EA unveiled a new shooter at this year’s E3, but it wasn’t the franchise you may have been expecting. Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is a first-person shooter made for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 that puts you in the shoes (roots?) of your favorite plants to beat a zombie invasion.
But how did this franchise make the move from mobile to console? We sat down with Brian Lindley, Producer on Garden Warfare to get the inside scoop.
It’s safe to say this game was a bit of a surprise. How did this concept even come about?
Nearly two years ago, we were reeling in the popularity of PvZ and started to think about ways to take it to new places. The PopCap team already had plans for PvZ 2 for the mobile platform that would continue the tower defense tradition. But, there was so much potential in the PvZ world for other styles of games and thought about what we could do in the action genre. With a seasoned team and a fun IP like PvZ, I knew we could make something special.
Will PvZ fans find stuff they know and love?
We’ve made a game that is a legitimate, fun action game but gets to lean into the cool characters and unique world of PvZ that makes this game different than anything else on the market. We wanted to make a game that action fans of say Battlefield would enjoy but that also brought fun elements that passionate PvZ fans would love too. This game is approachable and funny and I know PvZ fans will love it. You’ll see some of your favorite characters – the peashooter, sunflower, cactus and chomper – but get to play them in totally new ways.
What did the Frostbite engine bring to the table?
It was a pretty small team that built Garden Warfare, and with our experience in building blockbuster titles we knew how much work would go into pulling this off. So we thought hard about the development process, and using Frostbite meant we could be up and running quickly and just get started on building the Garden Warfare world. Using Frostbite meant we could spend less time building technology and jump right into building the game. Because a ton of teams at EA are using Frostbite, it’s well supported and allows us to just focus on game creation.
How’d you come up with all the fun PvZ spoofs like Grass Effect and Petal of Honor? Are you guys really making those games too?
We had a lot of fun doing a little spoof on Battlefield with our announcement trailer – one of the core tenants of PvZ as I said is humor. One of the guys on our team came up with the idea to spoof EA franchises and we all loved it so much, we took it and ran with it. The other parodies we did last week [Grass Effect, Dead Face, Petal of Honor] were some fun teasers our team came up with to throw gamers off the scent of Garden Warfare.
What can fans look forward to?
Garden Warfare is a legit action game, it’s not a cash in on a fun franchise without substance. Our team really engrained ourselves into the PopCap culture to make sure it really fits in the PvZ world. It’s a game that’s fun and will make you laugh and I really think it has something for everyone.
Check out the first gameplay of Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare at E3 at EA Booth #1601 at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 11-13.