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Plants vs. Zombies 3 (pre-2021)

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Plants vs. Zombies 3
— Crazy Dave's death sound, which represents the crap this game went through during its Early Access period.
Genre(s): Tower defense
Platform(s): Android
Release: February 25, 2020
Developer(s): PopCap Games
Publisher(s): Electronic Arts
Country: United States
Series: Plants vs. Zombies
Predecessor: Plants vs. Zombies 2

"It pains me to say this, but everything that I’ve seen regarding PvZ3 makes me really sad. A good example of not understanding what makes the game good while pursuing the holy grail of monetization. No offense to the team on the ground. I know what hoops they are jumping through."
Jeremy Vanhoozer, criticizing Plants vs. Zombies 3

Plants vs. Zombies 3 (abbreviated as PvZ3) is a tower defense game developed by PopCap Games and published by Electronic Arts. This game is a sequel to Plants vs. Zombies 2. It was released on Android devices for pre-alpha testing on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 for a limited amount of users in the United States and Canada. The pre-alpha ended on February 10, 2020 and was soft launched on February 25, 2020 in select countries, namely the Philippines, Romania, and Indonesia[1].

On October 14, 2020, it was confirmed that the soft launch would be unavailable on November 18, 2020 to make bigger changes. The game was later re-released completely overhauled for a soft launch in September 7th, 2021. This page only covers the original version of the game.

Bad Qualities

  1. Microtransactions: The plants all cost the same, so really good plants are valued at the same price as useless ones. Luckily, these aren't required to win the levels and the game isn't that hard without them, there is also a Season Pass that when you pay for it gives an exaggerated advantage.
  2. Absurd, bad and easy mechanism that is an insult to previous games:
    • There is almost no strategy, because sunflowers regenerate quickly (takes about 6 seconds), so you can simply spam plants without any effort, which is disappointing as it ruins the mechanics, because in the previous two games you put on the sunflowers and cost 50 suns, plus they gave suns slowly.
    • The levels are so easy and generic that you can simply spam them by spasting the strongest plants to win fast, this ruins the mechanics of planning your defense to attack the zombies.
    • There are certain zombies they seem to be immune to that level difference, it's absurd that you have to have a plant with level 12 or 13 to defeat level 7 and 8 zombies.
    • In arena mode it's almost impossible to win, because the percentage what you do is always inferior to that of the enemy, The percentage of enemies almost always doubles, fortunately this is fixing it.
  3. The gameplay is boring, not so difficult and tired after several hours playing, it's very repetitive, laziness to pass the levels of the devouring tower and the other levels in general, plus the game's mechanics and style feel similar to Clash Royale (like the mechanics of sunflowers that is similar to the mechanics of the elixir), with the difference that the characters and style of Plants vs. Zombies has and that you don't play with another real player, but you play against zombies that the game chose, besides that there aren't that many zombies and initially you couldn't change your plant equipment.
  4. Although some 3D designs of Zombies and Plants that are decent, some are not really attractive and creative unlike the other installments of the saga, plus the graphics in this game are uglily rendered, making them look even worse and look dark, pixelated and looks like cel-shading early 2001.
  5. The music is simple, you can't find Zombies In Your Lawn, Brainiac Maniac, Ultimate Battle, Zombie Time - none of that. Laura Shigihara left development team after the acquisition of PopCap Games by EA, but still struggled to make a feature soundtrack, instead in this game is just mediocre. Peter McConnell has no involvement in the music composing.
  6. Playing vertically is really weird, since most of them were used to playing horizontally because the previous games were played horizontally, this was probably based on famous Android games like Clash Royale, but simply on a Plants vs. Zombies game doesn't work well. Sounds familiar?
  7. The look of the maps is really mediocre and it's not as creative compared to previous Plants vs. Plants games. In Plants vs. Zombies 2 where the maps were original and the design was good, in this game the maps are empty and there are almost no details.
  8. You have to wait for zombies to reach your lawn to attack you and play, which is against previous Plants vs. Zombies games where the games had levels spread across worlds, so this decision to wait for the zombies to go to your lawn is strange.
  9. The system of worlds is strange, literally consists of a devouring tower who's chasing us, Which within it we have to overcome about three sentences that by fulfilling the phrases, the tower leaves the place and unlocks a new area in which zombies appear at some time, it should be noted that in the tower you get plants, do not pass levels as in previous games.
  10. In addition to what the sunflower mechanics of previous games and play horizontally have disappeared, other fundamental elements in previous games have disappeared, here are some examples:
    • Zen Garden.
    • Mini-games.
    • Levels.
    • The Almanac.
    • Playing without the Internet connection.
      • This is a shame, since one of the main advantages of the previous games for mobile is that you could play it anywhere, although the offline could have been deleted by the hacks.
    • Ultimate Battle.
    • There are no longer those frustrating but ingenious missions of the second game and there's no longer that essence of the first game where you were excited to get a plant and the plants had reason to exist and they were good for something.
  11. Events don't last long enough to complete them, because to play again, you have to wait long hours, plus the events only last two days and in a few occasions three days.

Good Qualities

  1. The design of the zombies looks good, in addition, some 3D plant designs are also decent, although the 3D rendering is not good as stated above.
  2. The game is being fixed after negative reception from fans, so perhaps the bad qualities mentioned on the page will be removed or fixed.
  3. Gameplay is still a little fun, despite being a disappointment compared to previous games and does not have as much variety of plants.
  4. The boss battles are frantic and fun despite the mechanics of the sunflower you can easily explode and win without so much effort.
  5. Like previous games, it's totally free, which means you don't have to spend money to buy the game.
  6. The game still retains some of the visual comedy and artistic style of the previous games.
  7. The reworked version, which soft launched in September 7th, 2021 as beta is an improvement of the original version, as it fixed many flaws such as:
    • Vertical/portrait mode to landscape mode that the first Plants vs. Zombies and its sequel use.
    • Rather than using auto-generating sun mechanic, the sun mechanic is now more closer to the first two games, as well as Sunflower is now plantable.
    • The 2D art style used for plants and zombies are nice to look at, better than the original graphic.


Casual players liked the game mode, although for Plants vs. Zombies fans it was a disappointment, due to the new mechanics similar to Clash Royale and that most of the things from previous games were removed.

The negative reception from Plants vs. Zombies fans caused EA to force PopCap Games reworking the game on October 14, 2020.




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