A wider soft launch in select territories signals that the tower defense game is almost ready for release.

The next Plants vs Zombies game is slowly approaching but getting ever closer, just like a zombie. EA and PopCap have announced that Plants vs Zombies 3: Welcome to Zomburbia has soft-launched in the UK, Netherlands, Australia, and the Philippines. This latest phase of testing will set the stage for a full worldwide launch sometime later this year.

While Plants vs. Zombies has been known better for its Garden Warfare series of shooters recently, PvZ3 goes back to the series’ roots (get it?) as a tower defense game. You’ll protect Neighborville from encroaching zombies, setting up the usual sorts of garden-based traps and defenses with returning favorite plants alongside new ones. PvZ3 also adds new elements like streamlined combat, a customizable Neighborville, and an episodic narrative with new characters and lore to expand the world. This game will also add puzzle challenges that will differ from the usual tower defense battles.

PopCap first announced Plants vs Zombies 3 in 2019, and it has undergone limited testing in various territories since then. This soft launch signals that it’s getting close to a full release, though, so we should be ready to gather our flower power this year.

Plants vs. Zombies first released in 2009, and the brand became a hit for PopCap, with comic book adaptations from Dark Horse. Plants vs. Zombies 2 released on mobile devices in 2013, centering around a time travel plot. It received a mostly positive critical reception, but the Garden Warfare spin-off the following year quickly became the new face of PvZ for the last several years. The studio also released a card battler, Plants vs Zombies Heroes, in 2016.

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