I’ve been playing Generation Zero since the Open Beta and have loved it from the start. And since then, the game’s been improved in many significant ways.
Bugs have been fixed, bunkers have become easier to navigate, players are able to store inventory items and the world feels a bit less sterile through the inclusion of dead bodies and more elaborate signs of battle.
Yet I do have concerns of where the game’s heading. While many improvements have been added, they’ve made the game feel less cohesive and focused. The most obvious example of this is how crafting stations, trunks and even bicycle repair shops are present by some sleeping bags in the woods. And the vehicle station is a bit of a joke, with the poorly implemented bicycle being the only thing on offer. Not to mention the base construction aspect, which is completely removed from the rest of the game.
Your efforts to make the environments more interesting and letting them tell more of a story are commendable. But I feel we’re starting to lose the beauty of the desolate Swedish countryside.
Personally, I think the game should receive a major revamp where you take a step back and try to fix the basics. My thoughts are the following:
Change the function of safe houses. Make them spots where players respawn when they die, make them places where players can rest to regain health and change time of day. But take away their fast travel and “stations”.
Instead, I think that bunkers should be given a greater importance. Let the bunkers be the only fast travel points in the game and let each of the bunkers unlock a new feature. So when you start the game, you can’t store stuff, but finishing the first bunker unlocks that. Then another introduces crafting. Then another ads recycling etc. And perhaps the same should be done with items.
A problem I’ve pointed towards from the very start of the game is the lack of meaningful rewards. Players can ignore bunkers and quests and roam the world to find the best loot. Finishing quests and bunkers doesn’t unlock anything.
Personally, I think that experimental weapons shouldn’t be loot just randomly dropped by rivals. I think that parts for said weapons should be offered as rewards for finishing quests, with rivals perhaps dropping some particular material or component that’s necessary to assemble said parts into a functioning weapon.
Another form of payoff for finishing quests could be the inclusion of survivors. That upon finishing certain quests, you encounter survivors who’ll appear in your bunkers. It’ll give players a greater sense of accomplishment if they can SEE people they’ve rescued and that they’ve thus made a difference. Perhaps they’ll operate the crafting equipment for you?
I know it’s a controversial topic. Indeed, allowing players to just get into any vehicle they find, like in Far Cry, the atmosphere would be ruined. That’s not at all what I’m proposing. I’m proposing that, yet again, this will be a reward.
The first things players will need to do will be to beat several bunkers to make the vehicle crafting station appear, and even then you’ll only have access to bicycles to begin with.
To get access to the interesting vehicles, players will need to finish the correct destroyed vehicle in the environment. Then they’ll need to explore the world to find replacement parts and materials, which might be rewards for finishing certain quests. And of course, they’ll have to take out powerful enemies to get their fuel cells and silent propulsion system.
The environments were originally absolutely gorgeous, yet simultaneously creepy because they were desolate. While I don’t think you should undo any of what you’ve done, you should be less concerned with disturbing the environments unless there’s a very specific story you want to tell, perhaps something connected directly to a quest.
What I think you should do instead is to add more architectural variety. Throw in some funkis-style homes, enabling players to enter a few apartments in the apartment blocks. You could make a single brick building and, by changing the sign above the entrance, interior textures and redecorating the insides, you could use it as a small industry, a car dealership, a furniture store, a grocery store or even offices.
Introduce architectural elements that will create interesting gameplay. Give us viaducts for players to shoot down on machines from, tight alleys and more.
Guns and accessories
The perhaps best rewards in the game are the guns and accessories. Yet I think that they’re to similar to each other. In terms of automatic weapons, they don’t feel different at all. The hefty 7,62mm AG4 can shoot through real buildings and so accurate at long range that it’s currently being modernized into a marksman rifle, but is useless for full auto in real life, while the Kpist m/45 is known for being easy to control on full auto (soldiers were instructed to stick to EIGHT shot bursts), but has an (factually incorrect) reputation for not being able to shoot through a wet rain coat at 50m.
I’m not asking for realism, because GZ isn’t that kind of game, but I do want the guns to feel unique and useful.
As mentioned in other threads, I’d like to see weapons that make useless ammunition useful again. An SMG in .32, an assault rifle chambered in Meusser ammo (perhaps the GRAM series of rifles) and a battle rifle chambered in Älgstudsare (AG42, what else).
And of course gun accessories. You can make the guns that already are in the game seem exciting again just by throwing in some new parts.
These are just my ideas. How do you feel about them? Do you agree with my reservations on the direction of the game and lack of cohesion?