PopCap kicked off EA’s 2013 Press Conference at E3 this year by first hinting at some anticipated games in progress, and then showering fans with an extended peek at their upcoming shooter (yes, you heard right) Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. 

Why was PopCap leader of the pack at EA? Because EA bought them out two years ago and because EA owns everything. PopCap’s founder John Vechey has got to be one of the most enthusiastic people in the industry. He appears to genuinely loves his games and today he was thrilled to inform gamers on the progress being made at his studio.

Last month Plants vs. Zombies: Adventures was released on Facebook. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone. If you ignored it outright because Facebook games are more easily categorized as distractions (and money sinks) than games, you aren’t alone in that either. Anyway, it exists, but what fans really want is a proper sequel. The good news is they’re getting it and it’s coming next month.

A surprising announcement was PopCap’s latest title, which attempts to veer the company away from its tower defense roots to enter the shooter market. Weird, yes, but it actually looks like a fun experiment. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is taking the tower defense core of the game and expanding it to  include multiplayer and cooperative action similar to most current day first-person shooters.

While planting turrets is still a present and important gameplay mechanic, now so is teaming up with friends to take on hordes of zombies by controlling several specialized plant types. An example of this is the Chomper, which focused more on hand-to-hand, in-your-face combat , or the Sunflower, which takes the role of a healer. If this seems too wild, the trailer above expands on the shooter concept a bit more and helps tie together the kookiness of it all. After watching some brief gameplay footage from the press conference (disguised as live on-stage gameplay), it’s easy to see how they might actually have something there. No release date has been announced yet for Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, but it is confirmed to debut on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 first, followed later by the PC and other platforms.

Before departing, Vechey had one last announcement: that Peggle 2 was coming later this year. This, of course, was accented by a leap into the air and a fist in the sky, which is fantastic. And so is Peggle. Well done, PopCap.

Speaking of sequels, EA also announced Mirror’s Edge 2. Be sure to check that out, as well as all of Game Rant’s E3 2013 coverage this week.

Follow me on Twitter @8BitBomb.