It’s been over three years since Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 was released, and during this time, PopCap Vancouver has been hard at work. The latest installment in the series, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, was announced and made available in early access on September 4. This multiplayer-focused third-person shooter is the biggest game in the series to date, filled with story content, various multiplayer modes, and a larger roster of playable characters. It’s the perfect game for the whole family to enjoy together. Let’s delve into everything we know about it so far, including how you can start playing right away.
Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville is an online third-person shooter that revolves around the ongoing battle between the Plants and Zombies in Neighborville and its surrounding areas. The two factions engage in missions, competitive multiplayer battles, and wave-based Ops, all taking place on opposite sides of the town. Similar to Garden Warfare 2, the game offers free-roam areas for those who want to explore and discover collectibles. In these areas, you will also encounter campaign-style objectives such as defeating powerful Zombie enemies or rescuing kidnapped plants.
Not only can you explore as the Plants, but you also have the opportunity to play as the Zombies when you’re in the mood to be a bit mischievous. Whether you choose to tackle these areas alone or with up to three friends, be prepared for challenging missions that might require some teamwork.
Ops mode and cooperative play
Like its predecessors, Battle for Neighborville features an Ops mode, which resembles a Horde mode. While details about this mode are currently limited, it typically involves defending a point while utilizing potted Plants or computer-controlled Zombies to safeguard your position. This wave-based mode offers a significant challenge, requiring coordinated efforts when playing with a team.
While Battle for Neighborville is primarily an online game, it hasn’t forgotten about local couch co-op. Every mode in the game supports split-screen play on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, allowing you to enjoy the game with friends as you tackle story-driven content.
The heart of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville lies in its competitive multiplayer. This time around, there are more options than ever before, with six competitive modes available at launch, including the returning Turf Takeover, Team Vanquish, and Gnome Bomb. To participate in a multiplayer match, simply select your preferred mode from a terminal in the hub area and step through the portal directly in front of it.
One of the new modes introduced is Battle Arena, which takes place in the unique “Funderdome” area. This four-versus-four mode is a best-of-seven contest, and what sets it apart is that you can’t choose the same character in consecutive rounds. As a result, you’ll need to become familiar with the entire roster to excel in this mode.
Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville features a diverse lineup of 20 playable characters, with 10 available for both the Plants and Zombies. This includes all characters from Garden Warfare 2, alongside three new heroes on each side.
- Chomper: A melee-focused attacker excelling on the front lines.
- Kernel Corn: An assault specialist with damage capabilities at any range.
- Peashooter: An attacker specializing in medium-range damage, equipped with a turret.
- Cactus: A sniping defender armed with mines and a flying drone.
- Citron: A defensive specialist highly evasive in combat.
- Rose: A support specialist capable of transforming and frustrating enemies.
- Sunflower: A support specialist focused on healing.
- Night Cap: An attacker who uses spores as their primary weapon and can turn invisible.
- Oak & Acorn: A defender capable of growing from Oak into Acorn and carrying other Acorns on branches as turrets.
- Snapdragon: An attacker specializing in fire-based abilities.
- Foot Soldier: A grunt-style attacker wielding a rocket launcher and assault rifle.
- Imp & Z-Mech: An elusive attacker who can pilot a powerful Z-Mech suit.
- Super Brainz: A melee-focused superhero capable of fighting multiple enemies simultaneously.
- All-Star: A defender armed with a powerful auto-cannon and crowd-control moves.
- Captain Deadbeard: A defender with a weapon that transforms from shotgun to sniper rifle.
- Engineer: A support and technical specialist with gadget-focused abilities.
- Scientist: A support specialist who can heal and deal close-range damage.
- Electric Slide: An attacker dealing long-range damage and crowd control with tornadoes.
- 80s Action Hero: An attacker equipped with a bow that can fire powerful shots or spread shots.
- Space Cadet: Similar to Oak & Acorn, this character can utilize the Space Station for faster movement.
Character progression in Battle for Neighborville differs slightly from previous games. As you gain experience from battles against both other players and computer-controlled characters, your character’s level will increase. Once a character reaches level 10, you can return to your hub area and promote them, changing their rank title and resetting their level to 1.
Promoting a character unlocks additional potential upgrades that can be equipped. These upgrades range from faster health regeneration and increased movement speed to quicker reloading times and other bonuses. Each character has a total of 7 upgrade points available, with certain abilities costing more than 1 point. If you wish to use different versions of each character for various modes, you can save multiple variations.
Additionally, you have the opportunity to acquire cosmetic items such as clothing and hats. These items can be unlocked through missions, received as gifts from NPCs, or purchased using in-game coins through the Mr. Reward-O-Tron 9000. The specific item you obtain will be random, but the coins can only be earned by playing the game. After the game’s launch, another currency called Rainbow Stars will be available for purchase with real money. It’s important to note that Rainbow Stars will not be used for blind loot boxes, and a limited number of Rainbow Stars can be earned within the game.
Release date and editions
Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville will be released on October 18 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. At this time, there are no plans for a Nintendo Switch version.
Both Deluxe and Standard Editions are currently available on the announced platforms. Furthermore, the Founder’s Edition is included with an Origin Access Premier membership.
PopCap has committed to supporting Battle for Neighborville with free post-launch content. This ongoing support will include seasonal festivals, starting with the “Lawn of Doom Festival” in October, which will introduce new scenery and additional customization options for characters. New festivals will occur monthly, accompanied by new features, characters, and maps. A battle pass system will provide access to additional rewards and will also be available for free.
For more information about Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc..
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