You don't have to wait for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 to launch in February to play the wacky shooter. The game's open beta (no preorder required) started on January 14 and runs until January 18.
The Garden Warfare 2 beta will offer players access to a scaled-down version of the Backyard Battleground, which is a hub world that acts as a menu and connects players to every map and mode. For the beta players, the following content will be available in Backyard Battleground, with descriptions courtesy of EA:
- The King of the Hill-inspired mode, Flag of Power - Raise the Flag of Power and do everything you can to prevent the enemy from lowering it, igniting an all-out war where you'll have to fight off wave after wave of enemies in a frantic, escalating battle.
- Stats Room - Display all of your characters' stats and achievements. There's also a sticker book where you can get an overview of all the characters and accessories you've unlocked.
- Quest Board - Visit the Quest Board for a list of dynamically updated challenges that will reward you for every completed event and increase your XP multiplier.
Also included in the beta are two 24-player game modes (Herbal Assault and Gardens & Graveyards) playable on two maps: Moon Base Z and Seeds of Time.
Alongside those, new modes and maps will be rotated in as the beta progresses. These include:
- Team Vanquish
- Vanquish Confirmed
- Gnome Bomb
- Z-Tech Factory
- Frosty Creek
Finally, EA has provided descriptions of the following characters, all of which will be playable in the Garden Warfare 2 beta:
- Kernel Corn - Leading the plant offensive as the primary assault class with dual cob busters and a high rate of fire.
- Rose - A powerful sorceress that can turn zombie foes into fully playable goats.
- Citron - A time-travelling bounty hunter from the future - and also an orange.
- Imp & Z-Mech - The smallest and most agile of the zombies that turns into a Z-Mech robo of mass destruction with missiles.
- Super Brainz - The flashy, punchy-powerhouse superhero with exceptional hair and charismatic smile.
- Captain Deadbeard - A crusty peg-legged captain with a trick weapon up his sleeve.
The Garden Warfare 2 beta has not been announced for PC.
For lots more on Garden Warfare 2, check out GameSpot's recent hands-on preview.