That old April update

Long ago I dropped Generation Zero after playing through the FNIX update/DLC and being pretty disappointed by the new state of the game. Things just weren’t the same after the gonzo AI was patched out, all the achievement was gone and instead we got … robot buildings. Anyway, that was long ago and this weekend, with nothing to do and four days to do it, I reinstalled Generation Zero and decided to check out the newest updates. Three experiences stand out the most.

At Iboholmen castle I alerted a bunch of runners who all showed up at roughly the same time and then basically stood in place looking at me. One of them shot but the others continued to stand, doing nothing. It was a simple matter to dispatch the bunched up group by shooting one’s fuel tank.

Then, on the open plain area just north of Saltholmen Church, I went out to fight some rivals because they were all gathered around that area. I took out a hunter rival, a couple other hunters, and a few runners, none of whom shot if one of the other machines were actively targeting me. Feeling bold, I went after the tank rival. During the battle no less than four other rivals, including a harvester, showed up. I took them all down in sequence (except for the harvester) and then went right back to killing the tank. All this time not more than one machine targeted and shot at me. The harvester simply waited in the back for its turn.

Once I got to the farmlands area I was introduced to the control point mechanics and base building. After taking a short look into that and then seeing other control points appearing as I traveled around, I turned the game off. It’s not the kind of thing I want to play. First, the FNIX architecture is extremely ugly and seeing those warts all over this beautiful landscape really ruins the view if you ignore them. If you don’t ignore them they become this constant sort of whack-a-mole game because fighting machines isn’t avoidable in the long run. I also have zero interest in a base-building game; if I wanted that I’d play Minecraft.

This is not to say there haven’t been awesome strides in the meantime. The ability to go prone is fantastic. The ambient storytelling has been amped up and it’s really cool to see all those new stories. Bugfixes were very welcome. I’m not entirely sold on the two radio NPCs; having the army guy who trained for combat give me, a kid with a gun, orders while he sits in the command bunker required some serious suspension of disbelief but the girl providing guidance and making extra storytelling come alive is great. Mixed bag at best. Crafting is also a mixed bag; being able to make ammo is great but I can see that it’s largely to support the base-building/assault gameplay, so if you ignore that gameplay it trivializes a large portion of the game since there are bodies everywhere to loot.

After all this I actually checked to see if I could get hold of an older version of the game and found out that it was possible to install older versions of games for Steam. I did a bit of sleuthing because it had been so long and found out that the version I started on was the April 2020 patch, and went about replacing the newest version with that one. After a couple hours of play I confirmed that it was, indeed, what I started with: enemies were smarter, more than one bothered to target me at a time, resources were scarcer, the world was much “quieter”, there was no ugly FNIX stuff, and no control points or base-building to deal with. I don’t know about you but for me this was the literal apex of Generation Zero gameplay and I wish it were iterated on. The AI was challenging and the machines were actually terrifying in groups. It felt like an actual survival game with a mystery to solve rather than a rote action FPS game with a guided experience. With bugfixes and maybe some additional small features this would have been a fantastic addition to my library. This was a real missed opportunity.

I’m going to play this old version again, do a full run through, maybe some multiplayer with a friend who feels the same way. In many ways the April update is worse than the newest version but in far more ways it’s so much better. I’m sad this wasn’t the gameplay that was iterated on, what an amazing journey it could have been.


Bingo! GZ was at its best at Alpine Unrest, most additions have not added to the overall pure gameplay. [exceptions: going prone, the wheel to select weapons/items, levels above 31] I’d say that most additions are pet projects or, hey that would be cool to add without really adding value.
I’m on Xbox and unfortunately can’t play the version of GZ that I want to - so I ignore the control points, base assault, crafting, and apparel upgrades.
Played since 3/2020 the start of Covid, completed the game twice on 2 different Xbox gamertag’s, and maxed out all 4 characters to 31 at the time. I have started over twice at least due to corruption of save game files that bug out various missions, started over again since the 5/2023 update, and have been able to progress past 2 bugged out missions - so far so good. So yes I have played this game a lot. And love it a lot and do want GZ to succeed. It does seem the focus of developers/company has been on new titles Second Extinction [seems OK] RavenBound [meh, there are lots of games that look like this] have taken the focus, so I am afraid that GZ is not getting the focus needed to develop real content further. And it seems that console [specifically Xbox hasn’t been a focus] So hope I am wrong and would love to buy a new DLC with a new island and 30+ missions and new robots. See the recent-ish poll here on the forums, something like 60-70+% wan’t a new island and story/missions. [hey maybe NATO robots? or a difficulty setting that updates the AI? or a setting to increase the quantity of robots on a 1-5 to make it easy for new players and max out for those who have awesome weapons?] Outnumbered by 35+ hunters sounds crazy fun to battle through! Shared all these ideas before on the player feedback survey’s and here on the forum - so I’ll share all these ideas for free! again…
But in reality, I don’t think awesome improvements like these will be added and my time playing GZ will continue to decrease and I’ll find another favorite game. Love to be wrong - here’s to hoping and positive vibes!


Reason 3 - The AI of the machines has decreased in quality severely.

This is the main reason I stopped playing the game after the FNIX update. I’m not entirely sold on the state of the game at this point anyway, it’s too focused on guided base-building and capture-the-flag style play which I really don’t care for, kind of ties in to your point 8, but the AI being absolutely terrible after the FNIX update is the main reason. I really wish I’d figured out how to use older game manifests on Steam back then because the April 2020 update was some of the most intense and immersive gameplay I’ve experienced. How that was considered an AI “bug” is beyond me…


Because it didn’t work well. Hunters could target (and shoot) you across mountains, and machines were way too aggressive and never let you go, so combat couldn’t end and you couldn’t retreat.

There were other issues as well related to it that made the game unstable, though it’s not really the topic of this thread.

Genuinely, that made it so good. The machines forget you far too soon in the current versions, it’s ridiculously easy to disengage. Anyway, the AI is a huge sticking point for me, not at all interested in supporting the game anymore.


This is something I agree with, although it feels very sporadic but sometimes it is enough to hide behind something and the machines just seem to forget you where ever there.

So why do you hide then? It seems to me if you want them to find you just don’t hide. :wink:

1 Like

In the new version I don’t, there’s no reason to hide because the machines are totally stupid. I mean, a stealth attack is great but once you get into a fight only one will shoot at you at a time and they all generally stand around like idiots.

Well, I look forward to you sharing a video of your gameplay with the old april version. I wonder how that will go. At least you have fun.

Speak for yourself i’d uninstall this if it was still that hardcore.

Speak for yourself

I thought I was…


Reloading or changing items/weapons I have in my active slots or taking cover from the reapers thermobaric explosion
Happened a lot that just taking cover for a very short while prompts the game to say “escaped combat”.

Moved posts about the April 2020 update to to this thread.


Perhaps some kind of hardcore gamemode could be implemented?

When Doom (1994) Shareware came out, some fans complained that it still wasn’t hard enough on it’s highest difficulty level. So for the game’s release, id Software jokingly added in another one, where monsters respawned, were much faster and so forth. It was meant as a joke, but some players enjoy it to this day.

Perhaps something like that could be done :slight_smile:

A new game mode/difficulty that touches every aspect of the game might add some more replay value but would be a gigantic task, as pretty much everything would need to be retouched. To be fair, all of the DLC also caters to players who already own and like the game.

I’m all for some more challenges but I don’t know if reworking the game for a mode would be the right way to implement that. If they really wanted to they could just release the game version from april 2020 on a beta branch I guess, it just wouldn’t be compatible with the new machines, DLC etc.

I can’t say that happens very often to me in solo play. I am constant being jumped on by hunters, runners and ticks while being bombarded by harvesters and tanks rocket salvos. Especially when I just want to travel to a certain spot and have no interest in a battle. So I am just passing through, so to say. :grinning: But what I want to say is, that it takes a bit more effort, for me at least, to get the combat status to end. Simply going into hiding does not often work.

1 Like

not only that but the special ability where gives you an free revive everytime you enter combat. that just makes yourself immortal. because when you get downed you just instantly lose combat and then revive youreself for free and enter combat again where the ability has been reseted. its so weird that developers wanted to improve the combat system where it actually made the game easier. like stealth is becoming completely bad.

i can agree that the game is turning into easier game. like only 1 machine shoot at you but no one else. just stadning to wait until they can shoot.

after all we don’t know what happened to the game.
i guess the game is becoming an shooter game. intsead of being survival, strategy and stealth.

1 Like

I can relate to what you are saying - when i am just out traversing not seeking battles I also have the problem of getting jumped very easily. But then the straight opposite happens when I really want battles and are engaging enemies.

So some improvements to the AI is much needed in my opinion.

I don’t know what game you’re playing… Or what difficulty setting you have. But that’s not how they’re fighting against me. Playing on skirmish.

That’s how it is for me. And don’t forget the sniper and gas grenades.
There are times where I hardly can dodge them and get downed every few seconds because there are everywhere explosions.


i do guerilla and skirmish.
but difficulty only makes enemies inflict more damage and reiceve less damage.
theres nothing about how often the attack.