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Video Game / Generation Zero

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Generation Zero is an open-world First-Person Shooter designed for co-op play. It was developed by Avalanche Studios and released on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One on March 26th, 2019.

It is set in the developers' native Sweden, in the alternate version of The '80s where Swedish military grew paranoid about the potential Russian invasion, and chose to counter it through accelerating robotics research and secretly constructing an army of robots. You (along with your friends in the co-op mode) are youths who came back from a vacation to stumble into the aftermath, when there are no more humans left, and only the killer robots roam free.

No relation to the Valiant Comics comic book.


Generation Zero provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Bomb: Military and FNIX versions of the Ticks will self-destruct upon receiving too much damage.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The reason for the events of the game. Though subverted in that the AI that started the rebellion was based on a human.
  • A.K.A.-47: All of the guns have slightly modified names of their real-world counterparts. For instance, Granatgevär m/49 rocket launcher may sound unusual, but is only a number away from the real-world Granatgevär m/48, better known as Karl Gustav.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Played straight with the Runners, which are instantly brought down by a shot or two to their fuel tank. Similarly, the Seekers are instantly brought down by a shot to a thruster, while a shot to the sensors in the "head" or to the alarm module renders them absolutely useless.
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  • Brain Uploading: The leader of all the rebellious machines, FNIX, is a brain upload of the former commander of the project, before he got mortally ill with AIDS-related pneumonia.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: Seems to be played straight, as the head is frequently one of the machines' weakpoints.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: While the game's world is enormous, there's barely a handful of structure types, and entire villages may consists of one-two houses. Worse, their internal layouts are also identical, with only the loot inside the containers being randomized.
  • Elite Mooks: The FNIX versions of the machines are these to the Prototype and Military versions. They are better armored and often feature additional weapons: while Prototype Runners only have an SMG, and Military version adds a Shotgun, FNIX Runner sports a Rocket Launcher as well.
  • Enemy Summoner: The Seeker drones summon enemies through their alarms.
    • Military/FNIX versions of the Tank and Hunter will drop Ticks during combat, in addition to their other attacks.
  • Explosive Barrels: Fuel tanks will instantly explode when shot. You get to carry them and set them down yourself, in preparation for fighting the robots.
  • The Ghost: Similar to Fallout 76, the game is completely devoid of NPCs besides other players. The presence of other humans is occasionally hinted at, but these never bear out anything. You do make contact with a couple of characters over radio during the main quest, but that's about it.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: Played absolutely straight, and it is in fact the only way to pick locks.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This essentially happens to the entire Sweden, as they built all the robots themselves in the belief it would defend them from the Russian invasion, only to see them turn on themselves.
  • Hollywood Hacking: One of the skills allows your characters to hack into the robots.
  • Meaningful Name: The robots are led by the AI named FNIX, an abbreviation which obviously resembles "Phoenix". This refers to the AI actually being an upload of the leader of the project.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Unironically invoked in the "diary" entry for Tank: "The robot started shooting at us with some kind of automatic machine gun, hitting the ground, nearby cars and even a few of us. Thankfully mostly flesh-wounds."
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: .44 Magnus is the most powerful handgun-type weapon in the game.
  • Sequence Breaking: Due to the open-world structure, it's possible to complete both the main and secondary missions out of order. Usually, the game will take this into the account, but some missions can be rendered broken by going to a location Y before receiving a clue to go there from location X.
  • Sniper Rifle: There are two types of hunting rifles, and also a semi-automatic military anti-materiel rifle.
  • Shockwave Stomp: The Harvester and the Tank robots can do this.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Scattered notes and recordings are the only form of storytelling for nearly the entire runtime of the game, with the only exceptions appearing in the final missions.
  • Super Prototype: Averted. Prototypes are the basic, weakest and most frequent versions of all the robots, and they often come with the glaring design flaws, like the completely exposed fuel tank on the back of the Runners. The Military versions are better armored in general and make an effort to better protect their most exposed areas. FNIX versions are better.
  • Surveillance Drone: The Spotters, which cannot do anything besides sounding the alarm to summon actual fighting drones.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: At the end of the game, FNIX informs you that the Russians lied to you and that their device is a bomb and not an EMP. He warns you to run, wishing for you to survive. Possibly downplayed in that, based on his wording, it's possible he somehow expects to survive the explosion in some form, while it would kill you for certain.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: The game has been described as DayZ with robots. Other than the rather major distinction that it lacks Humans Are the Real Monsters PvP, that's not a bad description. Even the "main campaign" is more of a suggestion than being particularly core to the overall experience.


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