What I like about Generation Zero

When I first started playing Gen Zero I was dumped at the edge of land with a shed not far away, dock, box trailers in the water, boats turned over and I had nothing. All I know is that I am going to be fighting machines. So my character’s struggle begins. I look in my inventory and have nothing. Find my first gun and then a few shells for it but after my first encounter with a runner, I am dead and have to spawn back to a safehouse with an empty gun and wondering if this gets any better.

I was expecting something along the lines of a FPS game but by now it seems more like a RPG. As I am guided from place to place I wonder into empty houses that look like a blood bath took place and then get unique messages left for those that lived here. Everywhere is evidence of a place I must have loved to live at, since this was my home. As I sink deeper into my character’s role, I am starting to feel fear from all the destruction these machines have done to my home, my town, MY FAMILY! Anger is starting to mix in with my fear and I start thinking of what I should do to destroy these machines.

My little pistol is no match to the runners I am facing so I start to just run from them. I see destroyed machines, so I know there is a way to destroy them, it’s just not with this under powered weapon. As I collect things, that at the time, made no sense. Even the ammo I find doesn’t belong in my weapon, but it is a promise I will find better. So, I explore everything, looking in everything and avoid contact with the machines.

4 hours into the game and I am still struggling to get to my 3rd safehouse and mission. Nothing is still making no sense other than the game draws me in, sinking into my character’s role, I feel helpless. I have died countless times at this point and my struggle continues. Every new message, every note or letter, give me new hope I can beat these machines. I have to, for the sake of my family, my town, my very existence.

All my resources, including ammo, are in short supply and only way to survive is to avoid the machines, for now, and gain exp/skill points. But avoiding the machine caused me to start taking in the scenery. It has me longing to just hike and explore to see what other breathe taking landscapes can I find!

I played the base game solo so this is how my character was, I learn to only fight the machines to gain access to the mission at hand on the other side of them, otherwise I avoided them.

Some days I just wanted to explore my Gen Zero world and take in the beauty of the landscapes, avoiding all the destruction left by the battles with the machines. But just like the real world, no matter where you are, there are reminders that I am not alone, Reminders of the joy the land once brought to the people that lived here and what ended that joy.

SG has destroyed well over 50K machines but at a great cost of (edit) being knocked down, to near death, (edit) but she as yet to give up. With the hope of new missions, new adventures, and unfamiliar places to explore, she continues her struggle to keep the machines at bay.


Funny how you tell your introduction to GZ as if watching yourself from the sidelines. :coffee:
50000+ machines kills later you can be considered a seasoned killing machine. There is really no death for us players, even though the game calls it death. I think, you have been downed 5000 times. :smiley: When you are downed you can patch yourself up with a stim, or you get transported to a safeplace where you can lik your wounds and try again.

I don’t know how many machines I sent to the scrap heap, but since always avoid unnecessary battle it will not be near 50K. I also try to keep my carry weight under 50, so I mostly do not have very much ammo, and just keep refilling ammo with what I find. I have become over-encumbered a couple of times and could hardly move, didn’t like that. So I play, like how I would try to cope in a real warlike situation. Stealthy like a thief in the night. :crescent_moon:

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Wow. You exactly describe the feelings and thoughts I had at the beginning.

There was this beautiful landscape and totally freedom at first… But at the same time there was the fear of finding one of this machines…or to be found by one of them… Or more.

But for me there was an ongoing progress of becoming braver… Just to find another, larger and more dangerous type of machine and to fall back into fear.

So I went on. It was an up and down for many hours in game until I got my first experimental guns. Now the fear was gone. There was just caution, not to run into hordes of machines… Or to accidently get the attraction of an Apoc-classed one.

When I found my exp. PVG, I finally broke through this circle. From this point on, noone could stop me.

Now I am the Hunter.
I am the Punisher. I’ll take revenge for all those killed people.

But somehow, there are many unanswered questions and a kind of great mystery for what I have to find answers.

I’ll keep searching…


Good insights! I will edit my statement!

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About the initial feelings gamers have when first playing the game. When everything is new, you experience dread and awe. But that feeling will change in recognition and experience. The dark feeling of secrecy and mystery will also not last when you unravel more and more of the story. This is a normal effect of learning how the world works. And you can’t hold on to that first feeling how ever bad you want that.


Yup this is really true. This is why i don’t get when people say “I don’t get the same feeling of mystery anymore” or something likewise that. (as if it’s something thay makes the game bad/worse) Ofc you are not gonna feel that mystery and stuff now when you already have played the game for hundreds of hours, that goes for any game.

Take for example a horror game. The first time you play it you might be scared and all, but when it’s your third or fourth time playing it you won’t be scared anymore cus you know how everything works and what will happen.

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I was regarding to “the untold stories”.

  • The different scenes of murderers or suicides.
  • The many places with the painted word “stick”.
  • The iron church and bunker 666.
  • The excorcism of the cursed machine at the cemetery of Österhällan.
  • The gigantic crater at Dyrboslätten.
    And there is so much more…

These are the mysteries I hope to get answers for in future updates or dlc.

The told story itself of course is no mystery any more, since I finished everything to 100%. But I’m still far away of getting bored by this game.

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What I like about generation Zero is different from what I liked and thought I liked about it when I first got it.

I think the robots are quite cool and unique, the fighting is amazing. The setting was a place I have neber been before. All tied togeother with amazing graphics.

When I first saw the game and in my first hours I thought about all the sneaking you could do and the thrill of avoiding machines. All of this could be done but not to it’s full potential.

I love a huge map and GZ certainly has a decently sized one. I would play ten hours and only explore very few parts. I was just excited about all the locations I had yet to see.

There is a lot I love about GZ and despite my feellings toward’s it’s current state it is still one of my favorite games of all time.

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GZ is a unique game of its kind. When I started playing GZ for the first time, there were a lot of feelings, the mystery of what happened in this territory and where all the people are, the horror of being hunted by soulless and merciless cold steel machines. Battle after battle with each of the cars pulls you further into the depths of the island and you don’t know what and who will be waiting for you in these dense forests. Sometimes it gets to the point that you begin to take the silhouette of a tree for another car and this makes you even more afraid that you begin to be afraid of the usual environment, what you lived with every day and at some point, everything changed. The musical accompaniment complements the atmosphere in the game very well, as soon as the menu screen appears after loading the game and the music starts playing, you already begin to experience the game moments! I’ve seen players offer to add new tracks of different musical directions to the game, I think it’s better not to do this. If you add tracks, then only in the GZ style, this will maintain the individuality of the game. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the development of Generation Zero !!! After a while, this game will become my nostalgia, a memory of a pleasant time spent. Guys, keep up the good work, I wish you good luck in GZ and new projects!!!


Sure, you learn all about the game in brief time. Fear is replaced with knowledge and experience. But I still get the willies when walking into a bunker with a new player and the generator has not been turned on. Everything is dark but the beam of our flashlights. I hear nearby ticks and I swing my weapon around just as the tick pounces. Even though I expect it to happen I still fire wildly the first few times. One of the thrills of playing public co-ops, playing with beginners and going with them on their missions. I offer limited insights to them so they can experience the things themselves.

I may have run from the machines at the beginning of the game, which I still do. As a beginner, I thought a building was a place of refuge, but quickly learned it was not. Stand still in one to long and the machines will get to you. But I learned that where the machines use it as a trap and surround the building, I use it as a lure. A traps set at the open doorways, triggered when the machines run past it. When I first started learning to set traps it was with just gas cans and mines. Now I replace them with exploding ammo or trip wires from shock ammo.

There is so much in the Gen Zero environment that can be related to real life experiences, my fear of spiders and the ticks in the game trigger that fear. Once beautiful landscapes in the game are destroyed in an update. The sadness I feel in the game is related to the land in my area where I would hike in the woods as a child have been replaced with buildings and streets. Trails you could see signs of the wildlife that lived there are now littered with the human’s trash.


I loved (and miss) the original feeling when first starting out in GZ. It was a “one time feeling”, and once it’s over it can’t be re-experienced. Once you know the game mechanics, you know them. It’s like riding a bike. GZ will never be hard in that same way again.

I think the reason most new players struggle, is that they take up an overly careful approach to combat, in addition they’re exaggerating the machines’ intimidating effect.

Machines in GZ excel at shooting you in the back if you’re constantly fleeing. Instead, grab the bull by the horns! Let a Runner come close, sprint up on his side or his back, and empty a clip at his fuel cell. Attack with courage and determination, from an advantageous position, and I guarantee you will win! Works all the way from Yttervik to the FNIX cannon.
Panic, and you will die. :wink:


I guess the question about the ‘feeling of mystery’ is dependent upon who plays the game and in which state it was when he or she started out. I can’t speak for others, but for me, the ‘feeling of mystery’ came from the lack of traces of what happened in the game world. In a real world conflict, villages get shelled, towns get razed to the ground, dead people pile in the streets. You can see what went on, you see the struggle. For me, the uneasiness in GZ came from the absence of these signs. Yeah, sure, there were a few ‘stranded’ cars, and some houses had bullet holes in their doors, but that usually wouldn’t explain the total absence of living beings (except birds).

Of course, this feeling passes over time, and the story advances to a point where you can piece things together. You get familiar with the locations, you get better equipment, your proficiency in dealing with the machines rises. That’s fine with me, and I think few players had/have any issue with that.

The lack of mystery might kill it for others that came later though. If you only got into the game post FNIX Rising, you’ll find swaths of destruction, foreign soldiers, fortifications, resistance fighters and FNIX installations all over the place. If you don’t care much for the aforementioned atmosphere, it’s a moot point. And if you never got to play the ‘old’ experience, it probably won’t matter much, either. But, for me, the newer version wouldn’t have worked like the old one did. And I suspect some might feel the same.

Which is why I still hope that the game will get a map overhaul that’ll gate the environmental changes behind story progress. Make the base game the April 2020 map, and let players start the Alpine Unrest DLC after they finished the main story. Then replace the main island map with the FNIX Rising variation after the player finishes the AU missions. And then continue in that fashion when ‘populating’ the unused islands.


I started with the game in June '21 and felt the mystery. It was great as described above in a post.

But I guess, and that counts for every game, you can just experience this once.

I like the game as it is. That’ s the only reason for me to keep on playing. Of course, there is always something that can be optimised, but the initial experience stays.

The so called “feeling of mystery” was actually greater back when GZ was new. Back then there were no mission waypoints to follow. You had to read the notes, clues and objectives, and then search the land for what they described. Often it was vague and frustrating, but many liked it this way, myself included.

Now that we have mission waypoints on the HUD, the game basically holds your hand and spoonfeeds you through every mission.

Btw, if any devs read this: Please make it an option to turn completely off mission objective markers, making it at least possible to play like in the old days. :wink:


Sounds great, thanks for the info.
But if I am true: I’m not sure if I would have been playing so much without any hint besides the notes, clues and objectives.

So what about a compromise?

What if you need to find maps to get the mission waypoints in the hud? If you don’t have the map of the region or a part of it, you have to find the objectives as you described from the old days.

Maybe additionally there could be a “fog of war” on the ingame map which gets revealed by visiting every single place or by finding a part of a map. :thinking:

But for now… I think we’re drifting to offtopic. Maybe there’s some better thread to discuss about that.

I would like to see where this rabbit hole takes us even if it has a few side tunnels. If your ideas come to be then I think I would like that about Gen Zero.

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