Mashed potatoes. Raw. That’s the only way to live.
Mashed potatoes so Raw. You couldn’t sip them
Through a Straw.
A poem by Drandegun Nebs
So the quest given to me by the Gods has gone an interesting turn. I find myself not in the worlds of Drangleic, nor the grand and salty islands of Sanctuary.
I just sneezed such that my organs appear to be hanging from my face.
I find myself in some dude’s backyard. Fighting zombies. As a plant.
This game is really nice. It’s the sequel to the first Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare, itself a sort of sequel to the first Plants vs Zombie, which is a game you can probably play on your toothbrush at this point. As far as casual video games go, Pop Cap is king, and they seem to be substantially masterful when creating addicting ass games. While I didn’t much care for the mobilization of Plants vs Zombies 2, with its focus on micro-transactions and timer based unlocks, I have enjoyed everything I’ve played from Pop Cap. When Garden Warfare came out I was interested, but I ultimately didn’t bite.
Enter Garden Warfare 2. This game has a wealth of content and unlockables that are offered in a fun way. You can earn equipable cosmetic items for your characters, in game consumable items, or character variants. You have the option to purchase, with in game currency (that you may choose to pay real money for), one of seven booster packs. These packs offer different items, and their price reflects that. The cheapest offers in game consumables, such as turrets and minions, while the most expensive promises one character variant.
You can fight against players in multiplayer game modes such as team death match (team vanquish) and Turf War (a Battlefiend-like mode), you fight with players in Garden Ops/Zombie Ops (Hoard (Wave based coop defense)), and you get two single player campaigns for both the plants and zombies side. Each side has six classes that are designed with RPG class archetypes in mind in a way that brings Team Fortress 2 to mind. You get a tank, a soldier, a “mage,” a healer, and so on. Each class has a number of variants that can drastically change up their effectiveness in battle.
For example, I enjoy using the Pea Shooter on the Plants side. He’s the team’s version of the basic soldier; a good way to learn the game. I’ve unlocked a variant of his where his shots do poison damage, and they also splash to do less damage. He’s also radiating poison to enemies around him. He can be very effective in the multiplayer but his strength is Garden Ops, because zombies like to bunch up allowing you to really take advantage of those poison splash shots.
Coins are earned by accomplishing daily quests, besting single player missions, playing garden ops, playing multiplayer, and also you can find coins through the world through chests unlocked by stars (earned via quests) and elsewhere. There’s a lot to unlock, and there’s a lot to play, which feels nice because you constantly feel like you’re being rewarding by playing a fun game. You always look forward to unlocking new characters, and if you just feel like unlocking one to experiment with, you can save for that expensive pack. And you can get one after just a few games.
I wish I could say I restrained myself from purchasing anything, but I did purchase the game’s “deluxe upgrade,” which gave me an exclusive bag of shit while also giving me about 200,000 coins. Enough for a few character unlocks.
I like the game okay shut up.
Yeah, I played more fucking Fallout.
That sentence might seem reluctant but that’s only because I looked at my most recent save file and saw that I had spent 2 days 22 hours in game. That may count time spent away from the game, and I hope so, but as an adult who strives to create some sort of a balance on his days away from work, that figure seems scary for a game that released just a few months ago. Well, it is Fallout after all. A game packed with interesting content, including a lot of randomly generating cool loot, that suffers from quality issues. I suppose that quality issue is what hurts most. Witcher 3? Fuck you I’d rather shovel through another glitchy Bethesda mess.
I don’t hate the game. No, I actually put it on my top 10 of 2015 easily. I’ve been a fan since trying out the CRPGs, and when Fallout 3 came out I lost my damn mind. Fallout 4 suffers from a lot of the same, but it’s still fun to play every now and then just because of the shear scope your adventures can provide.
And to expand that scope, I bought the new DLC, Automotron. It has robots. Lots of them. And you can rip out pieces of them to form your own robot.
The quests you get are pretty fun. The bulk of them occur within two large dungeons that clearly display one of the glaring issues Fallout has always had and continues to have–the dungeons are fucking confusing to navigate. Sometimes they’re mazes, but other times they’re just so boring that you cannot decipher one room from the next. Or you’ll be hunting for thirty minutes with no idea where to go only to find that you skipped over a button that is not only tiny, not only undistinguisable among the washed out rubble-ridden grayed out emo-filtered art, but placed such that one wouldn’t naturally come across during gameplay or exploration. The button unlocks a door that doesn’t look like a door at all. It looks like a fucking wall. And your place marker, that is supposed to guide you, leads you to a room you’ve already been in that has nothing in it.
The shitty map doesn’t help either.
But I built a robot, I found this cool power armor, I found some really cool weapons, and unlike most video games I established a narrative in my mind while playing such that I could write about it after playing. As a writer of fiction I’d say these games and experiences are important to me, because they inspire my creativity in ways no other games do. It’s, again, about the scope of these games. The ability to go anywhere, do anything, within the world and its set of mechanics (which admitedly have always been impressive). You can build your character such that each new play through is completely different. That’s what I love about these games.
Another benefit of being a writer of fiction while playing this game is that I get to rewrite all the garbage dialogue. And that’s all the dialogue. Because someone thought hey, what’s the one thing no body likes doing in our games? Talking to people. That’s right! Give them less options and make everything end the same way no matter what option you choose! At least there’s a voice actor!
But you know. Unique opinions.
I’m having a good time once again in the lands of the Commonwealth, and I feel its call even now. I’m having the best of times as a leafy vegetable, shooting seeds all over decomposed and reanimated bodies. But, this is not my quest.
Drangleic needs a hero. Sanctuary needs its salty warrior. One of these games will fall before April 12.
The King of Dew commandeth.
Garbage Boy 69
Not April Fools