulp. Other plants have other roles besides killing zombies, such as sunflowers that generate sunlight, the resource needed to create new plants, and potatoes whose sole job it is to delay zombies as they take the time to eat the spuds. There are limits to what you can plant, and where and when you can plant them, though. Before most levels you'll have to select a small number of plants to add to your available inventory before the level begins, and you'll have to complete the level with just those plants. Also, each plant has a cost to plant in terms of units of sunlight, and each time you plant one its cost is deducted from your sunlight stockpile. Lastly, there are only so many plots available in your backyard where you can drop a plant.
Each level is made up of several waves of zombies that enter your yard from the right side of the screen and try to make their way to your house on the left. Your yard is divided into a number of lanes, and most zombies will stick to the same lane once they enter your yard and most plants can only attack zombies in the same lane. If a zombie makes it to one of your plants, he'll start munching on it and will eventually devour it and move on if you can't knock him off first. There are a couple of dozen of different types of zombies, and the first time you see one don an orange safety cone on its head for defense you'll know that these zombies are designed with undead tongue planted firmly in undead cheek, a fact driven home by football player and disco zombies.
The game starts off pretty easy, and you'll probably tear your way through the first dozen plus levels without too much trouble. Difficulty begins to ramp up though as you face more types of advanced zombies in increasing numbers and obstacles like gravestones in your yard that prevent plants from being planted and can generate zombies begin to appear. Some levels will also take place at night, severely cutting down your access to sunlight (you'll only be able to get it from special plants) and forcing you to be careful on how you spend the little that you have.
In addition to the standard levels, different types of special levels are periodically tossed in to change things up a bit. Some levels give you preselected plants at set intervals and make you do with what you're given, others completely shake things up with a round of zombie bowling or whack-a-zombie. All of these additional modes are both clever and fun to play, and part of the fun in making your way through the game is in seeing what type of level comes up next.
If you have a friend and a second controller, the game supports a couple of local multiplayer modes. You can play cooperatively to fend off the zombies or competitively with one player taking the role of the zombies. There's some fun to be had here, but the game really shines in single player mode, which in addition to the main campaign adds puzzle levels, the special levels from the campaign, and survival modes. Plants vs. Zombies is great fun, and is one of those games that will have you playing just one more level until you find that you've played for another hour or more.
Final Rating: 92%. A great game that is just as great on the PS3.