The Precursors, Excitable Trailer

By Jim Rossignol on July 22nd, 2008 at 2:33 pm.


In-game footage aplenty in this multifarious trailer for space-flyin’ FPS The Precursors. The trailer shows us the gun that you have to feed, the slightly ropey-looking space combat, the excellent-looking will-it-be-buggy-buggy, the just-a-big-person mech, funny-looking tree people, and lots of other glowy extra-terrestrial stuff.


Precursors Trailer 3 (High)

Numerous folks expect this game to be over-ambitious and ultimately broken – thanks to this coming from Boiling Point developers Deep Shadows – but that doesn’t stop it looking like a game that I really want to get my hands on. Even if it breaks down into quasi-surreal slapstick absurdity, as Boiling Point often did, this has got to be entertaining.

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53 Comments »

  1. Turin Turambar says:

    “Numerous folks expect this game to be over-ambitious and ultimately broken”

    Hi! :)

  2. Alexandros says:

    It does look fantastic though. If only they can make it work this time, it could be Game of the Year candidate.

  3. Calabi says:

    Its funny how games with so much ambition come from the guys who usually dont have the resources to realise it.

    But it doesnt look bad, I’ll buy it, if only to make a change from the shovelware everyone else is selling.

  4. MeestaNob! says:

    Guns/DINOSAURS!/cars/SPACE!/space ships/NOT TUROK/colour everywhere.

    Right.

    We should be cynical why, again? I love this to death, and cant wait to see how it goes. Or how it spectacularly fails. Either way I’m very excited.

    And for the record, I’m guessing I’m not the only person who thought “I hope they spruce up those exploding capital ships in the final version”, then thought “Fuck it, I’m getting dinosaurs”?

  5. AbyssUK says:

    Looks like Boiling point on acid..

  6. Okami says:

    Colours.. Pretty…

  7. hydra9 says:

    This game has been in development for a loooong time so I’m not sure that the space combat is going to get much more spruced up.

    Anyway… Very ambitious, quite possibly broken in some way, but damn interesting.

    Btw, who else thinks the best thing about Boiling Point was the theme song? Totally hilarious, yet awesome at the same time…

  8. diebroken says:

    A weapon you have to feed eh? Like in Opposing Force then? :)

    I wonder what would happen if you over-fed it… :P

  9. Jim Rossignol says:

    From what Gillen said I think the gun has to be fed to stay alive, rather than be fed to be reloaded, as in Opposing Force.

  10. Aubrey says:

    Offroad veloceraptor safari ripoff!

    Never thought I’d use that sentence :/

  11. Ian says:

    This is going to be broken and, I’m both ashamed and pleased to announce, I doubt I’ll care.

  12. diebroken says:

    Seems like there’s more and more interesting FPS-type games coming from Europe these days, well to me anyway.

    I had fun playing You Are Empty and Instinct (both by Digital Spray), and am looking forward to The Precursors along with Cryostasis. I’ll have to check out Vivisector from Action Forms again (only played the demo), if I can find somewhere that’ll sell it… (after game.co.uk failed me)

    Anyone know of any other non-mainstream (i.e. US ULTRA-corp related) FPS games, such as Chaser, that are worth checking out?

  13. hydra9 says:

    @diebroken:

    Always nice to meet someone else who appreciated You Are Empty ;) If you liked that, it means you can definitely appreciate shooters that are a bit (or very) rough around the edges.

    Therefore, I can recommend the bizarro shooter Operation Matriarchy (as long as you download the unofficial sound/music patch), also Red Ocean, Alpha Prime and Ubersoldier. Some of these are happily available retail in the UK/US. Others can be bought via GamersGate.

    One I haven’t played yet (but which is available for $9.99 on GamersGate) is Gene Troopers (by Cauldron, who made ‘Chaser’). It’s set in alien environments that are very pretty, colourful and actually very reminiscent of The Precursors.

  14. Alex says:

    Anyone know of any other non-mainstream (i.e. US ULTRA-corp related) FPS games, such as Chaser, that are worth checking out?

    You could try Chrome, although it has a laughable story, worse voice acting and even worse sounddesign in general.. it feels like playing a schlocky Z-list sci-fi film, which either means you won’t want to bother or instantly jump on it.

    (Don’t, however, ever, EVER play the prequel Chrome: SpecForce..)

  15. diebroken says:

    @hydra9:

    Thanks for your recommendations! :D

    I sure don’t mind putting up with games that have some ‘rough spots’, especially if the game offers an interesting experience, or at least tries to be more daring than usual games of the same genre.

    I didn’t realise Cauldron had released another game – will definitely have to check it out. Besides unknown but surprising good Euro-developed shooters being classed as B-grade games, they’re also released at bargain prices (a guilty pleasure)! :P

    @Alex:

    I’d almost forgotton about Chrome, thanks for the reminder!

    Also, whatever happened to Techland’s Warhound and Dead Island? Are they waiting for Far Cry 2 (similar to Warhound) and Left4Dead (similar to Dead Island) to pass and then release or what? Going to be FPS-overloaded this year… :D

  16. Acosta says:

    I would take broken interesting games over boring, predictable but polished games, any day.

    This looks great, love the variety and looks a game full of neat things with some original setting. I wish more developers tried more games with different elements like this one tries.

  17. Mr_Day says:

    It does look quite good, aside from the day glo colour scheme. Pity they decided to ignore Conflict: Freespace’s example of how to make capital ships explode properly.

  18. Tom says:

    I like the variety but I’m far from sold.

  19. Mr_Day says:

    Well, it is difficult to look at games which combine space sim, vehicle combat and FPS in a large world without remembering Derek Smart’s seminal masterpiece* and shuddering.

    * No one disagree! I swear he will find us and kill us.

  20. Flint says:

    Too much vehicles but it looks downright fun otherwise (and I love the graphical look). One more game to the waiting list!

  21. Saflo says:

    Well, that was odd. I’m interested.

  22. Mr Wonderstuff says:

    I tried looking but nope…I couldn’t see the kitchen sink.

  23. Gap Gen says:

    This has the potential to be really good. Hell, even if there are space jaguars floating at tree height, at least we won’t notice anything is wrong unless you’re a trained xenobiologist.

  24. dhex says:

    alpha prime is terrible.

    i am extremely hopeful about this game. it looks crazy ambitious.

    eastern europe, hear our prayers.
    amen.

  25. Erlam says:

    Damn – I heard ‘precursors’ and immediately though there was a new Star Control, via say http://www.medievalfuture.com/precursors/ those guys.

    I’m hoping this game ends up similar to Stalker (although almost likely wont, because it must be hamstrung for consoles) in that it’s a beautiful, fun, glitchy as hell game.

  26. Putter says:

    With this and White Gold…at least one of these two has to be at least decent, right?

    BTW – What redeemable factor does You Are Empty have? I heard it was seriously hurting (as does its 34% on metacritic).

  27. Deuteronomy says:

    From the Youtube videos I’ve seen of You Are Empty – it doesn’t look that bad.

  28. hydra9 says:

    @Putter:

    You Are Empty’s game mechanics are pretty dodgy, but it makes up for it with beautiful looking run-down locations, strange atmosphere and gameplay that’s a bit more ‘survival’ based than you might expect. A dodgy game, to be sure, but one that I found weirdly compelling.

  29. diebroken says:

    @Putter:
    The more I played You Are Empty the more I liked it.

    The environment felt harsh and forboding; and it seemed as though the more you progressed in the game, the colder things became and a deeper sense of atmosphere and dread was shown in the various locations.

    Being in the city towards the end of the game reminded me of the first Fallout 3 teaser in the wrecked coach, and made me pause and just look around at what an apocalyptic situation would be like in a city.

    The 3D engine isn’t the best, and the lack of shading is apparent but certain set pieces in the game looked pretty cool, like the iron works factory, the train depot, and having fun of jumping on cars with jelly suspension!

    Cutscenes/cinematics are executed well with a distinct artistic style, and although little words are used, the scenes build up with one another through strong imagery.

    Each scene was sort of like a mix of A-ha’s penciled Take On Me music video and the Thief series’ steampunk aspects and cut-scene storyboards (even the menu feels very Thief-like), which looks great.

    The weapons look and feel fantastic, each with its own subtle flair and distinction, like the air-pressure dial on the nail tool/gun. The electic-gun in particular was well designed and would fit right at home with other FPS (Half-Life series)

    There were however, a few disappointments with the game though. Mainly the lack of variety for enemy/monster models, bits lacking of an up-to-date 3D engine, and some gameplay imbalances, such as the rifleman being able to fire the same weapon as you but almost three times faster!

    Also, it would have been nice to wield the AK-47 which for some reason wasn’t present… :S

  30. Gorgeras says:

    The game will not be broken. Yes it is overly-ambitious. The developer does not have the resources to make this game.

    But they will make this game and it won’t be broken. When this happens, all shall look upon the glory it shines in awe and disbelief. It will cause them to doubt their view on what the very narrative of life itself is. Awe will turn to rage, first at themselves and then at all other developers who have at some time promised something like this but cut it down because of their over-keen awareness of feature-creep. Then their attention will turn to those developers and publishers who in the years since Sacrifice and Citizen Kabuto have repeatedly hammered home that tired rusty-looking scaffold of lies which stilll miraculously stands even at this time and says “Most ideas you can think of for an awesome game can not be done”. And so we have had to make do with games based on ideas based on that crude and artificial sentiment.

    Then, they all die and people like those who make The Precursors will have dominion and watch over everything. Until they suck.

  31. Serialtinus says:

    I hope to god the ingame music will not be as horrible as the trailer music, it would be a dealbreaker.

    Anyway, it’s very rare that you get to see so many good/insane ideas in one game. Ideas that could possibly all fail, too. Keep us updated, Mr. Rossignol.

  32. The Shed says:

    ” AbyssUK says:

    Looks like Boiling point on acid...

    XD Good call, brutha

    The space combat doesn’t look anywhere near as shaky as everything else in general; some of the other vehicular gameplay stuffs looks so soft around the edges it’s unbelievable. Good to see the old convo system though, I loved the dialogue from Boilin Point even if the entire game was rotten buggy at the core.

  33. Nick Halme says:

    I’m not sure this game knows what it’s doing, or what it is exactly

  34. Jetsetlemming says:

    I never could get Boiling Point working- it reliably crashed my computer five seconds after starting a new game, or if I changed a menu option, or if I exited the game from the main menu, or if I looked at it funny. :|

    The trailer music is godawful and the on-foot parts didn’t look all that fun to play, but the space part actually looked pretty solid. We’ll see how it turns out but I’m not looking forward to this one yet.

    I think I’ll try out You Are Empty, though. Sounds similar to Pathologic. Is there a demo?

  35. hydra9 says:

    @Jetsetlemming:

    I think I’ll try out You Are Empty, though. Sounds similar to Pathologic. Is there a demo?

    No demo, AFAIK. And although it’s really very different from Pathologic (FPS vs adventure/RPG), you’re right, it does have a similar kind of bleak and unsettling atmosphere – which is a good thing, of course ;)

  36. Duoae says:

    Wait, what?! Coming 2008? I thought this was a 2009 thing? Hope my PC can run it okay :)

  37. Deuteronomy says:

    Alright after having seen the video, I’d say the music needs some work, although I like electro-techno stuff it needs work. Not enough of the combat was shown to tell if it’s sketchy or not. I don’t like how rockets impact those walkers without any visible effect. They should rock back. The space combat isn’t TIE Fighter that’s for sure. Overall it’s looking positive. I think the success or failure here will hinge on story and dare I say ‘atmosphere’ as much as gameplay or graphics

  38. Marcin says:

    These people are brilliantly mad. I’m buying two copies on launch.

  39. Caiman says:

    The games coming from Europe and Russia right now remind me of the halcyon days of 16-bit development in the UK – games where creativiy was allowed to run free, despite the often buggy / unpolished nature of the final products. These were the times that produced games like Exile, Carrier Command, Starglider 2, Cybercon One and the like. For that reason alone I am far more excited by things like Precursors than Gears of Call of Diablo IV: Origins.

  40. AbyssUK says:

    “You are empty” will always be uber cool because it had giant mutated chickens of the highest degree… simply wonderful.

  41. roryok says:

    boiling point was such a colossal disaster of programming, I hope they learned their lesson because this looks very ambitious.

    Actually, I take that back. I hope they didn’t learn any lessons because it’ll be much funnier that way.

  42. Jim Rossignol says:

    Remember: Boiling Point was developed by thirteen people. Thirteen.

  43. Okami says:

    Yea, and now they’ve split up these 13 people between “White Gold” and “Precursos”. Go figure…

    Ok, so they probably hired additional employees and everything. But the thought of 13 people working on two massive open world genre blending games is just too hilarious…

  44. roryok says:

    The games coming from Europe and Russia right now remind me of the halcyon days of 16-bit development in the UK – games where creativiy was allowed to run free, despite the often buggy / unpolished nature of the final products. These were the times that produced games like Exile, Carrier Command, Starglider 2, Cybercon One and the like. For that reason alone I am far more excited by things like Precursors than Gears of Call of Diablo IV: Origins.

    Hear hear. We can only hope this kind of creativity continues. I’d play through another 20 stalkers before I’d play Gears of War again (which I thought was a big pile of monkey knob)

  45. Al3xand3r says:

    Well even if their games are unpolished or even incomplete it still shows that development costs today are far what they should be if thirdteen people can get this close to making games as grand as companies with hundreds of people and multi million budgets…

  46. roryok says:

    Well even if their games are unpolished or even incomplete it still shows that development costs today are far what they should be if thirdteen people can get this close to making games as grand as companies with hundreds of people and multi million budgets…

    ‘Unpolished’ is being a bit generous, but on the whole I agree. I think companies rant on a lot about dev costs going up and up when the fact is its most likely just bloat from studios getting bigger and bigger.

  47. hydra9 says:

    Boiling Point is a pretty amazing achievement for a group of 13 people. Hopefully Deep Shadows will nail their wide-open gaming concept with The Precursors (or White Gold).

  48. Jonelo says:

    Okami, are 60 persons for two games in two plataforms with many assets commons – engine , physic system , AI , some models … . But well, in Far Cry 2 are 150 or 175 persons for 3 plataforms

  49. malkav11 says:

    Those planets look very promisingly interesting. My big fear with space exploration/planetary exploration hybrid games is that the planetary part will be boring as hell because the planets will have to be autogenerated, featureless blocks of blah in order to have a sufficient number of them. Just look at Mass Effect’s non-storyline planets – sure, there’s some minor differences in palette and crag layout, but they’re really samey and really dull.

    Of course, Mass Effect did manage six or seven really cool planets amongst the mass of blah, so maybe Precursors will wind up doing the same. That’d be a shame.

  50. Chris says:

    If this manages to get anywhere near its potential it will be the greatest game of all time. If it doesn’t then someone should remake it again instantly so it does.