Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Preview

This side of the grave.

The zombies are back, and after mounting a full attack, they have taken control of the suburbs and have renamed it Zomburbia. Thus, your role has switched. Instead of knocking out zombies using produce-themed attacks, you'll need to defend Zomburbia by following the orders of the mad scientist Dr. Zomboss and weeding out all of the adorable plants—sunflowers and peashooters alike.

Testing out the new zombie classes in a team-based horde mode called Graveyard Ops, I along with a team of three members took down waves of plants as they attempted to destroy the core tombstone in a Z-Tech facility. This particular stage had numerous lanes to protect with numerous pathways, both high and low, where the organic enemies could reach the tombstone.

Also scattered about the stage were two-way portals where you could teleport from one side of the map to the other, which helps when you need to pick up gifts placed randomly on the map in one wave or escape in the last wave before the facility explodes. The team could also place turrets at specific points near the tombstone for light protection, with some occasional gunfire or proximity-based flamethrowers. If the team can survive five waves of opponents, 

Of the new zombie classes, my favorite was Super Brainz, a zombie who believes he's a superhero. His melee attacks have the occasional shoryuken-uppercut and he's also got a fireball hadouken, and for crowd control, he can whip out a tornado as if he's Zangief. His buddy Imp is a sprite-sized DPS character with guns, but if he ever gets in trouble, he can call down a Z-Mech power suit to stomp on the opposition. Captain Deadbeard is the zombie's first sniper class and can hide in a barrel which, after attracting all of the plants, can explode for devastating area damage.

On the plants side are several new classese as well. Kernal Corn is a run-and-gun general who can blast zombies with his bullet-sized kernals. CItron, the genetically modified orange, can turn into a Samus-like ball and roll into foes, while the sorceress Rose floats around the battlefield and transform zombies into helpless goats. Bah!

Garden Warfare 2 will be bringing single-player game modes and AI bots for those who want a more solo experience, replete with local split-screen. Nearly all of the character progress you may have from the first Garden Warfare will be transferable, and Popcap will be supporting the game with free updates after launch.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 will release in early 2016 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.