All eyes may currently be on Titanfall, but don't count out PopCap's first shooter. It's surprisingly tactical, pleasingly vertical and features truly exquisite classes who make for an asymetrical and perfectly unbalanced experience. The randomised progression system is a major sticking point, but on the whole, it's a surprising success.
That said, it was just too on Xbox One at launch. This is much more like it. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
The latest Humble Weekly Sale is PopCap-tastic, offering five-to-eight of their most beloved games depending on how much you're willing to spend. Chances are that you'll have most of these already, but for those who don't, £3.58 is a serious saving.
Pay at least £0.60 for Peggle Deluxe, Bejeweled 3, Bookworm Deluxe, Escape Rosecliff Island and Feeding Frenzy 2 Deluxe.
Beat £3.58 to also receive Plants vs. Zombies: Game of the Year Edition, Peggle Nights and Zuma's Revenge.
Sadly their best game of all time -- Heavy Weapon: Atomic Tank -- is not included in the bundle, though its PC version is admittedly sub-par. Thanks to Sanchit @ HUKD!
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare may be the friendliest and most delightful shooter around, but you'd be surprised at the amount of depth that lurks just beneath the cheerful surface. War is hell, even when it's utterly adorable.
So to maximise your vanquish potential, keep your chlorophyll safely within your stalks and ensure you a tasty brain banquet, here are ten essential tips to bear in mind while playing online. Some are tricky, some are common sense, but all will keep you alive when the goop and concrete starts flying!
Chomper is easily the most unique class in Garden Warfare, and my personal favourite (especially the Fire variant!). His stealthy burrowing skill and instant-vanquish melee attacks are perfectly suited for sneaky offensive actions... but when you're playing 'Gardens & Graveyards,' you'll discover that he's also one of the best defenders the Plants have to offer.
The Spikeweed ability lets you lock down three approaches to your capture points, tying up attackers for your ranged team-mates to painlessly dispatch. Chompers can burrow under objectives, instantly scoffing any zombies who breach the perimeter, or flank around to quickly neutralise any pesky Scientists setting up healing stations. In a pinch, Goop attacks can slow down All-Stars and Engineers racing for the control zone. Remember that any zombie vanquished by a chomp attack cannot be revived, forcing them to slog all the way back from the nearest spawn point.
Finally, never underestimate the psychological impact of a Chomper defensive team. Once the foe knows you're there, they'll have to advance slowly and methodically, wasting valuable time as they desperately try to work out where you're hiding. The horror. The horror!Click here to read more...
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare has no right to be any good. It's everything we're supposed to hate: the corruption of a beloved franchise into yet another multiplayer shooter. Peashooters, zombie workmen and Sunflowers trade charming tower defence for ironsights and circle-strafing, more casualties of the war on wallets that never changes.
So I'm genuinely delighted to report that, despite all odds, Garden Warfare is a rather lovely little thing! PopCap may lack experience with the gritty genre, but their unsullied innocence allowed them to inject fun, happiness, colour and real personality into what's often a crushingly drab shooting gallery. Sunflowers and zombies merrily flounce and flail around some vibrant maps, working together to push the simple objectives or 'vanquish' as many foes as possible. It's easily the most stress-free and family friendly shooter out there, eschewing K/D ratios, sprinting, gore and microtransactions to create a safe and relaxing environment for newcomers to enjoy.
Don't mistake a cheerful and casual approach for a lack of depth, however. Behind the smiles lies an impeccably unbalanced set of classes and abilities that can cater for any play style. Often you'll find me sniping flowers from rooftops as a mobile zombie foot soldier, whereas much of my time is spent ruthlessly stalking my undead prey from beneath the Earth, hunting my quarry as they vainly flee in abject terror, only to meet their grisly demise as I smash through the tarmac and devour them whole with razor-sharp fangs.
I am Chomper! I am Death! And I am having an absolute blast with Garden Warfare, even if I might not be able to recommend it quite as highly as I'd like.Click here to read more...
Platform: Xbox One (timed exclusive)
Developer: PopCap Games
In almost every way that counts, Peggle 2 is exactly what we need it to be. What I need it to be. Another hit, another fix, just a bit more of that sweet Pegglin' action to calm the shakes and stop my teeth itching. A prescription for the Extreme Fever we've all been suffering from these last few years.
PopCap's beloved Bagatelle-meets-Pachinko-meets-psychadelic-insanity timesink is is still as enjoyable and inexplicably addictive as ever. Flinging balls at little coloured pegs shouldn't be this much fun, yet Peggle 2 once again nails the middle ground between chance and skill. Superb ball physics allow experienced players to line up and call the perfect trick shot, while most of us enjoy the thrill of a one in a million chance coming good with random desperate punts. Whatever your style, nailing all of the orange pegs results in a crescendo of classical music, fireworks and ridiculous shenanigans that makes us feel warm and tingly all over.
What? You know it's true.
As you'd expect from a next-gen debut title, Peggle 2 is also very shiny indeed. It's crisp, colourful and utterly gorgeous, oozing both class and painstaking attention to detail alongside rampant hilarity by the bucketload. The five characters look fantastic thanks to big expressive animated portraits, reacting to your shots in all manner of silly ways. Returning unicorn Bjorn prances and whinnies, farting out rainbows and magically throwing up the horns with his... horn. Jeff the troll quotes The Dude as he relaxes with a cold pint, all while his goat pals get so amped in the background that their heads explode. Zombie girl Luna's jaw drops so hard that it falls off. Each master is absolutely packed with personality, though of course, they aren't just pretty faces.Click here to read more...
While we wait for PopCap to do the right thing and develop Heavy Weapon: Atomic Tank 2 - Tank Harder, at least we'll be able to play Peggle 2 to tide us over. Call us immature if you like, call us childish if you must, but we're probably more excited about this peg-busting sequel than any other Christmas release on the books.
It's out on Xbox One next week, but to whet your appetite, we've got a whole mess of videos below showing off the masters in action.Click here to read more...
Peggle 2 is still an Xbox One timed-exclusive, but PopCap has let slip that it will no longer make the promised November 22nd release date.Click here to read more...
You shouldn't fix what ain't broken, and PopCap are definitely taking that mantra to heart with Peggle 2. As you can see by way of these three new trailers, it's very much business as usual, while two new masters provide fairly subtle new abilities.
Which is probably going to be absolutely fine, because Peggle is the cool soothing prescription for the most extreme of fevers. We've got the three videos for the Xbox One timed-exclusive below.Click here to read more...
Did you miss the EA Gamescom trailer for Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare? You know, the one that revealed the zombie classes for the tie-in multiplayer shooter? Well, never fear, because we've stashed it after the braiiiiiiiins.
I mean break, obviously. What did I say?
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare launches next Spring as an Xbox One timed exclusive. More details below.Click here to read more...
Peggle 2 is headed to Xbox One later this year (and eventually everything with a screen, we suspect), and we've finally got a look at the anticipated PopCap title. Spoiler alert: it's like Peggle, only exactly the same. And thus exactly what we want.
We'll update with a trailer as soon as possible, but for now, here are the latest screenshots.Click here to read more...
Both of PopCap's upcoming heavy-hitters will release as Xbox One timed exclusives: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare and the long-awaited Peggle 2. Though Microsoft proudly announced the deal during their Gamescom showcase, we'll likely get more gameplay footage (and our first look at Peggle 2 yessss) during EA's press conference at 15:00.
Peggle 2 has been confirmed as an Xbox One launch title, while Garden Warfare is slated to release next year. UPDATE: EA has confirmed the news and announced that Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare will include a Kinect-powered Boss Mode.
One of the least publicised games of E3 looks to be one of the absolute highlights. We saw a brief gameplay snippet of MonolithSoft's Wii U-exclusive JRPG during the Nintendo Direct presentation, and it utterly blew our minds. We saw an enormous open world. Massive monsters roaming the plains, free to engage or ignore at leisure. Bustling towns and wide open vistas. Xenoblade Chronicles taken to the next level, but with the addition of massive great mechs that let you experience the world from the skies.
And multiplayer? If you keep an eye on the GUI, you'll see allusions to 'Players 1-4' (though this could well just be character name placeholders to avoid spoiling the story).
X could well be a system seller if Nintendo market it enough. It's clear that 2014 is going to be a killer year for Nintendo's console - not limited to the outrageous Bayonetta 2 - but they need to get boots on the ground and shift some consoles first.
Microsoft promised that E3 2013 would be all about the games, and they weren't wrong. Despite Sony utterly crushing them on the issues, Xbox One is coming out to bat with many more exclusive titles than its rival, which mainly revealed a tiny handful of core franchises, multiplatform titles and indie games (most of which are also already slated for PC).
Conversely, Microsoft locked down Ryse, Titanfall, Dead Rising 3, Quantum Break, Forza 5, Below, Crimson Dragon, PvZ: Garden Warfare, Sunset Overdrive, Project Spark and Killer Instinct just for starters. On multiplat side of things, we've got Destiny, Kingdom Hearts III, Final Fantasy XV, MGS V, Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV and... well, most of the games we saw at Sony's (admittedly better) press conference.
We're still railing against system-wide DRM and online check-ins, but us gamers have a long and illustrious history of accepting pretty much anything to play great games. Will we roll over again?Click here to read more...
Plants vs Zombies 2: It's About Time broke cover yesterday, revealed as a free-to-play title that takes players through numerous time periods to crush the zombie menace with an arsenal of furious foliage. We've now got some new screenshots to share, which shows some of the epochs, map interface and the familiar gameplay in action.
Oh, and you might be interested to read this little snippet from the fact sheet: "players can face every zombie and access every level in every world at no cost." Groovy.Click here to read more...
PopCap have finally lifted the lid off Plants vs Zombies 2, subtitled 'It's About Time.' This time-travelling adventure will release on iOS from July 18th, favouring a free-to-play model supported by a microtransaction store. However, you can apparently experience all the content without paying.
Details and all-important trailer below.Click here to read more...
PopCap are currently giving away Peggle for free to celebrate PAX East, and it looks like you can grab it even if you didn't attend. Once you've entered your details into the minisite, you'll receive an email with download instructions and a license key. I've confirmed that this works at the time of writing, but I don't know how long it will last.
EA has shuttered PopCap's Dublin studio following a period of intense reorganisation. The 96 employees, many of whom were tasked with localisation as well as mobile development, are apparently being provided with "outplacement support" or new positions within the EA infrastructure. More details after the break.
"So that's that then," tweeted PR manager Stu Taylor. "The emerald dream is over. To the pub, Batman!"
PopCap has been feeling the pressure from the emerging free to play and social markets following EA's buyout, and this move has apparently been taken to cut down on "duplicative" positions. That said, it always stings to see a British developer axed, and we wish the very best of luck to the 96 employees.Click here to read more...
PopCap co-founder John Vechey has reached out to confirm that they've had to make 50 staffers redundant in order to stay in business. Taking great pains to explain that EA took no part in the decision, he laid out plans to adapt in the face of the growing free to play and social markets, which "challenged" their traditional premium-priced app business model.Click here to read more...
Asked if EA are considering further acquisitions to bolster their ranks, following the successful buyouts of the likes of PopCap, Chillingo, Playfish, BioWare and others in the last few years, corporate development associate Carolyn Rohde's answer was an emphatic, "yes, definitely".Click here to read more...
PopCap co-founder John Vechey has stepped up to defend publisher leviathan EA after it received the Golden Poo award for being voted the Worst Company in America, beating rivals such as Comcast, AT&T, and even the Bank of America. Over 250,000 votes were cast, and EA picked up 64.03% of the votes in the final round.
But Vechey believes "in EA's leadership", praising the work Riccitiello has done as CEO, and suggesting that EA have been "relentless" in the pursuit of fair and balanced DLC pricing.Click here to read more...