Plants vs. Zombies 2 was announced not long ago, and we got to spend some time playing it here at E3. You'll find a lot of the same strategy game elements as the original, but there's a ton of added depth on multiple fronts. One of them is plant food, which can be collected by dropped particular kinds of zombies. That plant food can be used to temporarily super-charge an individual plant - perfect for those tense moments when your well-laid plans crumble before your eyes.

The levels themselves have many additional elements. Different level layouts present tactical challenges, such as tombstones that block direct lines of fire, rail sections that allow for mobility (though eating precious tiles), and missing ground tiles that can only be attacked and defended by air. These kinds of level elements are randomized, ensuring that no two rounds will play the same.

An ongoing theme is a whole host of new gesture controls. If you're willing to drop a few of your hard-earned coins, you can flick back zombies, in addition to a few other gestures, and sun points can be gathered by swiping, not just tapping.

Plants vs. Zombies in its current form has enjoyed tremendous longevity, but this new version will add so many extra layers of depth. The story of playing through a wide variety of historical eras provides a new range of cute novelty that's well beyond the current game, too. Free-to-play is kind of a foregone conclusion at this point, but the groundwork for that kind of structure was already pretty well-established in the original PvZ. Apparently you'll be able to access the "couple of dozen" new plants and zombies on your own through regular gameplay, and only a select few of the original PvZ plants are tucked away exclusively behind in-app purchases.

PvZ 2 is coming out July 18, but in the meantime, you can hit up their website for more info and updates and check out the screenshots below.

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