Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 has expanded upon the previous installment by offering an assortment of fun new features. One such feature is the Backyard Battleground, an action-packed hub area that appears to be full of activities and surprises for players to enjoy. For this guide, we're taking a closer look at the Backyard Battleground, based on what has been revealed about this unique personal hub so far.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare introduced gamers to a new world where players could face off as plants or zombies in a third person shooter multiplayer battle, which came as a surprisingly fun twist on the original plant squashing, zombie slaying tower defense title. Inspired by the success of their previous installment, PopCap has taken the craziness to a whole new level in their upcoming sequel, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2.
In Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, players will be introduced to a brand new personal hub, called the Backyard Battleground. It essentially functions as the primary base of operations where players can customize their characters, set up matches, and partake in a variety of fun activities. There’s plenty of ways to stay busy in the Backyard Battleground, without even needing to queue up into a multiplayer match. However, players looking for a more social experience can still invite up to three friends to join them in their backyard, where they can party up for an online match, or engage in other fun social diversions.
Raise the Flag of Power
The Backyard Battleground is divided into two sections, with Crazy Dave’s treehouse on one side, and Dr. Zomboss’ maniacal mansion on the other. Each side appears to offer symmetrical features for playing as either a plant or zombie, including a kiosk that allows players to swap between the two sides.
The two opposing sides are separated by a flagpole in the center, known as the Flag of Power. Raising the Flag of Power will initiate a type of horde-mode, turning the backyard into an actual battleground, as the name suggests. Waves of AI enemies will flock towards the Flag of Power, in an attempt to regain control of the backyard. Defending the flag against these power-hungry enemies allows players to earn additional coins and XP for each successfully defended wave.
The waves consist of a particular enemy type, depending on the character used to raise the flag. For example, if a player raises the Flag of Power while playing as a zombie, the incoming waves will be plants, organized by plant type. The first wave could be full of Peashooters, while the next could be all Chompers. After several successfully defended waves, a Boss Wave will occur, where special AI bosses join the fight for an added challenge.
Bring in Reinforcements
During each wave, special boxes will spawn throughout the backyard near the central battle. These are Reinforcement Crates, and they allow AI allies to spawn in the backyard to assist players in their defensive efforts. However, the AI allies are not guaranteed in every crate. Some crates will instead burst with loads of coins upon being broken, which can be used to unlock sticker packs in-game later on. The contents of these crates seem beneficial either way, so it’s best to shoot and break these Reinforcement Crates as soon as possible to reap the benefits of whatever may be inside.
Keep in mind that there’s no need to endure this battle alone. Along with AI allies, you can invite up to three friends into your backyard to help you fend off these waves of enemies. Raising the Flag of Power is a unique way to level up your characters from the comfort of your backyard, and is a fitting addition to this zany sequel.
Compete in Fun Mini Games
The Backyard Battleground is chock full of fun side activities as well, including several mini games that can be enjoyed alone or with friends. One of these mini games is the shooting gallery, where players shoot targets throughout gnome-filled courses and compete with friends for a top spot on the global leaderboards. The target shooting gallery also can serve as a way to practice with newly unlocked characters before diving into the multiplayer environment.
We have also caught a glimpse of a soccer field labeled with “PEA Sports” found within the backyard. Although this subtle nod to a fellow EA franchise will also likely be the location of another mini game, the details surrounding this activity have yet to be revealed.
Praise the Mighty Stat Tree
Much of the promotional material regarding the Backyard Battleground shows Crazy Dave’s side of the backyard, which features a large treehouse in the center. As players enter the hollow section within the tree, they’re greeted by a large display board detailing their personal statistics, including quantities for playtime, vanquishes, and other achievements. The Stickerbook has also made its return from the previous installment, providing nifty illustrations of the various characters and accessories the player has unlocked.
Bobblehead Cuteness Overload
Although the Stickerbook is nice, the most charming element of the stat room has to be the tiny bobblehead figures that line the four corners inside the tree. The bobbleheads are displayed like trophies around the room, and are organized by character class. This adorable representation of each character is sure to inspire some real-world prototypes from crafty Garden Warfare fans.
Learn the Backyard Backstory
For those who are unfamiliar with the Plants vs. Zombies world, the basic premise centers around an undead maniacal mastermind named Dr. Zomboss who strives for world domination, only to be thwarted by a goofy homeowner named Crazy Dave and his animate plants. In Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2, the tides have turned in favor of Dr. Zomboss, and players are introduced to a world overrun by an odd combination of zombies and robotic technology.
While the details of this narrative are yet to be unveiled, we do know that the backyard contains special agents who offer unique story missions that are separate from the main multiplayer quests available on the quest board. To locate these agents, walk through the back of the stat tree and enter one of the ball-shaped portals to begin your first mission with these special characters.
As players continue to complete these missions, the personal backstories of each character will gradually be revealed. Considering that the first Garden Warfare lacked any sort of real narrative, being able to actually speak with these characters offers a unique way to experience this awesomely comical world, making this sequel truly stand out from its predecessor.
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare was a surprisingly fun and ridiculously cute third person shooter that both younger and older gamers could enjoy. PopCap has set the bar much higher this time around, and so far Garden Warfare 2 is shaping up to be even better than the first installment. While there have already been a ton of entertaining new features revealed for Garden Warfare 2, players can look forward to uncovering plenty of surprises when the game is released in February 2016.