Tedium permeates throughout Generation Zero
Generation Zero: (PC/Playstation 4/Xbox One) 5/10
Often video games fail to deliver on promising premises, but rarely does a game do so as spectacularly as Avalanche Studios' latest offering. Generation Zero is one of those games you truly want to love, one that offers a fresh take on a well-trodden formula, only to succumb to formulaic and dull gameplay and a very questionable state of completion. Despite being a full 1.0 release, Generation Zero truly feels early access.
An alternate timeline, a Swedish countryside setting, cool robots and the late 80's - a rarely explored time period in video games - should have culminated in a very good release, so where did Avalanche Studios go wrong?
Dullness and tedium permeate throughout Generation Zero. For all its vast environments and curious premise, the sheer boredom of playing this game lays waste to any promise it may have had. Much of the game sees you and perhaps an unfortunate cooperative player trudge from point A to point B in search of loot and story progress. Everything in this game is spread out to a painful extent, the pain compounded further in often terrible guidance from the game's map system. It can take literally hours to find a single spot on the map if you haven't already discovered the place, leading to endless circling and searching until you happen across some old ruins or a nondescript house. One of the greatest downfalls of this game is the interplay between its many, many bugs and the deliberate shroud of mystery enveloping the game. This can lead to the all-too-frequently repeated question of: 'am I not seeing a map marker because I haven't discovered the location yet, or has the game simply bugged out and the marker will never appear?'.
While the presence of the robots is a cool idea, and while they do indeed greatly increase in variety throughout the game, the gunplay and enemy AI are both just so utterly inconsistent and janky that this facet of the game is also spoiled. Often felling robots in a group will make enough noise to draw the attentions of neighbouring groups, resulting in long, time-sinking shootouts with very little payout.
One point in Generation Zero's favour is how the game absolutely nails the feeling and atmosphere of your surroundings. This gives hope that perhaps, with consistent updates, the game could be brought to a state of playability and enjoyment. Right now, this should be a hard pass for anyone thinking of making the plunge.