A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is a cartoony third-person shooter that pits flowers and other flora against formerly living humans. But as shooters go, this isn't nearly as intense or bloody as most. Most of the guns are cartoony, which makes the combat feel more like a mix of Nerfs and paintballs than anything you'd see in a real war. But while the game itself is fairly benign, it's meant to be played against other people and online. As a result, your kids may hear some inappropriate language or comments. Players can also earn money, which they can then use to buy playable characters and other items. Also, while zombies don't bleed, being dead and all, they do lose their heads when shot. Literally.
What's it about?
In PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE 2, the flowers and their friends have lost control of Suburbia to their undead enemies, who've renamed it Zomburbia. But as the living-impaired are about to learn, a plant is never more dangerous than when it has lost its home. Through a series of missions -- which, admittedly, are only the game's multiplayer modes reconfigured to be played solo -- you, as a plant, have to take back Suburbia … by any means necessary.
Is it any good?
With a cartoony look and an equally goofy tone, this silly shooter is entertaining for almost all ages, especially if you hate nature or the living-impaired. As with its predecessor, Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is mostly an online shooter, one that has not only such expected modes as the "Team Deathmatch"-ish "Team Vanquish" but also cribs some from other, more serious Warfare-type game with "Vanquish Confirmed," in which you not only have to destroy the enemy team but also have to grab orbs to prove you've destroyed someone. And then there's "Mixed Mode," which mashes together all six multiplayer game types into a hodgepodge of hot zombie-on-plant action. But though this game works well online, its single-player mode has some issues. For starters, you can't pause the game when you're playing by yourself. It's also not hard to see how the solo mode would've been so much better if it were more of a story-driven campaign, as opposed to just a succession of the multiplayer modes reconfigured for solo play. Still, if you're someone who does play well with others and doesn't mind getting a little silly, Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is a battle for the ages.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about being a sore loser and a good winner. Why is it important not to be the former and always to be the latter?
Talk about financial responsibility. Does it make sense to buy a funny hat for your zombie when it doesn't protect his head? How can you spend your money better?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: February 19, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Misfits and underdogs, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Animated Blood, Crude Humor, Fantasy Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.