Plants vs. Zombies 2 Grinds To A Halt

Plants vs Zombies 2

I don’t really care for tower defense games anymore. The genre has become over-saturated and stale. But I do love Plants vs. Zombies, so when the sequel was released this last month, I was very excited. The cutesy art style and tough, but fair gameplay appealed to me on many levels. I had a ball with the first game and was eager for more. The fact that the game was now free-to-play with microtransactions didn’t give me a bit of pause. I’ve never once been tempted to buy my way through a game before, so why should PvZ 2 be any different?

Well, PopCap has managed to do the unthinkable because I am very close to dropping $5 just to get to the next area. But not because I am failing. On the contrary, I have beaten all the levels required to access the next area. But in order to progress, you need Stars, which are earned by replaying prior levels you have already beaten and completing certain challenges, which grant you Stars. In the first area, this was not an issue. You needed 15 Stars and I had 8, so I only needed 7 more to get things moving. But when I finished the second area, I had 9 Stars, but now you need 30. So I have to grind 21 levels in order to get the Stars required to play further.

At first, I didn’t mind, but now, after playing the same stale levels over and over, I am getting tired of it and I want to move forward. I am no longer unlocking new plants and can’t until I make it to the next area. The sweet spot of progression has turned sour and I have been beaten into submission. I am 9 Stars away and I may make it, but I just can’t see myself going through this again. I will likely pay $5 to unlock the final area. The free-to-play model is not inherently evil, but if abused, you are left feeling like a victim rather than a happy consumer. I would have gladly paid $5 for this game upon release if everything was unlocked, but being tortured and coerced into it has made me angry and less likely to trust anything they release again.

What about you? Has anyone else dipped their toe into PvZ 2? Has any other free-to-play game made you feel this way? First comment is free, all others cost you $.99!

Written by

Age: 34 PSN ID: Starkiller81. I've played games since before I can remember, starting with my dad's Atari and I haven't stopped yet. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them.

4 thoughts on “Plants vs. Zombies 2 Grinds To A Halt”

  1. Yeah I have played it a fair bit. My initial excitement was lost after a few levels. Less plant types, gameplay enhancing abilities that are behind a paywall. Basically, it seems like a lot of the content that was available in the first game will be dlc in the future. The game is still there I guess but it feels watered down to me. For some reason I see this as the dark future that EA is championing for. Want to play as Manchester United in the next FIFA game? $2.00 please etc.

  2. I haven’t played it, but my mother, who was crazy for the first PvZ and was super-excited for the second game, has only played it for a few days since it first came out. She HATES the level grinding. You might not think it’s inherently evil, but I do. I’ve played Candy Crush. I’ve played The Simpsons: Tapped Out. I’ve played many different F2P and freemium games. I can count on one hand the number of games that don’t completely fuck up F2P; for the most part, it’s luring people in with a low barrier of entry and then subtly talking them into throwing piles of cash at you.

    *hands Anthony $9.99*

  3. It seems like this model would work best if there was “bundle” set at, say, $20 or $30, that gave you all of the content you’d expect from the full game as well as whatever you needed to make it all the way through. That way it wouldn’t feel like being gouged; you could just unlock the “full game” and move on.

  4. @JJ that does seem like it would be better suited. It seems that with that low barrier to entry, it would make things simpler to just have an unlock feature like that. Even just a full game unlock for like 5 or 10 dollars would seem reasonable to just have the full game there at start.

Comments are closed.