Generation Zero is an open world first-person shooter, developed by Avalanche Studios. Generation Zero opens with a lot of mystery, but also holds a lot of promise as you begin your journey. Being available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC; is this the next game we’ll find ourselves pouring hours into?
The story for this game seems really good. The period isn’t super clear at first but seems to take place only days after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Something happens, and a nation trained to jump to the attack at the sound of a signal wakes to a horrifying night of killer robots. You wake up outside of a house, with nothing on you, only to be greeted by broken robots and sometimes a dead body. You’ll find the bits and pieces of what people did when hearing the signal, but that’s about it. With maybe a side mission here and there, the first part of this seemingly large storyline is mostly you chasing after a group of people who moved to another location for one reason or another. If this isn’t the case, then you find a bunch of robots trying to kill you after you find the location you thought was safe but, in fact, everyone is dead. So you find a new group to track down. This goes on for what feels like way longer than it should, but at least my quest log doesn’t get littered with more side quests than I know what to do with.
This game has a very Fallout 3 feel to it. The graphics aren’t as good as newer titles, but it still holds up. The world itself always feels dark and never truly day time. The foliage isn’t bad either, nor are the textures for most things. There is one major painful thing to look at, and that’s when the game recycles assets. I know Skyrim is a master at doing this, and I honestly didn’t know how much they recycled until watching a video on it. By the second shed and the third house, it was painfully clear how much recycling of assets was done for this game. I thought during my second looting of a house, that maybe I was just lost and ended up back over where I started. By the third looting, I realized there were only two house models in the whole game. This isn’t so bad with the sheds and other small buildings, but it was pretty bad for the houses. With no variety, finding loot became easy; too easy. I did the normal open world search, but most places I thought there was loot, there wasn’t. The same layout for every house and other small buildings made finding what little loot did exist more of a chore than fun looting.
Compared to other open world games, don’t come into Generation Zero expecting much. Other than searching and combat, there doesn’t seem to be much more to this game. The map is huge, so I know this game has content to it or, at least, the potential to be amazing. Yet, from the start, it just feels like that content is on a fishing pole and is always getting reeled away from you. One really annoy thing I noticed early on is that there isn’t a hit marker or damage indicator when shooting enemies. This got super annoying the more encounters I experienced until I got the Hunting Rifle. Using a scope and shooting from a distance made it easier, and clearer, to ensure I was hitting my target.
Questing in this game isn’t as straightforward as it should be, with one quest being to find the next location on your untagged map. The tutorial tab also doesn’t list what each map marker does, making it all that much more confusing if you are getting close to something important or not. One thing that drove me up the wall were these little locations that had beacons; but no interaction, no signs of taking damage, and no tutorial related to them. I assume they are for a later quest or something, but other than an enemy or two, seem to serve no purpose.
I wouldn’t recommend playing this and hoping to jump in with other random players. You’ll have a much easier time trying to play with friends. I tried multiplayer a few times, and while nothing stood out as broken, it just felt empty and not much of a way to communicate with people other than digging out my headset. I honestly think Apex Legends has ruined online multiplayer and has made communicating with non-friend teammates a touch more frustrating. Regardless of that, the idea of playing with friends could make this game a lot more of an enjoyable experience.
Would I recommend Generation Zero? That’s not an easy question. I want to recommend this game, but it doesn’t feel like it is worth the play time. I feel that in six months’ time, I will replay this game and hopefully will enjoy it a lot! I think given some more development time, Generation Zero could be a lot of fun. It feels like this game is missing out on some modern elements that people have come to expect out of video games but, on its own, it’s not a bad game. In short, this game holds promise but it isn’t there yet.