PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners will get a taste of Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 before it launches in February. PopCap Games and Electronic Arts announced an open beta for the cartoon-ish third-person shooter on Thursday and it will arrive next week.
The Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 open beta will start on Thursday, January 14 and run through Monday, January 18. The open beta will only be available for the PS4 and Xbox One, which leaves PC gamers out in the cold.
Here is what will be contained in the beta, according to the description of the Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 beta trailer posted to YouTube.
- “Enjoy the Backyard Battleground (we’re saving tons of great content and plenty of surprises for launch!), and play our King of the Hill-inspired mode, Flag of Power, where you can jump into the action right away and experience an immersive and escalating battle.”
- “You’ll also get to try out six new PvZ character classes, as well as a returning roster of your favorite characters from the original Garden Warfare.”
- “Jump into our 24 person multiplayer modes – the new Herbal Assault and Gardens & Graveyards”
- “You’ll be able to play across four distinct maps – Moon Base Z, Frosty Creek, Z-Tech Factory, and Seeds of Time.”
Meanwhile, the characters that will be available to play include the following new characters in addition to returning characters per a post on the Garden Warfare 2 website.
- Kernel Corn – Leading the plant offensive as the primary assault class with dual cob busters and a high rate of fire.
- Rose – An extremely powerful sorceress that can turn zombie foes into fully playable goats.
- Citron – A time-travelling bounty hunter from the future – and also an orange.
- Imp & Z-Mech – The smallest and most agile of the zombies that turns into a Z-Mech robo of mass destruction with missiles.
- Super Brainz – The flashy, punchy-powerhouse superhero with exceptional hair and charismatic smile.
- Captain Deadbeard – A crusty peg-legged captain with a trick weapon up his sleeve.
The Gardens & Graveyards mode should be familiar to anyone who played the original Garden Warfare. This mode puts the zombies on the attack while the plants must defend their gardens and prevent all from being captured.
Meanwhile, Herbal Assault flips the script and puts the plants on offense while the zombies are on defense. In addition to Gardens & Graveyards and Herbal Assault, the open beta will rotate in modes like Team Vanquish, Vanquish Confirmed, Gnome Bomb, and Suburbination every day.
The Backyard Battleground is one of the more significant additions to Garden Warfare 2 from the original Plants Vs Zombies shooter. It’s a hubworld where players can see their achievements and progress, explore to find secrets, get story missions, and battle the opposing Plant or Zombie enemies in various mini-games.
The map for Backyard Battleground is divided into three equal sections for the Plants, Zombies, and a neutral zone where the two can do battle. A base for the Plants and the Zombies is set on each side of the map. This is where players will find character customization along with the ability to jump into single and multiplayer game modes.
The center of the Backyard Battleground hosts the Flag of Power. Raising this flag will set off waves of enemies to battle either alone or with up to three friends. It’s a good practice setup for players who are just getting started with the game and aren’t ready to jump into multiplayer yet. It’s also a chance to test new characters that have been unlocked.
It’s unclear what else the Garden Warfare 2 open beta will contain, but the Backyard Battleground also holds a shooting ranged called the “Crazy Targets Range.” Players will run through a target range which keeps track of time and scores to compare on a leaderboard against friends and the rest of the world.
For now, it does not appear the new Solo Ops mode will be available in the Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 open beta. This mode allows players to select up to four characters to swap between during solo play to try out different character combos. It’s also a way to level up individual characters as they gain experience while being controlled in Solo Ops.
The special missions given out by Davebot 3000 and Agent Rose may also be out of the equation for the Garden Warfare 2 open beta. These are supposed to be accessible through portals on either side of the Backyard Battleground and are likely part of the “tons of great content and plenty of surprises” being held back for launch.
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC owners will see Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 appear on their favorite platform on February 23, 2016.
Do you plan to play the Garden Warfare 2 open beta? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via EA Games/Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2]