Imagine this scenario as you went on vacation for the weekend with a few friends. You all had a great time before going your separate ways and when you made your way home you notice something strange. The neighborhood that you live in is abandoned as cars litter the streets and some of them are on fire. As you park on the street you hear the clank and whir of machinery as a robot comes around the corner and opens fire upon you. This is the setting of Generation Zero a new game from Avalanche Studios.
Generation Zero is a first person shooter that can be played alone or with three other players in a war torn Sweden. These robots now roam the countryside and you will have to scrounge and search for weapons, equipment and ammo. There are missions that you can complete – either the main missions or the various side quests that are littered around the countryside. Once you get enough weapons and ammo you will want to take on your computerized opponents. These robots range from the smallest ticks that can be dispatched with one or two hits to giant walkers that will take everything that you have and then some. If you die while you are in combat you can re-spawn at any of the safe-houses that you have unlocked. As you explore, complete quests and kill robots you will gain experience and you can use this experience to unlock certain skills. Skills are important in this game and you will need it to bring down some of the giant robots that you will encounter in your travels.
There are some things that I disliked about Generation Zero and the first has to be the inventory system. First, you are limited by how much you can carry as there are two rows that are locked and the only way to unlock them is by putting skill points into that category. Also, the inventory system will still clutter up with ammo and medkits that can be sorted into various stacks. For example, if you find a medkit or certain ammo type it may not stack correctly and you will have to do that manually in order to save space. And let’s talk about ammo for a moment as I feel as if the game is cheating you out of it when you needed it. I remember one encounter where I spawned inside of a base and there was not one, but two walkers outside the base walls! Needless to say that you do get a lot of ammo and equipment by bringing down a walker but, it can make it frustrating at times as you have to wonder when to shoot and when to run. Another encounter with a walker left me with ZERO ammo when I defeated it and I had received hardly ANYTHING for bringing it down.
In the end Generation Zero is a mediocre FPS that shouldn’t even be experienced. There are bugs where you get stuck and you have to either restart the game or travel to a safe house. And the difficulty on normal is ridiculous as you destroy a robot only to be rewarded with 1 or 2 rounds of ammo. Believe me this is a game that should be avoided as it is simply not fun and is instead tedious, frustrating and downright disappointing.