GENERATION ZERO is a new video game that challenges you to survive an amazing open-world set in Sweden in the 1980s–a country in which everyone is either dead or disappeared, and an ecology of killer robots roams the towns and countryside. Your task is to collect supplies and weapons while completing missions to fight the robots, find out what happened, and stay alive.
I’m a sucker for co-op games with great game play and plenty or ambience and lore, and GENERATION ZERO delivers. I can see it maybe becoming monotonous over time for single-player play, but when playing with friends, it’s loads of fun. Stylistically, it’s like running around combating robots in a series of Simon Stålenhag paintings. The world is huge, beautifully rendered, and filled with numerous houses, vehicles, and military installations to explore and plunder. The atmosphere is just terrific, and there’s a lonesome 80s vibe to the whole thing, with the ability to customize characters and listen to electronic music rendered in full 80s nostalgia.
The game play is challenging and exciting, though there’s a lot of travel, juggling missions, and inventory management. Finding bullets is tough, and you’re constantly scavenging for ammo, which comes in many types and must fit your particular gun. You can only carry so much, so you have to make choices about what weapons and items are handy and which you’re going to keep in your inventory. Finding guns is hard at first, though over time as you get into military installations you’re more likely to find good weapons and attachments (such as scopes), from sniper rifles to rocket launchers that have a beautiful effect on target.
Now I have to talk about the robots, which are really cool and come in different types and capabilities. These range from air drones that alert all nearby robots of your presence to little eerie spider robots to giant behemoths that lumber around and are really, really hard to kill, and more. You can use stealth to spy on them or avoid them, you can lay ambushes with explosives and flanking, and you can snipe them in weak points that are more likely to kill. The robots can be very challenging to destroy, prone to sudden bursts of speed, and explode in beautiful splashes of sparks. The closer you get to cities, the more likely you’ll find great loot, but the robots become far more numerous. A friend and I tried to get into an airbase and spent a half hour in an impossible fight against a horde of robots, including several giants that just rain missiles constantly.
Overall, GENERATION ZERO is a beautiful, addictive, and fun game. Highly recommended, especially if you’re into co-op games like LEFT FOR DEAD.