Preview by Ben Thompson
Generation Zero is a first-person survival game set in a reimagining of 1980’s Sweden. This is the last place I’d of expected such a game to be set but it is where the developer Avalanche Studios are based after all so it kind of makes sense.
So let’s get this started. You get a fairly basic character creator menu before you get thrown into the game. When you do you get a fairly straightforward narrative. You’ve just come back from a trip with your friends to find your home has been overrun by robots. The first thing you’re told to do is search for supplies and a weapon. That’s it.
Slowly you will find notes about what is happening and try to work out for yourself what is actually going on but it’s really not that clear. I found a handgun and ammunition and immediately came into contact with a class of robot called The Runner and this is where it all starts to go wrong.
The game looks really good and the controls and gameplay is your typical FPS fare. You have your menu where you can spend skill points, sort out your inventory etc. The problem from there on though is such. The combat is not good. It’s meant to be all based on where you aim your shots as the robots have certain parts you can damage like armour, sensory equipment, weapons and limbs which works when you can actually hit the damn thing.
The aiming is broken down sights that it will jolt your aim to the side as you press the LT/L2 trigger to aim. It doesn’t help that this robot will move fast to avoid being hit and they have insanely good accuracy and their damage output seems unfair. Whereas I’m fighting them with a pistol, a bust-up shotgun and a hunting rifle. Out of all of those weapons, you’d think the pistol would be the weakest, it is not. The shotgun is awful and the hunting rifle is so inaccurate it’s unbelievable.
The robot AI is really dodgy as well. I found myself always getting detected when trying to sneak around them. At one point I had to take refuge in a church which they surrounded and did not leave until I chose to try and fight my way out which ended up with me dying at least 5 times till I got lucky and escaped.
This is when the game gets more frustrating. I had a quest where I had to search an area before I could move on any further. I looked in every nook and cranny and picked up everything I could and the quest just wouldn’t complete. It is a beta after all so it can’t be perfect. I gave it the benefit of the doubt. I hadn’t had played that far in so I started another character on a new game, got to the same spot and the same glitch happened. I literally could not progress any further and it’s not like there was anything else I could do.
This brings me onto the next gripe I have with Generation Zero. The beta only lets you play a part of the map that will be included in the main game and it’s really big. The problem is there is bugger all to do, it’s just endless forests, bushes and empty roads. It just seems pointless. I was so bored it was unbelievable. Until I inevitably run into some robots and got shot to pieces. What makes this vast amount of space worse is there are no vehicles so you have to run everywhere. This may change in the full release and the map will obviously have some variety to it but for me, it’s a boring landscape.
Onto the multiplayer, Generation Zero is being built with co-op gameplay in mind but as of the time of writing, I found no games and no one joined my open lobby so I can’t really say much on the multiplayer aspect. This is a very limited beta so it makes sense it might be hard to find people to play with so I have no right to judge it on that part.