“In the ‘80s in Sweden, we played war in the woods against each other [as kids],’” said executive producer Tobias Andersson in a private meeting at E3 2018. “That’s something we can [recreate] very authentically, and we can make an experience that feels very alive and true to our audience.”
Avalanche wants players come up with their own creative solutions with the objects they find in the environment. This experimentation represents the kind of gameplay freedom the studio hopes to achieve — not only in terms of tactical combat, but also with storytelling. You can choose to either stay on your main quest, or ignore it and go somewhere else to uncover other narrative arcs. In the demo, notes, government documents, and maps contained clues about where you should continue your investigation.
One way you can do that is by paying attention to where you’re shooting, as enemies have specific components you can disable. You can acquire additional equipment and ammo from dead machines. For example, you can blind them by destroying the optical lenses in their eyes, or slow them down by shooting their hydraulic pumps. Though ammo isn’t as scarce as in other hardcore survival games, Andersson said players should “still be mindful” when using them.
“You need to be tactical in your approach [when it comes to] what you take out on these machines. Also, more difficult machines will have better armor, armor pieces on top of their components that you need to remove to get to the juicy bits,” said Andersson.
Certain tools can also help you kill more efficiently. Once they were close enough, he shot the power cabinets to unleash an electrical pulse, temporarily paralyzing his would-be attackers. After that, he was able to take out the Runners with ease. Later in the demo, one of the developers ran across a pack of Runners, which was too dangerous for him to face alone. So he lured them to a set of power cabinets by turning on a boombox (loud sounds will always attract the machines).
Developer Avalanche Studios is self-publishing “Generation Zero,” which gives their small team a lot of creative freedom. And since they’re based in Sweden, they don’t have to travel too far for inspiration.
In a 20-minute hands-off demo, the developers showed a beautifully rendered village that had been taken over by dog-like machines called Runners. Each Runner has a mini-turret they can attack you with, so it’s best to take them out quickly. “Generation Zero” runs on the company’s proprietary Apex engine, a set of tools built specifically for open-world games (it’s also powering the upcoming “Just Cause 4”). While looting car trunks for resources, they came across a lone Runner, and slowly crept behind it before unloading a few bullets into its metal chassis.
Andersson described “Generation Zero” as being more like a “cerebral puzzle” where you have to analyze the information yourself. But don’t expect to find giant waypoints or an endless checklist in the menu screen that’ll keep track of everything.  
The year is 1989, and you play as a teenager who, after returning home from a trip, finds dangerous mechs roaming the countryside. As you scavenge the environment for vital weapons and supplies — either alone or with up to three buddies in cooperative multiplayer — you’ll slowly begin to find out what really happened. Judging by the abandoned cars and houses, it looks as if no one else survived the ordeal. Coming to PC and consoles in 2019, “Generation Zero” is an open-world action game that takes place in Sweden.
We want it to be more than just, ‘Where’s the next dot on the screen I need to follow?’” he said.” /> “We’re not trying to breadcrumb the player too much, but there’s a fine balance between giving hints and actually telling people what to do. …
Some remember the ‘80s as a time for parachute pants, John Hughes films, and flamboyant hair metal bands. But in the alternate history of “Generation Zero,” a small group of people will forever associate it with a mysterious, cataclysmic event — and the gun-toting, mechanized creatures that emerged from it.

But as luck would have it, Renee’s imaginary makeover coincides with a new inclusivity initiative by company founder Lily LeClaire (a smartly cast Lauren Hutton), who’s launching a clothing line designed to serve those who don’t roll out of bed looking like Rebecca Romijn. Before the accident, Renee never would have found the nerve to apply for the out-of-reach receptionist job at her company’s main office — which those who’ve come before have used as a springboard to a modeling career.
In an original riff on such outlandish yet endearing body-swap classics as “13 Going on 30” and “Big,” Renee suddenly believes that she’s been upgraded to a flawless super-bod. As far as Renee is concerned, she can’t possibly compete with the glamazons around her — until a humiliating spin-class accident knocks her for a loop. The twist: The only thing that’s changed is how she sees herself.
Unfortunately for many American women — but conceivably good for the movie’s box office chances — contemporary audiences have been so corrupted by heavily airbrushed magazine spreads, surgically enhanced supermodels, and unrealistically proportioned porn stars that they’ll readily accept Schumer as a dowdy fixer-upper. In a fearless move, the “Trainwreck” star plays Renee Bennett, a voluptuous yet deeply insecure woman working on the periphery of the New York beauty industry who aspires to the unattainable ideal her company represents (her office is buried in a Chinatown basement halfway across town from Lily LeClaire Cosmetics’ fancy-schmancy HQ, where even the interns are a perfect 10).
As in “Trainwreck” (which Schumer wrote), the movie runs out of steam in its final third, attempting to perfect — but instead merely belaboring — the genre’s message-delivery denouement. “I Feel Pretty” turns incredibly clunky toward the end, as Renee grapples with the idea that everything she accomplished, she did in the body she was born with — whereas that’s one of the many reasons audiences love Schumer in the first place.” /> After all, if neither audiences nor her peers ever perceived a change in Renee’s appearance, then why does she think her friends will reject her after the “magic” wears off?
Much like Anne Hathaway’s down-to-earth character in “The Devil Wears Prada,” Schumer wrestles with the toxic allure of the high-end world in which she works, alienating her friends and jeopardizing her new romance with nice guy Scovel when a fling with Avery’s playboy brother (Tom Hopper) presents itself. Amusingly enough, once Renee starts to believe in herself, men find her irresistible — a notion the movie also explores in reverse, implying that the women she considers “undeniably beautiful” might have self-esteem issues of their own. (Then again, who doesn’t?)
According to “I Feel Pretty,” the actress — who reportedly had to bow out of a live-action “Barbie” movie over scheduling conflicts — now seems to be faced with the opposite situation, wrestling with the misconception that she’s not skinny enough to be a sex symbol (though “Trainwreck” should have put the lie to that idea). Ironically, when Schumer was starting out as a stand-up comic, agents and bookers dismissed her as a foulmouthed blond bombshell, claiming that her following had more to do with her looks than her talent (boy, did she prove them wrong, actively subverting such sexist stereotypes in her Emmy-winning “Inside Amy Schumer” sketch series).
A shamelessly formulaic feature-directing debut from longtime writing partners Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (whose 1999 Drew Barrymore comedy “Never Been Kissed” established their brand of gentle peer-pressure critique), this well-meaning, female-targeted romantic comedy aspires to make everyone feel beautiful. Even so, its technique for doing so is to put its self-esteem-impaired heroine through a series of mortifying social situations as Renee constantly measures herself against her exaggeratedly hot competition, coming up short every time.
Disgusted that none of the elitist ladies working for her — including fashion-zombie granddaughter Avery (Michelle Williams, reprising her helium-high Marilyn voice in what is hands-down the funniest performance of her career) — seems to know the first thing about budget-conscious shoppers, LeClaire encourages her team to hire someone a little less … glamorous. Someone like Renee.
If, on the other hand, you accept that real women have curves, then this full-frontal takedown of the fashion industry’s impossible beauty standards actually feels quite tragic, since the on-fire actress comes across as trying way too hard to convince herself of what anyone can plainly see: that she’s amazing. If you agree with her, then the comedian’s high-concept body-image satire — in which a nasty concussion gives her supposedly schlubby character an empowering shot of self-confidence — is liable to be hilarious. At the outset of “I Feel Pretty,” Amy Schumer plays a woman who doesn’t believe she’s beautiful.
In fact, what sets “I Feel Pretty” apart is the inspired premise that Renee’s transformation takes place entirely in her head, while those around her are left befuddled by her sudden change of attitude — a concept that begs the question of why our society encourages women to second-guess their self-image in the first place. And so unfolds a wish-fulfillment story without the usual need for magic. However progressive that may sound, it’s worth reiterating that the movie falsely assumes that Schumer is somehow less desirable than any of the stick-figure stunners it surrounds her with, repeatedly milking the joke that her newfound confidence is out of sync with her body type.
Meanwhile, audiences are invited to share the other characters’ bewilderment as this once-awkward wallflower starts acting like a world-class diva, mistaking construction-worker whistles and innocuous banter with complete strangers (like Rory Scovel, who plays the cute, doesn’t-know-what-hit-him guy she picks up at the dry cleaner) as evidence of her hotness. In what could be read as a direct rebuke to movies like “Shallow Hal” (1999’s poor-taste Farrelly brothers comedy, in which Gwyneth Paltrow embodied a morbidly obese woman’s “inner beauty”), “I Feel Pretty” makes it a point never to reveal how Renee perceives her rose-tinted reflection in the mirror.
Plus, as a bargain shopper who spends hours struggling before the mirror every morning, Renee knows what it’ll take to get the line off the ground — offering a welcome opportunity for the film to articulate what’s wrong with the fashion industry today. Granted, Schumer doesn’t look like your typical Victoria’s Secret model, but she does have a personality, whereas most of her cast mates can barely make an eye-roll look convincing.
Apart from a pair of consistently hilarious yet realistic-looking gal pals played by Aidy Bryant and Busy Philipps, nearly every woman on-screen looks like she was designed by the retrograde computer program two John Hughes hornballs used to conjure virtual girlfriend Kelly LeBrock in “Weird Science.” Demanding hours of prep each morning — and even then, made possible only by an invaluable assist from Spanx — Renee’s short-skirt and all-pastel wardrobe suggests that she’s doing her best to conform to a style better suited to the Maxim centerfolds who comprise 90% of the film’s female supporting cast.
Responding to the backlash by those who feel Schumer is pretty enough as she is, the actress has rather disingenuously suggested that the only change Renee experiences is in the way she views herself, which doesn’t square with how her character behaves, especially when the “spell” is broken and she becomes convinced no one will recognize her.