EA and PopCap have taken the wraps off the latest in their series of Plants vs. Zombies spin-off shooters, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. And it’s actually out quite a bit sooner than you might expect. Today, in fact, with a Founder’s Edition of the game available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC ahead of a final release date on the 18th October.
EA and PopCap are kicking things off with the Founder’s Edition of the game instead of waiting for full release. This gets you into the game right now instead of six weeks from now, with PopCap drip-feeding in the game’s various modes and locations as they look to evaluate the balance and make tweaks ahead of the full launch.
The character roster is up to ten per side, increasing from the seven per side of Garden Warfare 2 and making for twenty character classes in total as the game almost heads down the path of a hero shooter. The new characters are Snapdragon, Nightcap and Oak & Acorn on the plants side, with their counterparts Action Hero, Electric Slide and Space Cadet on the other. Oak & Acorn and Space Cadet are both transforming characters, able to shift between fast, but weak and powerful, but slow forms.
As with the previous games, Battle for Neighborville has a blend of PvP, PvE and social gameplay. The new social area is based around Giddy Park with funfair rides to battle on and between, and this is flanked on either side by Zomboss HQ and Dave Manor for their respective teams. PvE will take you to Mount Steep, Town Center and Weirding Woods, with a more free-form world design, while PvP has a mix of new and returning modes, with modes like Turf Takeover, Team Vanquish and the new Battle Arena confirmed.
You’ll be paying for the privilege of joining what would otherwise be extended open beta, but as with other early access style releases, you at least get to save a few quid and there will be some exclusive in-game cosmetics and rewards for those buying the game early. The Founder’s Edition will be $29.99 up until it’s withdrawn from sale on 30th September. At that point pre-orders go live for the 18th October launch, where there will be a $39.99 standard edition and $49.99 deluxe edition.
After that point, PopCap will kick the game into life as a live service, with regular Reward Festivals that they describe as being a Battle Pass, but free. instead of a straightforward linear progression through a free and premium reward track, you’ll be able to navigate a map of unlocks as you see fit. This all starts with The Lawn of Dune Festival and will transform social areas.
It’s great to have a Plants vs. Zombies shooter, in my opinion, and I got to go hands on with the game ahead of time to check it out. Catch our Battle for Neighborville preview, or simply click play on our video!