PvZ2 launches worldwide tonight for iDevices only. I'm excited to give it a go, but it's really weird that they made this an iOS release first.
After playing the game for two hours straight, I'm really enjoying it. Lots of changes from the original, but unlike a lot of other freemium games, PvZ2 let's you just play. No timers. No spamming Facebook friends. No forced pay walls. No premium only currency. It's just you and the game. I'm almost forgetting that it's even freemium. The only slightly questionable element is the six pay-only plants, which I believe are all repeated from the first game except for one. The new plants, however are really awesome and unless you're really attached to the old pay ones you will really like them.
There's some really neat new gameplay additions that make it more engaging and interactive than the first. You have the ability to use plant food to bolster you plant's abilities for a limited time, and it's really fun to experiment to see what it does. For example, giving it to the pea shooter turns it into a pea machine gun for a couple of seconds. These moves can be insanely powerful and are crucial for winning. Luckily, the game gives you just enough so that you'll never feel overwhelmed. You have the option of buying more with in-game coins but I have yet to do that myself outside of tutorial.
There are also multiple objectives for each stage. These objectives are so diverse and can really affect your strategy, making replayed stages feel like new levels in and of themselves. For example, you might have to prevent the zombies from getting over a certain part of the stage, or a limited amount of sun you can spend.
My one complaint is that the game's pace is quite slow. The game introduces a new map system where you only unlock new plants once you reach them. Most of these are behind key doors, which you cannot buy and are randomly dropped during You also have to complete alternate objective levels after finishing the first world so you can move on to the next, it's not enough to clear mainline stages once. The slow pacing is likely due to the games shorter length, which only has three worlds instead of five like in the first.
Overall, I really like this game despite the small issues I had with it. My only hope is that future updates don't introduce more iAP than there is in the game, but this game still feels like a proper PvZ sequel even if it was premium in the first place. If you have an iOS, go download this now.