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Generation Zero - Review

Developed and published by Avalanche Publishing, Generation Zero is a strong effort from a dedicated and experienced team, one with a clear and fascinating view over a Post-Apocalyptic Sweden.

Welcome to Sweden, in a post-apocalyptic alternate-reality where robots roam freely as wild animals, attacking and killing human-beings at first sight. Not much is known about this event and story-wise the game is a complete mystery. Players will gather little bits of information that unveil the truth by reading letters, hearing voice recordings, and following military leads.

In the game you can be whoever you want, even though there are limits to character customization, some decent looking models are available. Give them your ideal image with different styles that popularized the 80’s dress-code, and set foot on this adventure against killer robots.

With an engaging and fierce gameplay, Generation Zero has three main focuses: First Person Shooter, Stealth, and Tactical. Perseverance and patience will gradually reward players, as the game is not your typical FPS. It’s a slow start, but gathering ammo, health rations, and all sorts of useful items will turn situations in your favor. Emergency flares or gas tanks, it’s all valid and can be used as weaponry.

Open fire or stealth your way around those killing machines. Pick your fights strategically to see if it’s worth it. Compare the risks and rewards of each situation, this is the key of Generation Zero. There are no quick-saves, and every time a player dies, they respawn back in a chosen safe house. However, items that were spent are lost, including ammo. This may seem harsh, but this incentivizes players to calculate their actions.

A Skill Tree is available to unlock new and handy perks. Improving aim, increasing damage, enabling lock picking, and plenty more. Completing missions, exploring and taking down enemies provides XP and at each new level, 1 skill point is gained. The enemies respawn after a few hours which can make the farming easier, same with the loot.

Single-Player mode is definitely challenging, but it’s not the only mode in which you can spread chaos in! Play with friends online and form a team to devastate those roaming robots. Create tactics, distractions and even manipulate your enemy's attention. Although it’s the same game, choosing between playing alone or with a friend makes it a completely different experience.

Generation Zero is a refreshing and challenging survival FPS, quickly becoming highly addictive if you enjoy stealth and patient planning. You will likely find yourself climbing a hill with a pair of binoculars to analyze and study your best options considering the equipment at hands. In the true sense of the word, the game is an open world experience, as players can travel to wherever they feel free to, but machines come in different sizes and ranks. Strong ones won’t even give you a second look!

Visually, Generation Zero is stunning. During the day, the sun bathing the trees almost feels real, as nature is still alive and well. The contemporary rural beauty is well portrayed, with dense forests, and scary woods during the nights. The weather changes have such a deep absorption, especially after a battle when the sun or rain falls upon the dead mechanical corpses lying on the ground. The whole scene can be beautiful, even after struggles and intense combat.

As the wind drags leaves across your path, and your attention is taken elsewhere, you can see them… far away, small lights from abandoned vehicles or patrolling robots shining like feral beacons. Generation Zero will make you feel like a lone wanderer in a lost country, or a mercenary looting with a conscience effort to not raise suspicious! Wherever you move, graphics are gorgeous to look at. Terrain design is equally amazing. Small cities are abandoned, but they still feel alive in a strange and familiar way!

Unfortunately, some assets are repetitive, which is more obvious in the house interiors. It is well evident the design team went ahead of themselves and maybe didn't get a chance to come back around to fine tune these areas. Luckily, more assets will be available with future updates. Animals and more diverse trees would be a nice welcome. Either way, the world is widely large and invites exploration across farms, small towns, industrial areas, bunkers, and many more cool areas!

Developed on the Apex Game Engine, Generation Zero, as developers claim: It’s always evolving and growing. New content was recently added and more is currently being developed. More importantly, bugs have been fixed and more will be worked on in the future. It’s not perfect, particularly when playing co-op mode, but the single player experience is solid and smooth.

The optimization is pretty good considering how the game looks. With an RX 570 it’s still possible to maintain 60fps without losing too much visual quality. Special effects can be turned off such as Chromatic Aberration, but there’s still some post effects that should be editable. At the current time mapping extra mouse buttons is not possible, but hopefully that will change soon.

Free DLCs are available, and the most popular one being the Bikes addition. This DLC adds Bikes as a means of transportation inside the game world. Very useful and reliable, bikes can be customized at every workshop table. Other DLC’s are connected to appearances and cosmetics that are purely visual.

The soundtrack is almost non-existent, as the idea of the game is to enjoy the natural sounds of nature and ambient noises. However, at every triggered combat an intense music will be a part of your background. Once it stops, it means the player is leaving the combat area. Pretty standard, but sound effects are absolutely well developed, especially the weapons when firing.

Generation Zero quickly became one of my favorite games. Maybe it’s due to the freedom it gives players when it comes to planning to execute an attack, or maybe the panoramic view of the beautiful Sweden. Maybe, it is the intense combat or the constant state of alert. Regardless of which feature won me over, Generation Zero is definitely a game that some will love, while others might misunderstand due to the different style of FPS. I personally highly recommend this title!

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