Generation Zero Review

Posted April 29, 2019 by Kyle Simcox in Video Games

Developer: Avalanche Studios

Avalanche Publishing

PC, PS4, Xbox One

Release Date:
March 26th, 2017

Set in Sweden, 1989,
Generation Zero starts off as you are on your way home by boat after
a weekend trip with your friends. Just before you reach land
something attacks your ship, sinking your boat and leaving you to
die. However, you wash ashore injured and find the whole country side
has been deserted and an army of machines roam free attacking anyone
on sight. So it’s up to you to journey deeper inland to figure out
just where everyone has gone all the while trying to survive the
mysterious robotic threat that has spread across Sweden.

Zero has a really cool concept that just never lives up to it’s full
potential. You wage guerrilla style warfare on a superior robotic
force with 3 other friends. Meanwhile, you scavenge for weapons, ammo
and various other tools as a means to survive. All of that sounds
awesome on paper but it never fully delivers. The gunplay feels
lackluster but the robots are still just as equally fun to fight as
they are terrifying. If you’re a solo player, then combat feels
best avoided if you don’t have a solid plan of action. In my
experience, it’s far too easy to get caught up in a gun fight only to
be overwhelmed by waves of robotic enemies who show up to assist
their friends. It’s best to work on quickly attacking and exploiting
the robots weak points and then dispersing into the trees to avoid
certain doom. You’ll want to work on distracting and exploiting the
robots weaknesses to gain the upper hand. The first robot enemy you
meet for instance has an easily accessible battery pack on it’s back
that when destroyed, instantly kills the robot and sends out a small
EMP burst, stunning other robots around it.

As you play the
game, you’ll level up and earn skill points to make your character
more effective. There are four skill trees to invest your points in
and while most of the skills are what you’d expect like decreased
recoil and such, some of the later abilities are honestly pretty
cool. The Hacker ability for instance allows you to hack robots and
they’ll fight on your side for a limited amount of time. The combat
tree has a skill that increases damage resistance to 100% and another
that completely eliminates weapon sway as well.

Managing your
inventory is a pain and it’s too easy to fill up your bag. Lootable
resources are a dime a dozen which is both good and bad. Ammo and
med-kits feel plentiful but some of the players who err on the side
of hoarding items will spend more time managing their inventory than
they will fighting robots. You can choose from a handful of character
templates to play as and a plethora of clothing options for your
character that may or may not provide various stat bonuses like a
pair of sneakers that decrease the noise you make or a jacket that
increases blast resistance. Clothing items are thankfully separate
from your item inventory and don’t need to be managed.

Generation Zero is a fine looking game but the character templates
you choose from are all pretty…. Mediocre to say the least. Sweden
feels empty too without any human NPC’s inhabiting it and playing
solo feels incredibly lonely. The robots however are great. They have
this retro futuristic feeling about them like they came straight from
the 80’s. They also sound intimidating and there’s nothing more
scary than when you’re in the middle of a fight and a flanking
robots alarm goes off letting you know enemy reinforcements have
arrived and you turn to see a horde of them come out of the trees.

Again, Generation
Zero is a really cool concept on paper but at the end of the day,
it’s a lot of wasted potential. The gunplay isn’t as strong as it
should be but fighting the enemy still manages to be a lot of fun and
the robots manage to feel both imposing and overwhelming like they
should. However, that doesn’t detract from the obnoxious inventory
system or lonesome, empty world. If you’re looking for a fun co-op
game to play, then Generation Zero might be for you… once it hits
the bargain bin and you can convince a friend to buy a copy too.

gives Generation Zero a 5 out of 10.

About the Author

Kyle Simcox