Thursday, February 24, 2011

A serious game: Generation Zero

Set in the rubbles of post-WW2 Berlin, the game currently in development at the young Munich studio Reality Twist takes a perspective formerly unseen in video games— to a topic that is one of most used ones at the same time, though almost all previous examples take place during the War, be it in dozens of WW2 FPS like Medal of Honor, the vampire slasher BloodRayne or the espionage stealth game Velvet Assassin. To little surprise, since that's where the killings go on, and you gotta have killing in a video game, right? Right?

Well, as a point&click adventure, Generation Zero is little concerned with that kind of activity, and instead focuses around the survival of a youth gang between the ruins, promising interactions of three playable characters, multiple solutions with individual consequences and a particularly carefully researched and thus authentic setting.

For that, Generation Zero has been nominated for the "Serious Games" award at the CeBIT 2011 fair, but one certain aspect of its "serious" design bears the opportunity to set a milestone for the recognition of video games in Germany: If you're running around in 1945 Berlin, you'd have to be very lucky never to encounter any depictions of the Nazi Swastika, so far a no-go for video games in Germany. Reality Twist is currently pushing for the right to retain that symbol in the graphics of their game.

In which way is the Swastika important for video games? As dilligent Hardcore Gaming 101 readers might know, the ban on the symbol in Germany makes exceptions only for works of particular artistic or educational value. So far everyone has assumed the status quo of 1989 to be intact, when a movie called Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ran over the silver screen, featuring dozens of Swastika in many of its scenes, while a game called Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade only depicted big black boxes where the hated symbol had been in the rest of the world. If Reality Twist gets through with this, that would mean that for the first time games would be placed on one level with movies in the matter, officially sanctioned no less.

Even better when we get a great game with an unspent historic setting with the deal. Early screenshots of Generation Zero sure look the part, at least. The game is being developed for PC, MAC and iPad.



  1. I think this sounds pretty cool. Lots of games take place around World War II, but you wouldn't expect this sort of approach to the war in a video game.

  2. If they really push the minimal killing point and click angle they can probably get around it. Especially if it feels genuinely historic.