It's about time... no really
The new Plants vs Zombies game will hit iOS this summer. That's kind of a big deal. The original is a casual game accepted by more hardcore gamers because of its sly humour, tactical depth and delightful art style--so the sequel is hotly anticipated by a diverse range of gamers.
That's why we caught up with Allen Murray, Senior Producer on Plants vs. Zombies 2 (opens in new tab) to chat about the game--and what took them so damn long to make it--ahead of its release later this summer.
You call PvZ 2 Its about time. What did actually take you so long to create a sequel?
At PopCap we dont like to rush out sequels or quick ports that would give the player a less than perfect experience. So in the first couple of years after the release of the original Plants vs. Zombies we spent the time--a lot of time--conceiving and building adaptations of the game for different platforms, each of which was designed specifically to take advantage of the unique aspects of each platform.
A small team has been exploring options for a new Plants vs. Zombies game, since as far back as 2010, looking at ideas for the gameplay and other options. We just wanted to get it right and ensure the best game possible was released, and this takes time.
Tell us about some of the new plant types and power ups.
Some of the new plants include the rough and ready Bonk Choy for close range melee attacks, and Lightning Reed, which excels in repelling the zombie chickens you might find in the new Wild West world. Amongst the new power ups you will find is Plant Food, which gives each plant a unique, momentary boost that can turn a frantic battle with the undead in your favour. There are also just-in-time touchscreen Power-Ups: Pinch, Flick and Zap, which lets players directly interact with their zombie foes and turn the tide in their favour.
Weve also added some fun twists to the core elements of the gameplay so each world that players visit offers a different challenge on the lawn (board) itself. For example, in the Wild West you can only place plants on mining cars which sit train tracks in some of the columns, adding to the strategy and excitement.
Crazy Dave features heavily in your teaser trailers. Will we see more of him in this game?
Crazy Dave plays a starring role in PvZ 2. You start the game with an encounter featuring Crazy Dave who has just eaten the most amazing taco hes ever had. So good that he wants to eat it again! What better way to do this but to indulge in a bit of time travel? But things dont go to plan and you end up in Ancient Egypt, from there on in you begin your wacky time traveling adventure.
Crazy Dave is a key PvZ character that we know the audience loves, so it seemed only right to put him front and centre in the sequel. Time travel is a great way for us to have varied and silly scenarios where we can introduce new plants, new zombies and great new ways to play.
Do you have any plans to bring PvZ 2 to home or handheld consoles? The Wii U desperately needs some games right now
For PvZ 2, PopCap is focusing on mobile first. Theres so much fantastic potential there and we want to explore it as extensively as possible with PvZ 2. That said, were also looking at some cool new ways to bring the Plants vs. Zombies franchise to different audiences on different platforms with great new titles such as Plants vs. Zombies Adventures, which is out now on Facebook and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare which is coming out next year on console.
How tough is it to strike the balance between new plants, new zombies, and making sure the game is still simple to pick up and play?
So much of what made the original game so popular was just how approachable it was. Anyone of any age could pick it up and play it regardless of prior video game knowledge and skill. It had a broad appeal and was simple. We wanted to make sure we kept that simplicity in PvZ 2, so it was vital we didnt change too much of the core mechanics. But we still felt we could create a fresh, new experience with new plants and new zombies. We think we have struck the right balance in PvZ 2.
The idea for PvZ Garden Warfare is a radical departure for the series do you think fans really want a PvZ co-op shooter?
Answered by: Brian Lindley, Lead Producer, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare (opens in new tab)
We know that we have a great fan base as a result of the growing popularity of the original Plants vs. Zombies. Our motivation for PvZ Garden Warfare was really about wanting to give players a completely different style of game and perspective from which to experience the fun world of PvZ.
As we explored different concepts for a new PvZ game, we found that a class-based, multiplayer game set in the PvZ universe was the most fun and we hope you agree!
Who are you calling buttercup? Oh...
So, there you have it--all the info on the new Plants vs Zombies game straight from the horse's mouth. Not that our interviewee was a horse like Mr Ed. Or B Buttercup (he was last seen in a truck, heading for a burger van in Toulouse). That would be weird. Anyway, Plants vs Zombies 2 is out for iOS later this summer. We confidently predict awesomeness.
Hungry for braaaains? We can't help you. Hungry for more braaaain-scoffing features? Check out How Games Taught Us To Prepare For The Zombie Apocalypse (opens in new tab). Or maybe you prefer Everything We Know About Plants vs Zombies 2 (opens in new tab). Which is plenty.