Good news: EA have announced Plants Vs. Zombies 3.
Bad news: it's free-to-play again, and microtransactions were a blight on PvZ 2.
Nullifying news: but this time it's just a mobile game so who even cares. Ian Arts, you are a monster.
After the microtransaction-muddled Plants vs. Zombies 2 and the I've-heard-they're-good-but-they're-not-what-I-want multiplayer Garden Warfare spin-offs, I had hoped EA might return to plain ol' PC PvZ. Sadly not, it seems.
The 2009 original is still a joy, a cheery take on tower defence with pea-spitting plants, bungee-jumping zombies, stoics nuts, a lovely theme song, and just enough strategy to be rewarding without baffling. The second game is still a mess, with microtransactions making everything grody in that early-2010s EA way. But EA have learned a lot from their years of horrible monetisation, and I'd hoped... nope, PvZ 3 is seemingly not even coming to PC.
PopCap announced PvZ 3 out of nowhere on Tuesday with the launch of a free pre-alpha test. On Android. And Apple later. With no mention of PC or owt. Seeing as this is very much the way to announce a mobile game, and very much not the way to announce a PC game, I have little hope. But I do have a little.
"At PopCap, we've been working on PvZ for years and want to bring our beloved plants and zombies to current players and the next generation of players everywhere," PopCap said. A reading so generous it's bordering on delusional hope could see that "everywhere" as including "on PC". Even I'm not that delusional. Am I? Maybe I want to be.
If you do want it in your pocket, PopCap are launching the PvZ 3 pre-alpha in phases for Android on Google Play. They pull the download when each phase is full of players, so I guess just blindly keep visiting a store page which likely won't exist? Here's what it looks like when played by someone who keeps stopping to check for updates about WWE videos on YouTube.
I wish it weren't pretty. I wish that Bonk Choy weren't so lovely. Boooooooooooooooooooooo.