Four Reasons You Should Be Playing the Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 Open Beta

The Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 multiplayer beta is here – and it’s open to all Xbox One owners from now through Monday, January 18. Garden Warfare 2 delivers the first great shooter of 2016, and it’s absolutely worth spending the weekend with, to see what you’ll be able to look forward to at the game’s February 23 retail release. Here are four things that you’re missing for every moment that you aren’t in the beta!

The Backyard Battleground Is the Best Kind of Sandbox

Forget the typical, boring menu system – Garden Warfare 2 sports a hub zone called the Backyard Battleground, which parks plants and zombies in dueling fortresses that sit on opposite ends of the aptly named Zomburbia. Between roaming around your own base, checking out your achievements in the stats room, reviewing the daily quest board, and (of course) queuing up for multiplayer matches, you can roam the streets of Zomburbia, stage impromptu assaults on the enemy base, and even tackle the hub’s own unique game mode. Flag of Power is a King of the Hill-style challenge that finds you guarding a flagpole against waves upon waves of the opposition. It’s kinda like Plants vs. Zombies proper!

Every Playable Class Is Awesome

Six playable classes – three per side – are open to beta players. On the plant side, we have the frontal assault-focused Kernel Corn; the tanky, damage-soaking Citron; and the Rose support class (which can turn enemy players into… goats!). The zombies get their own trio: The Imp, who (together with its robotic Z-Mech) is a speedy weapon of mass destruction; the tricky, sniping-friendly Captain Deadbeard, and a beefy, heroic undead powerhouse called Super Brainz. And that’s not even half of the 14 playable classes that you’ll have access to in the final game!

The Multiplayer Is Still Top-notch

The beta kicks off with two 24-player modes: Gardens & Graveyards, which is an asymmetric attack/defend mode where the zombies are trying to assault the plants’ gardens and transform them into graveyards, and Herbal Assault, which is similar, but with the roles reversed. These modes are playable on two maps, with more locales to be rotated in throughout the beta. Additionally, as the beta progresses, you’ll get to try out other modes, including Gnome Bomb (kinda like Capture the Flag… but the flag is a gnome holding a ticking time bomb), Suburbination (capture and hold three contested points throughout the map), Team Vanquish (race to 50 points’ worth of kills), and Vanquish Confirmed (like Team Vanquish, except you have to loot your kills!). In other words, you’re pretty unlikely to run out of things to do.

It’s Freakin’ Plants vs. Zombies!

On top of all this, Garden Warfare 2 shares the unique and unquestionably adorable Plants vs. Zombies design aesthetic. Everything from the character models, to the catchy music and sound effects, to the details sprinkled all throughout Zomburbia mark this game as yet another awesome entry into the Plants vs. Zombies franchise. With a world like this at our fingertips, we never want those (oddly) cute zombies to stop invading everyone’s lawn.

Sound good? The Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 multiplayer beta runs from today through next Monday, January 18 – and if you own an Xbox One, all you have to do to participate is download the client and start it up! Garden Warfare 2 hits stores on February 23 (with a five-day head start for EA Access members!), but you don’t want to miss this limited opportunity to get a taste of life in Zomburbia.