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Exploring The Cultural Inspirations Behind Generation Zero

Generation Zero is firmly tied to a specific location and time, set in an alternate-timeline 1980s in Sweden, and through it combines a bevy of inspiration into a new and intriguing take on the apocalypse. The game ties together themes such as the Cold War, 1980s retro, and other first person open world survival action games. 

There are tons of cultural, cinematic, and video game influences out there referring to this time period or style of game, so let’s take a closer look at a few of them.

1980s Retro

Set during the 1980s, Generation Zero leans heavily on nostalgia from that age. Not only does it contribute to the core gameplay and central mystery, there are no mobile phones or internet to simply check if the machine uprising has occurred globally, which helps ground the game in a particular time period. In addition, the player character can be customised in a wide variety of 80s fashion styles. With the recent release of the free DLC, the Tubular Vanity Pack, your character can look even more radical.

Sweden during the Cold War

Interviews with the development team behind Generation Zero have stated that one major influence on them was growing up in Cold War Sweden. After World War II, Sweden’s policy of neutrality continued, leading it to fall under the scrutiny of both sides. Careful military preparations had to be made to monitor US and Soviet activity beyond Sweden’s borders and many installations in the form of bunkers and more can be discovered within the game.

theHunter: Call of the Wild

In an interview, the Game Director of Generation Zero described one of the moments where the early fragments of the idea behind the game popped into his mind. It was while playing theHunter: Call of the Wild, developed by Expansive Worlds, that he suddenly felt a pang of nostalgia and home. Something about the nature felt very Swedish, and while he was stealthily stalking animals hoping to not startle them away, he wondered – What if I was the one being hunted, running through the forests of Sweden?