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Co-op survival game Generation Zero gets a gameplay trailer

Avalanche studios has released a meaty video showing off the systems behind its new cooperative survival game Generation Zero.

Generation Zero was announced at this year’s E3. Avalanche revealed the game is set in Sweden in 1989, and sees up to four players exploring the countryside as they attempt to survive against roving bands of robotic enemies. 

Beyond that basic outline, however, little else about the game was discussed. This video addresses that, offering three and a half minutes of in-game footage. Players arrive on the Swedish mainland to find the country almost entirely abandoned. Your initial goal is to survive long enough so you can “wage a guerrilla war against the machine invaders.”

The basic structure of Generation Zero resembles Bohemia’s DayZ, with players scrounging attractive little villages and sprawling industrial complexes for weapons and equipment. The game can be experienced solo, or with up to three other players.

Where things get more distinctive is in those robotic opponents. The video explains the machines are “persistently simulated”, so if you engage in a battle that ends with either side running away, you can re-encounter those same opponents hours or even days later, and they will “bear the scars” of that previous encounter.

You can fight the robots head on, or use stealth tactics to avoid them or lure them into environmental traps. Robots have a modular damage system too, so individual armour parts and components can be targeted and destroyed.

The video also shows off the world itself, which pretty strongly evokes the art of Swedish illustrator Simon Stålenhag. Its moody, muted-colour environments are dominated in places by anachronistic technology. It’s a dynamic world too, with changeable weather and even simulated seasons, which will apparently affect the game both for the players and the AI robots. The story of what happened to the world will be told through the environment. “The pieces of the puzzle are there for you to discover and figure out,” the video says.

The only thing I’m not sold on is the “eighties” aspect of the setting. It seems rather tacked on, and aside from some of the character’s clothing, there’s little about the video that lends Generation Zero that specific sense of time. Having said that, I've never been to Sweden in any decade, so perhaps I’m not in the best position to comment on such matters.

The combat appears to have a decent amount of heft about it, although it’s hard to tell without getting properly hands-on with the game. Generation Zero is due out net year, so hopefully it won’t be long before that happens.