Generation Zero’s world is open for exploration; full of danger, but also full of beauty. Taking place entirely within Sweden in the 1980s, it’s grounded in a particular place and theme whilst also using that to springboard into something more fantastical.
The game’s primary inspiration is the reality of Sweden during the Cold War, a place and time that most of the development team grew up in. Whilst this doesn’t take center stage during the game, the developers at Avalanche Studios state that this context is very much part of the background.
The game itself is set around the area of Östertörn, a fictional area located within Sweden. Östertörn is made up of a variety of different regions, each with their own distinct identity.
The Archipelago Region
Located at the Southern tip of Östertörn, this archipelago is made up of a variety of differently-sized islands. Points of interest are the remains of Iboholmen Castle and a newer naval base on Södra Saltholmen, built as a Russian deterrent.
The South Coast Region
Known for its picturesque fishing villages, bedrock hills, and the Torsberga coastal fortress. The South Coast Region historically was of great importance to the army, due to the century-old fortress. Recent upgrades to the fortress have seen a large influx of new workers, soldiers, and artillery.
The Farmlands Region
Inner Östertörn is a fertile region, where agriculture has nestled peacefully for thousand years amongst fecund grounds. Of recent years the Air Force has built a new base named F23 Överby, finding the wide plains to be perfect for their purposes.
The Forest Region
Historically a prime source of timber for the region of Östertörn, the Forest Region has also been a haven for criminals and roving robber bands. Of prime importance to the whole of Östertörn is the settlement and port of Östervik, a hub for the whole region.
The Mountains Region
Craggy and filled with towering cliffs, the Mountains Region is also home to vast subterranean caverns and military bases. One of the few known to the general public is the Muskudden naval base, built with large subterranean docks.
The Marshlands Region
This marshy coastline is often hit by colder weather, but that hasn’t deterred the army from building the Norrmyra tank battalion base, complete with artillery testing range. Visitors are warned to tread carefully as a result.
The North Coast Region
Windswept and barren, the North Coast Region has long been a draw for poets, artists, and tourists. This legacy can still be felt today, as the town of Hagaboda is renowned for its artists and painters.
Generation Zero is set during an alternate 1980’s Sweden, but the divergence from reality comes earlier than that. Post World War II, technology was developed to defend countries from attack. That technology took the form of robotic machines which patrolled and defended their nations from harm. Unfortunately, at some point prior to the game starting, something has gone wrong. These self-same machines designed to save humanity from danger have turned on their once-masters.
You play as a teenager, returning from a vacation. Upon your arrival you find the human inhabitants have disappeared; fled, or worse. Now deadly machines patrol the land, searching for human life. This is where the game starts, with you on the run for survival, wondering what has happened to the inhabitants of the region, and just where these killer machines have come from.