The crown jewel of our visit to the EA Mobile side of town was getting some actual face time with the iOS version of Plants vs Zombies 2. In a nutshell, it's Plants vs Zombies [$0.99 / $0.99 (HD)] but more. If you're familiar with the original, you'll be able to instantly pick up and play the sequel. There's new plants, loads of new levels, tons of new zombies, and a lot of content to wade through. Check out the video where I play an easy early level, then totally fail at a very difficult end level:

The crux of this game is going to be how you pay for it. EA was holding strong on all the microtransactions being incredibly optional, but that's a hard pill to swallow when a game is balanced with IAP of any kind even in the equation. Even if the IAP is truly optional, it seems inevitable to hit those difficulty bumps and feel like this is where you're "meant" to spend some money- Or, why bother re-trying when you can just drop some cash.

I'm really excited to see how it feels when we can actually download it, which should be very soon.

  • Reignmaker

    If IAP is used for anything other than aesthetic improvements or additional playable content, I chalk it up as a negative. I will never pay real money for an in-game advantage unless it's part with the introductory price.

    • Hans P. Köter

      Regarding what they did to Tetris only some weeks ago I can't help having a very bad feeling here :( I own perhaps five incarnations of the original PvZ game, and it is kind of sad to see the sequel ruined by greed. Why don't they release a free demo of an early and a later, hard level with the iAP option to buy the full game? PvZ was a big success, so they shouldn't be concerned too much about endangering shareholder value...

    • Reignmaker

      These are the iPad games I'm holding out for:

      - XCOM: Enemy Unknown
      - Terraria
      - Dues Ex: The Fall
      - Fates Forever
      - Hearthstone
      - Baldur's Gate II
      - Transistor
      - Lone Wolf

      • ihd1234567890

        How the heck is Xcom going to mobile? It's a console game!!!!!

      • michaelfields

        Technology

      • Taclys

        The Walking Dead is a console game, and it runs well on iPad.

      • Brian Preble

        Xcom is a PC game. Any console version is a port, just like the upcoming iPad edition.

    • Erik Moller

      I've come to accept IAPs for the games I love. I recall paying $60-80 for console games pre-iOS. I see nothing wrong paying that much into a game as playable as PvZ2.

  • DtheGOPkiller

    What a shame if they ruin such a great game. EA is about as greedy as you get so I am a little worried. Well it could be worse it could be gameloft. But the fact it's free says to me it's going to be very aggressive with IAP. Sad.

    • ZarieoZ

      Well.. I consider EA to be worse. Yes Gameloft clone games but they made some games available to mobile when other developer just didn't care, that's why I believed in them... Well that's up until they decided to turn EAish with with the F2P & crap stuff... But hey they are burning their own games, but here we get EA buying companies we all loved only to destroy their IPs & blatantly rip-off consumers in games & IPs they were once fond of & they carelessly ruin good memories. I for once, if I created a company that huge (like Popcap & Fitemint) I won't be selling off that easily..... It's like their success & they threw it all away.

      I just wish those developers to just wake up & look from far above to this industry that they once cherished enough to the point that they challenged themselves to learn & work hard to be part of it & now look at how much they are harming that legacy of an industry & community & turning it to be like any other business where entertainment comes last. Look at ultima forever.... Wait timers for shield repair & ummm weapons, just look at it. It doesn't look right & I'm not saying it from a consumer's perspective. Since when did people had to do that on the good old day where gaming was just PURE. An industry made by gamers for gamers. Will all those businessmen leave the industry already!!!

      Sorry, got carried away & it's too long but I'm just fed up with all the fremium $#%€£

    • Erik Moller

      There's a simple explanation for free games. Piracy and cheapskates. This ensures 100% revenue. Nothing wrong plunking down $20-80 on a great game. Especially a game like PvZ1 or 2.

  • RelientKSoCal

    In the video it looks like there is also an in-game currency (coins) like in the first game. Perhaps the IAPs can also be unlocked with coins (crosses fingers)?
    That being said, I would have gladly paid $4.99 (the original was $2.99) to just have the full game, but... Oh well.

    • TanRnet

      I would think devs are making a boat load of money from the free 2 play model and IAPs. Why else would they go this route. But I agree I would rather just pay up front to buy the whole game and not worry about all the IAP options.

      • nini

        It would be a good option to have but when you're more easily able to make money off many micro-transactions continually per customer instead of a larger one-time per customer, the obvious business choice is hard to ignore especially for an outfit like EA.

    • Tranceaholic

      Even the original iOS version had IAP, but there were ways to earn tons of coins quickly with minimal effort. Hopefully the new game will have a similar opportunity to farm coins like the original did!

      • ZarieoZ

        I think, not at first. I've had it for years & I don't recall it having any IAP, that only happened when EA bought PopCap. I updated the game to the latest version but I'm glad that I kept the first non-IAP version backed up on my laptop.

      • dancj

        If I were you I'd update to the current version with IAPs. They're completely optional and don't take anything away from the game - and they've added a few more game packs that you can buy with the in-game money (which you can easily earn for free in the Zen Garden.

      • Taclys

        I bought the 99c 100k coin package for original PvZ, made getting a zen garden really easy at first. Hopefully PvZ2 will have zen garden-type feature!

  • Smartbomb

    Balls

  • Haanden

    IAP?! It's off my watch list now. What a dirty shame.

    • andrew9oh7

      The first one had IAP......

      • Aerach

        Not at release.

      • andrew9oh7

        True!

    • B30

      It's EA, it never was on my watch list!

  • noggin

    I'm really looking forward to how seeing how they integrate IAP to this game. if they do it well, we'll be getting a great game for free and

  • B30

    ... and you still believe in santa claus too, right?

    • B30

      ^^^ Reply to noggin

  • BJorn_LuLszic

    Can'f wait to play it on July 17! :P

  • Morgan01

    Sadly, it's an EA title. Lately, they have been butchering their games with overly aggressive IAP models. Not holding my breath for this one.

  • Sunblaze24

    The original Plants vs Zombies let you either buy coins as an IAP to make life easier on yourself, or you could earn it slowly (or quickly, with certain tricks). This was the way IAPing should be done, and all of the games content was accessible without spending a dime.

    A bit disappointed that IAP will be taken to a new extreme for this sequel..but I can't deny, the game still looks good. Like a worthy sequel, save for IAP.

  • Erik Moller

    Biggest question: will there be an endless/survival mode for the iPhone 5/5s for PvZ2?

  • Andrew

    Game with microtransactions? No thank you. I'll wait for the redesigned version when they put the whole game in the initial price. This will not do well outside of moron mobile users.