Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios has announced a new game - its first self-published game - called Generation Zero.

It's an open-world sandbox action game for up to three people, with strong persistent elements. Unusually, and alluringly, it's set in an alternate version of 1980s east coast Sweden (Avalanche HQ is in Sweden) where machines have taken control.

The odds will be stacked against you. Avalanche refers to Generation Zero as a guerrilla action game, wrote game director Emil Kraftling in an announcement blog. You'll need, then, everything you can loot from the surrounding, largely rural area - and you'll need your wits about you.

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"Anything can alter how things play out," wrote Kraftling, "whether it is the obvious like your weapons or the type of enemies, or the more subtle factors like time of day, environmental opportunities, weather or specific skills.

"If there is something I have learnt from 10 years of developing open world sandbox games, it is to let go of the reins and let the player take control. Don't force solutions or dictate how they should play. Just provide the right toolbox of creative toys to play around with, and they will come up with solutions that you could never have imagined beforehand.

"Generation Zero has been created with that in mind and I can't wait to see how players overcome insurmountable odds by setting advanced ambushes or taking down the toughest enemies through incredible gameplay skills. But I also can't wait to see groups of friends foregoing the dense atmosphere of the game to just mess about in multiplayer, causing explosive mayhem and physics exploits in the most crazy-looking 80s avatars they can put together."

This being Avalanche's first self-published game has also meant no outside interference. "We are calling all the shots but we are also taking all the risks," wrote Kraftling. "Some would probably say that an action game with tactical elements set in rural Sweden is a risk in and of itself, as opposed to, say, making a zombie survival battle royale game or something."

(Sick burn.)

"The creative freedom has allowed our small but brilliant team to double down on passion and develop an experience that we feel brings something unique to the table. An open-world action game with co-op, where stealth elements and suspenseful exploration of a beautiful but hostile world are mixed with adrenaline-pumping explosive combat against an invading army of deadly machines. All set against a backdrop of 1980s Sweden."

Generation Zero is underpinned by the Apex engine used for Just Cause and Mad Max - and in the upcoming Rage 2, which Avalanche is also developing (different teams, presumably). The game will throw day-night cycles and unpredictable weather at you, and apparently have clever enemies which will persistently wear the damage they take - as in they'll continue to walk around half-killed for hours, even days, after you fight.

Generation Zero is due to launch 2019 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Seems like a shoo-in for an early access release.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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