Plants vs Zombies might not be the biggest, most high-profile name in the industry, but games in the series are almost always guaranteed to be a bloody good time. The upcoming Battle for Neighborville looks like it’s going to be no different. This time, developers PopCap Games are making some interesting changes, both big and small, while also looking to retain the pure, unadulterated fun this series is known for. In this feature, we’ll be talking about some of the most crucial things you need to know about Battle for Neighborville– so without further ado, let’s get started.
It’s really all in the name- moving on from the Garden Warfare susbseries, Plants vs Zombies is going bigger, and going from our backyard and out into the whole neighbourhood. Developers PopCap Games seem really committed to the idea. Everything from the PvE areas to the PvP maps it built on this neighbourhood theme- let’s take a look, one by one, at how that will translate to different modes.
Battle for Neighborville is going to take the PvE elements of Garden Warfare 2, but it looks like it’s going to be heavily expanded this time around. The game has three separate free roam sandbox sections that you can enter either alone, or with upto three more players, and each of them houses collectibles, quests, side quests, or just ample room for exploration. Each of these areas is also supposed to have their own narrative hooks, while the developers are also promising that collectively, they provide a good, meaty chunk of gameplay.
Beyond the three free roam sections, there’s also a hub area in Battle for Neighborville. The hub is essentially a free-for-all area and consists of bases for both the factions (the eponymous plants and zombies). In the hub, you can explore the aforementioned hubs you can mess about with other players, purchase random cosmetics with money earned in-game, head to PvP modes, head into one of the PvE areas, or customize and edit your characters.
PvP is always the meat and potatoes of Plants vs Zombies games- so what’s PvP going to have in store for us in Battle for Neighborville? There’s going to be a few modes at launch. There’s Team Vanquish, which is PvZ-speak for team deathmatch, as well as the objective-based 12v12 mode called Turf Takeover, which returns from Garden Warfare 2. 4v4 mode Battle Arena will also be included.
PopCap Games haven’t yet spoken about how many maps the PvP component of Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville is going to have when all is said and done, but they have given some interesting details nonetheless. For starters, it doesn’t look like any maps from previous games will be making a comeback (not at launch anyway). The developers instead want to make maps that stick to the neighbourhood theme that’s driving all components of the game, and PvP maps will be taking cues from the PvE areas in the game.
Battle for Neighborville is also adding several new classes into the mix. There are now a total of 20 character classes, with the plants and zombies both getting ten each. These twenty will all be customizable, and will fall under one of three categories- attackers, defenders, and support. Of these twenty, six are going to be completely new classes. Let’s take a look at what these are going to be.
NEW PLANT CLASSES
Let’s talk about the plants first. There are a total of three new classes here- there’s Night Cap, an attack class mushroom that excels at stealth and mobility, and attacks enemies with spores and kung fu (or as the game calls it, fung fu). Then there’s Snapdragon, another attack class, a plant that is great for close-range fire-based attacks. Finally, there’s Acorn, a fast-moving defend class that doesn’t do much damage, but can transform into a slow-moving Oak that can deal a lot of damage. Acorns can also jump on top of Oaks and act as mounted turrets.
NEW ZOMBIE CLASSES
Moving on to the zombies, there are three new classes here as well. There’s 80s Action Hero, an attack class specializing in explosive attacks, who can also ride rockets and has a special dodge move. There’s Electric Slide, another attack class specializing in crowd control with electricity-based attacks (as the name suggests). Finally, there’s Space Cadet, a defend class specializing in team ups and group attacks. Space Cadets can also turn into a Space Station armed with lasers, shield, and rockets.
We don’t get many games that support split-screen gameplay these days. Thankfully, Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville will be an outlier here. Local split-screen multiplayer will be available in PvE, as well as all the PvP modes that the game launches with (and receives as DLC post-launch).
Plants vs Zombies is going to be one of many, many games taking a leaf out of Fortnite’s book, and will be adopting the battle pass model. Called Festival Prize Maps here, these will be free for everyone, but players will be able to spend premium currency to speed up their progress.
Plants vs Zombie: Battle for Neighborville’s full launch is on October 18, while EA Access and Origin Access subscribers get access to the game on October 15, but as you might know, the game is already available in early access for those who want to adopt it early. That’s possible via the Founder’s Edition. It doesn’t include all the content the launch version of the game will have, but it’s priced at $29, and PopCap Games are adding more content and cosmetics to it every week. On top of that, Founder’s Edition owners will also get exclusive cosmetic rewards when the full game launches.
Here’s another reason to get the Founder’s Edition if you’re interested in the game- it’s cheaper than the full launch will be. Battle for Neighborville costs $29.99 in its current state, as we’ve mentioned, but when it launches in full, its price will go up to $39.99. Meanwhile, there will also be a Deluxe Edition, which will come with some exclusive cosmetic stuff, which will be priced at $49.99.
How a game is monetized is something we ask with trepidation with pretty much every game these days, and it’s a question that becomes doubly pertinent when the game in question is being published by EA. So what’s the deal with Battle for Neighborville? The game does have microtrasactions, to no one’s surprise. Players will be able to purchase premium currency, which can then be used to buy cosmetics. That said, there will be no loot boxes, which is good.