This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

As a longtime fan of Plants vs. Zombies, I was shocked and overjoyed when Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare was revealed at E3 last year. Since picking it up on launch day, I have enjoyed every moment.

This is a game that people of all ages can enjoy. It’s a shooter, but it’s not violent like Call of Duty or Battlefield. If I were a parent, I would feel 100 percent comfortable letting my child blow off zombies’ heads in this fun, quirky take on the shooter genre.

So many shooters today are the same. Games like Call of Duty are appealing to many, but a lot of gamers have grown tired of the same old shooters year after year. Garden Warfare brings something new to the table (or, garden I suppose).

I can honestly say that this is the first only online game I have wanted to play in a long time. I’m normally more inclined to play single-player games. I was never really into tactical shooters (other than Spec Ops: The Line). However, since PvZ: Garden Warfare is a new take on the stale FPS genre, and since I’m a huge fan of the series, I knew it would be the perfect game for me.

There are a few different modes to choose from, with the first being Garden Ops: A four-player co-op mode where players defend their garden against 10 waves of zombies. It’s loads of fun, and happens to be my favorite mode in the game.

The second mode is called Welcome Mat, pitched as “the perfect place to get started” in the in-game description of the mode. In this mode, you play as either a plant or a zombie, and the first team who vanquishes 50 enemies wins the match. Pretty simple, right? The only catch it that players cannot use customization or unlocked characters.

The next mode is called Team Vanquish, which is exactly what it sounds like: A take on the classic Team Deathmatch mode from many other shooters. The rules are the same as in Welcome Mat, except that players are permitted to use customization and unlocked characters. The next mode is Garden & Graveyards, in which zombies try to turn plants’ gardens into graveyards. It’s a quirky and fun mode that allows for hours of fun. There are also “Classic” modes for Team Vanquish and Gardens & Graveyards, where customization, upgrades, and unlocked characters are not allowed. The last multiplayer mode was just added recently, and it is titled “Mixed Mode.” This chaotic mode is a blend of Team Vanquish and Gardens & Graveyards.

For those who enjoy local multiplayer like myself, there is a Split Screen mode where you and a friend work together to defeat Zombies online. The only catch to this mode is that player 2 cannot earn coins, complete challenges, or earn achievements. I thought this was pretty lame, but Split Screen mode is very fun, nonetheless.

My favorite thing about this game is the variety in character classes. No Plant or Zombie is the same, and each has their strengths and weaknesses.  There are four plants to choose from: The classic Peashooter, the always-hungry Chomper, the friendly Sunflower, and the sniping Cactus. Personally, I love switching between each Plant from time to time, and I found that each one has its advantages and disadvantages. The Zombies are the same way. Whether you are the Foot Soldier, Engineer, Scientist, or the All-Star, you truly feel like you’re playing as a different character each time.

Don’t be fooled, Plants vs. Zombies fans–Just because you like classic PvZ doesn’t mean you’re going to like Garden Warfare. After all, it is a third-person shooter. I do feel that this game could act as a gateway shooter for those who aren’t very experienced with the shooter genre.

Final thoughts

Gameplay: Garden Warfare is a fresh new take on the FPS genre. It provides players with hours of entertainment.

Appearance: The game looks pretty gorgeous. It’s very cartoony, which is the perfect fit for a game about Zombies trying to attack Plants.

Sound: The soundtrack is just awesome. It really sets the tone for the game. The music that plays at the title screen sounds a lot like a kids version of Crazy Train.

Bottom line: Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is a great introductory shooter for kids and adults alike.

Overall score: