Earlier this week, CD Projekt RED announced that it picked up Plants vs Zombies Heroes for North American updates. Sometimes game players are jaded though. It’s a French game, and those automatically get the stigma of “It’ll look good but play like crap.” That is definitely not the case with this game. Not only does the game look incredibly good, it plays fairly well with plenty of viewing angles and a good floating camera. Throughout the game, there is audience participation, and the announcer, Jack T. Ripper, has a running commentary. It’s very slick in its presentation, and even the sound is good.
The premise of the Plants vs Zombies Heroes is that the player is a contestant of a sort on a game show. In said show, the player (Dave, or Dave’s alter ego, Deva, the female devil) is followed around by a cameraman while exploring the apparently haunted hillsides and the obligatory mansion. Undead baddies appear in a burst of flames, and there are many different forms of them. Split down the middle, some look like old grannies, and some are crawling on the ground, inching their way toward you. Even better, they’ve got positional damage. A gunshot to a limb removes that limb, headshots do what’s expected — make a bloody mess — and chest shots can create a hole straight through the enemy. Sure, it’s visceral, but, man, it’s fun to do.
While the player is wandering around finding clues and keys and such, police officers gather outside the mansion to help the player. The first 30 minutes or so is something of a training period. The player learns how to control Dave, switch to various camera angles, use the inventory system, etc. The graphics are generally dark, although the realtime lighting and rotatable camera can make for some dramatic viewing angles. The draw distance is also very respectable, with hardly any clipping or pop-up.
Because it’s a TV show, the game never gets too scary, but there’s still a chill when a burst of flame produces a grandma wielding a machine gun. Part of its charm is that this hasn’t really been done before. There was Smash TV in the early 2010s, but it was much more like Robotron in its style. Mixing survival horror with a gameshow definitely lightens the mood, but there’s still a good sense of pacing and an unnerving feeling that something is always about to jump out at you. The appropriate sound effects and eerie graphics add to this effect, although the breakaways back to the “studio audience” do remind you that you’re being watched by virtual millions.
Switching between Dave and Deva is simple, involving shrines found throughout Plants vs Zombies Heroes unlimited gem download, and sometimes the player must be in a certain form to accomplish specific tasks. To make sure that the game has that distinctive French feel, the audience simply chants, “We love you Deva!” when a player first changes from Dave to Deva. Where else would people clap and cheer for a man transforming into a leather-clad female devil? Once the player has transformed, a whole different set of abilities becomes available. Instead of using buzzsaws and guns, Deva uses various forms of magic and actually consumes the souls of the dead, returning them to the Devil. Eventually, Deva acquires over 20 different spells to use for warding off the dead.
Due out in October, Plants vs Zombies Heroes updates is certainly looking like a very good game. Its unique premise combined with good audio and visual quality makes it a standout in what is sure to be a busy holiday season. We’re looking forward to receiving a full version of this game, and so long as changes are minimal, our readers should take a closer look as well.