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A year ago, Avalanche Studios took a leap and developed a game where instead of being hunters, the players were instead the hunted. This game was called Generation Zero. Personally, I was a huge fan of the incredibly detailed environments in The Hunter: Call of the Wild. The level of immersion felt while you were crawling around in bushes and grabbing at every dollop of animal droppings was amazing. As I initially had no interest in hunting, I was originally not planning to spend all that long playing. But after a few hours, I was hooked and started to enjoy the rhythm of tracking animals and aiming for their vital organs.
So with all this praise, hearing that Generation Zero was releasing had me incredibly excited. To me, a game set in Sweden with killer robots on the prowl sounded amazing. However the initial result was less than great. After only a few hours in co-op, me and my friend found ourselves growing incredibly bored of walking aimlessly and only occasionally encountering the main attractions of the game. This is where we left it; uninstalling the game to never talk of it again…
…Until we did! Around four days before the writing of this, we delved right down into the deepest crevasses of out game libraries in search of something different to play. Reluctant at first, I managed to convince him to join me in what I thought would be an incredibly short journey.
How It Went
The game started off more or less the same. We spent a couple hours getting to grips with how the game worked again. This involved quite a lot of dying to the machines we no longer knew how to fight. Yet we stuck with it and soldiered on, progressing further into the island and delving more into the skill trees presented within the game. In all honesty, we had fun.
Although the game hasn’t changed all too much in the time since it was last played, it felt smoother and less of a mess of mechanics somewhat carelessly spun into a fragmented web on a pretty solid engine. There were less glitches and major issues, as well as a seemingly more dense population of things that want to kill you. Overall, it felt good. So good in fact, it’s still being played without all too many arguments as to whether we should stop.
After spending hours roaming around and assembling a somewhat decent arsenal, we decided to tackle the larger machines. By far this is the most exciting thing to do, even if many deaths follow due to the fact you are a high schooler with a rusty rifle attempting to take on a huge robot designed to take out armies. The minor survival mechanics included in this game, like limited ammo and healing supplies, make these fights stressful. Not o the same level as games such as Dark Souls, yet still fun for those who like a challenge. It could be argued that the game is slow unless in such encounters, so seeking them out when prepared is highly recommended.
And that solid engine? It makes the game look incredible, even on consoles. The lighting and details make for a great atmosphere. There’s grass that flattens down as you move your way through it, and god rays that will illuminate the woodlands you tread through. Comparing to the rusty old engine Bethesda were determined to cling onto, the engine Avalanche utilise works well for what they produce.
Time has been kind to this game, more so than it probably deserved. Although not as glorious of a come back as No Man’s Sky, it’s significant enough to make it enjoyable. With a couple of friends and the mindset of expecting a basic, down to the bones survival game with simple mechanics, it does lead to some long nights where you lose the time.
The Point of All This?
In recent events, the gaming industry has had a few hiccups. With allegations of improper practice, as well as many, many new and creative ways to extract money from people’s pockets being added to games, it can be hard for some people to choose what to play next. So, why not consider games you’d previously sworn off and left to gather dust? You may be surprised with how some games have developed. Maybe give Generation Zero a go if you see it on sale.
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A few boring details for your reading pleasure.
I’m someone who plays games as a hobby. The media has carried me through many difficult times; serving as a distraction from real-world problems. Chances are that if you’re here, you can relate to that at least.
Now, the boring stuff. I live in the north of England, studied maths and further maths in college, to then go on and study psychology in university.