We speculated for weeks, even months, when and if a Nintendo Direct would take place again, and then a stream was actually announced out of nowhere – including many exciting innovations. One of them: Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, and we preview the colorful comic book spectacle that began on the Xbox 360.
Of acorns and swarms
In the meantime, the games also have their English title in this country (and are no longer called Plants versus Zombies), but the principle behind the name works as ever: Zombies and plants fight each other in the Battle of Neighborville from a third-person perspective and in real time. Like a classic shooter, only funnier, more colorful and more inventive, because instead of the usual boring classes like "guy with sniper rifle" or "guy with grenade launcher" you slip into the rotten skin or under the bark of all kinds of things in the multiplayer title memorable characters.
There is the football zombie known from the first game, who loves hand-to-hand combat, or the carnivorous plant that grows underground towards enemies. It can be even more wacky, for example you enter the ring as a yodelling acorn, as a martial arts poisonous mushroom or as a roller-skating disco undead who distributes electric shocks. All the zombies and plants are divided into classes with different tasks, just like in similar games. So there are healers, supporters, tanks and stealth figures. The warriors who belong to the "swarm" class can also team up in groups of several players for increased effectiveness – for example as television head zombies.
No zombie likes to be alone
Source: Electronic Arts
Plants vs. Zombies on the Switch isn't purely online amusement. You can also enjoy the adventure offline and alone or roam the alleys of Neighborville with up to three friends in local co-op mode. The variety of modes is pleasing: In the solo adventure you don't just compete in the same arenas as online against the same opponents, but instead face special bosses, have to defend areas and more. In a separate area, you can safely try out the different classes and their special talents – in order to be perfectly prepared for online battles. In the multiplayer part, in addition to the genre standards such as Team Deathmatch, more exotic varieties of plants and undead await, and the perks of the individual classes should provide further motivation in addition to the various modes.
Source: Electronic Arts
Means: The individual warriors gain practical bonuses if you lead them successfully in battles, and you can specialize your favorite heroes according to taste, for example with target-seeking shots. In addition, there are tons of unlockable cosmetic items – since the Switch version is the Complete Edition, it already contains everything that was only gradually released on PC, PS4 and so on. Even without the extra goodies, there is a lot in this shooter package with over 20 classes per page. With Apex Legends, Plants vs. Zombies is in good company on the Switch, the genre is booming, especially on the PC, and thanks to the accessible and humorous spectacle, the plants and zombies should be well received by Nintendo customers – especially if one Splatoon 3 announced in the same Direct is still more than a year away.
Source: Electronic Arts
It is exemplary that the developer Popcap thought about the integration of the specific hardware features when implementing the switch: Plants vs. Zombies uses the touchscreen! Unfortunately, it is a real rarity, support for this type of control should set a course for ports for the switch. On the screen you will be able to operate the menus and the map very easily with your fingers (or with the stylus). Motion control, on the other hand, can be used when aiming if desired. But you can also rely on the Joy-Cons or (probably better) the Pro-Controller.
Just one month after the announcement in February-Direct, the time has come for plants and zombies to be bothering each other again: The game will be released on March 19, 2021. We'll look at the epic confrontation between the two elemental forces for the next issue , because then the test for the comic shooter is ready. And maybe we'll see you on the battlefield in the meantime?
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The Wizard is a new class of supporters in the game. He uses magic and mysterious potions, and he can ride on allies. (Source: Electronic Arts)
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