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GENERATION ZERO
The co-op shooter you’ve been waiting for.

HANDS ON PREVIEW (CLOSED BETA)
By JAY TEE
17/10/18

Generation Zero feels strikingly ambitious despite laser focused design. This is a shooter that doesn’t hold your hand; you’re forced to carve out your own path, completing objectives and discovering secrets organically as you explore. But despite its open ended nature, you’re rarely left to wander aimlessly. There’s a mainline path that drives you forward, with enough distractions along the way to keep things fluid.

It’s also not afraid to up the stakes, with enemies capable of quickly overpowering you with superior firepower and numbers. The balance definitely skews toward co-operative play, but it’s just as enjoyable to play as a lone wolf. Crucially, all progress is retained regardless of whether you’re in a public session or going solo.

One things for certain: Generation Zero is incredibly immersing, with a richly detailed world, hefty shooting mechanics, and a narrative hook that’ll keep you engaged throughout.

THE BASICS - First person open world shooter, with seamless co-op and persistent enemies.

PLATFORMS - PS4, XB1, and PC

PLAYERS - Offline - 1, Online - 4

CO-OP? MULTIPLAYER? - The entire single player narrative can be played in co-op. Progression is retained.

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT - None announced.

TARPS? - At the bottom of all our previews, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.

PREVIEWS KEY:

Back of the Box - A broad overview of key features and gameplay mechanics.

Get Schooled - Background info on the developer, fun facts, and viewing the game in a broader context.

Inside Scoop - Random thoughts and musings, along with hopes and concerns.

In well co-coordinated packs, these little buggers can be lethal.

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LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TWEET US @JAYTEE_GA, OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@JTGA.CO.UK.

TARP BADGES:

DYNAMIC DUO - The massively open level design encourages experimentation and vastly different approaches. Stealth is definitely a viable choice, while the dynamic weather and day / night cycle add to the unpredictability of each encounter. The map is enormous, with a great deal of woodland space. However, it would be nice if there were some more points of interest to explore.  

LOOT-TACULAR - Houses, sheds, cars and backpacks all offer a varied selection of loot. The distraction tools available in the beta (flares and radio’s) work exceptionally well, and create interesting A.I. behaviour that can be exploited to your advantage. One really nice touch is enemies don’t disappear once eliminated, and will retain any damage incurred if you encounter them later.

PRO TIP - Using cover is essential. The woodland areas offer plenty of places to hide, but watch your flanks!

BACKSTORY - Developer ‘Avalanche’ have certainly been busy as of late. They have six projects, of various scope, currently in production. One of which is their co-development deal with Bethesda and iD Software for Rage 2, as well as the fourth entry in the fantastic Just Cause series with Square Enix.

TAKE YOUR TIME - The game is already in a pretty solid state. Occasional visual glitches and med packs that refuse to actually heal you aside, it’s impressive that Generation Zero, considering it’s size, is already looking, and crucially feeling, so good. The vague 2019 release suggests that Avalanche are determined to make sure it launches only when it’s ready.

FUN OPINION - The music makes you feel like you’re in an episode of Stranger Things. Which is fun.

SMASH THOSE BUTTONS - There’s a few critical areas which I feel need addressing. The controls feel a tad sticky, particularly when you’re trying to transition into crouch or prone while running. A huge omission is the lack of a vaulting mechanic; I frequently got stuck on objects or failed to jump over a knee high obstacle.

BUFF TING - Balance for several aspects of gameplay could also be tweaked. The shotgun desperately needs buffing, as it feels less effective than the default pistol at close range. The huge expansive environments (and associated freedom) are both great, but there’s SO much space that the addition of drivable vehicles almost feel like a necessity at this point.

TRUTH BOMB - Despite some rough patches, I haven’t been this excited for a game in what feels like forever.   

Generation Zero is shaping up to be an absolute gem. The seamless co-op works a treat, and the world is just begging to be explored. Our current most anticipated game for 2019.

*Closed Beta access provided by Avalanche*

The IT’S A TARP! badge is awarded when a game offers a real challenge.

The TRANSPORTER BUFFER badge is for a game that requires you to carefully manage your inventory and supplies.

The BREAK THE TARGETS badge is for a game that has excellent side quests and/or optional missions and activities.

The TEA OF SIEVES badge is for a game with truly emergent moments.

The HAVOK PHYSICS badge is for a game where enemies visibly react to weapon hits.

The MARSHALL LAW badge is for a game that lets you fight back against an overwhelming force.  

The DEANNA TROI badge is for a game that had a great Demo, Alpha and / or Beta[zed] test.