The Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 beta took place over the weekend and it pretty much had a taste of everything you can expect to find in the main game when it releases on 23 February 2016.
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The beta had the main Backyard Battleground feature as well as the multiplayer matches which rotated during the weekend. On Friday we played the traditional Team Vanquish, and on Saturday the game had the Gnome toss game mode where players would try to carry a Gnome to the enemies post and blow it up before the enemy could disarm it.
Basically every playable character was available in the beta, although you had to unlock them by purchasing character packs by using the coins you earned during the game. Rose was by far my favourite plant as she was extremely powerful and her bullets tracked enemies while she fired them. Citron was an orange from the future who could roll up into a ball to get around faster, and dash into enemies to kill them fast. Kernel Corn was the last new plant that was playable, he used his corn arms to mow down enemies like a mini gun.
The old plants that were in the last game are all in the latest title, some of them have new classes like the Cactus. Peashooter, Sunflower, and Chomper are back, and they feel like they have all been buffed, especially the least popular character from the last game, Chomper, who now feels more powerful.
In the video you see below, we are playing the Raise the Flag of Power mode, which is offline and online with friends. Here you battle waves and waves of zombies, or plants if you are playing as the zombies. As you progress through the waves the enemies get harder and come at you in larger forces. It kind of gives you a taste of the enemies that you will face when going online against the other players, as most of them are classes available in the game. When you reach the last wave, the enemies then do not stop coming. This mode is basically there to level up your plants and zombies, and get coins to unlock new packs. It is best played with friends up to 4 players.
When you are not in the game, the Backyard Battleground is your home to explore. Here you can select a new character, customize them, and enter online matches using the portal. It is your home base, and when the full game launches, you will be able to do so much more like take on story quests and open the mysterious garage that Crazy Dave is hiding something in.
Jumping online with friends is simple. You invite players to your Backyard and then open the portal which they then walk into and matchmaking begins. The maps are stunning, and take you from a theme park which changes eras in time, to a moon base where there is no gravity. Each map is extremely detailed, with zombie and plant references all over the place, with a touch of humour here and there. One example of this is the theme park level which has massive plant looking dinosaurs and an area called Azia, because everything in zombie land has a “z” instead of an “s”.
Garden Warfare 2 could be one of the best shooters releasing this year, and with its releases date so close, we are waiting in anticipation for the chance to finally open that darn garage. The game has so much potential, looks gorgeous on the Frostbite 3 engine, and it is a graveyard of fun.