The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Plants vs. Zombies on the Xbox

Last week I saw the advertisement on the ZRC’s Xbox Dashboard for the new, Xbox-specific version of famed PopCap Games product Plants vs. Zombies and I knew I had to get in on the ground floor of this one; a new PC version is also out now for people to play.

What is Plants vs. Zombies? In essence, it’s a tower defense game, that is (for those who haven’t played one) a type of strategy game where you arrange defenses to fend off wave after wave of attackers and prevent them from reaching some critical location. In Plants vs. Zombies, unfortunately, these attackers are Zombies, and your job is to defeat them using some incredibly militarized plants.

There are pea plants that shoot their peas as projectiles; giant piranha plants ala Little Shop or Mario that devour Zombies whole; various suicidal exploding plants like Jalepenos or Cherry Bombs, and so on. Different levels place different demands on the player as you advance through a story mode where the appearance of the Undead is never explained, though they do attempt to conduct negotiations through handwritten notes, all of which the player naturally ignores.

What does it play like? Honestly, and I mentioned this on our Twitter feed, Plants vs. Zombies feels like a cartoonish version of trench warfare, a Western Front featuring hyper-aggressive botanical weapons. The Zombies have some personality but for the most part march slowly and inexorably toward doom or triumph without hesitation or enthusiasm, shoved into the breach as it were, not by their commanding officers but by a cruel and merciless game AI.

The excellent art and high level of polish make Plants vs. Zombies a very easy game to play, and a very seductive package for Living Supremacist dogma. This sophisticated design approach, coupled with an affordable price and now a truly multiplatform distribution, makes the game all the more a threat to Zombie Rights. Imagine this game creeping surreptitiously into homes across America, normally vigilant parents lulled into a false sense of security by the game’s low ERSB rating and the cartoony style, completely unaware the lessons of hate and discrimination being imparted to their offspring under cover of darkness (or perhaps just after school).

The Xbox version also comes with a variety of additional gameplay modes, including multiplayer, so that you can turn the Zombie struggle for survival and identity into an ‘amusing’ sort of party game. Rounding out an already ample package of Zombie-hate are minigames and a garden where you can grow plants you take off bodies of the fallen Zombies.

The ZRC cannot condemn this game enough, nor PopCap games for making it. Truly they should hang their heads in shame for peddling such a product to such a mass market, even as the Zombie Rights movement begins making its first major strides.

For shame.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


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