The eternal battle between photosynthesizers and fun-dead continues today in Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, a new shooter that blows up the Garden Warfare formula. Though the official global launch is set for October 18, you can pick up the Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Founder's Edition on PC, PS4, and Xbox One right now. It will give you the chance to start playing the game early across six weeks of curated play modes, and you can even earn some exclusive cosmetics just for logging in.
The Founder's Edition will introduce new play modes every week, starting with Turf Takeover PvP mode, then adding a new PvE region for Zombies the following week, and so on. Did I mention that Battle for Neighborville has free-roam PvE areas for each faction? Yep, and it also has social spaces where you can hang out with other players and show off all of your customizations for your favorite classes. Destiny with Plants would have been a good alternative subtitle to Battle for Neighborville, but that might have been tough to clear with legal.
EA's taking pains to stipulate that the Founder's Edition isn't a beta: all of the content you'll be able to play is polished and in a launch-ready state, and all of your progress will carry over to the standard edition. Instead it's meant to "highlight our commitment to quality and the PvZ community", which I'll admit also sounds a lot like a multiplayer beta.
In any case, it looks like Battle for Neighborville is trying a bunch of cool new stuff for the franchise. One of the most promising new additions is Team Play classes that let players gang up on their opponents: the plants get Oak and Acorn, letting one player control a big gun-toting oak stump while others ride along on top as nimble Acorns; and the Zombies get Space Cadet, with each zombie piloting a UFO that can all combine into one flying death machine, Voltron style.
The Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Founder's Edition will be available until September 30 for $29.99 / £24.99. If you miss it, you can still pick up the Standard and Deluxe editions when they arrive on October 18.
Find more strange new worlds to explore in our list of the best open world games.