The Precursors: A Challenge

My challenge to you. Watch the video of Deep Shadows‘ (they behind Boiling Point and White Gold) latest, The Precursors below the click-o-link and as quickly as possible shout out which genre you think it’s going to be. You get three guesses. (No cheating by looking at Jim’s previous comments). Meanwhile, here are two images that won’t help.

A first-person shooter?

A space combat sim?

The front page for the game won’t offer any more insight, however. Instead, this rather engaging poetry:

“Precursors, predecessors, the legend of galaxy… Who are carrying the forebear’s genes among existing races, we can suppose only… Worlds of galaxy are everlasting, beautiful, unique and dangerous. Some of them are inhabited, some ruined and deserted, other – just a smugglers trans-shipment stations.”

However, the final answer is, of course: “freeplay RPG with FPS and space sim combat elements”.

As Jim said, it looks really very exciting, even to someone like me who finds space-shopping games enormously tiresome. Because it’s, well, everything at once. I love Deep Shadows for this – their ambition is ludicrous, and deserving of enormous success.


  1. Ian says:

    It seems a bit harsh to use a shrink-ray on somebody and then have at him with a big curvy knife.

  2. groovychainsaw says:

    Watching that i get the impression the world is going to behuge… but a bit empty (or put into pockets, like mass effect did…). This sort of game is so difficult to get right. Its often in the detail, which many openworld games fall down on.

  3. Ging says:

    As long as it’s got the same level of awesome in the installation music and the same level of gameplay as Boiling Point than I shall be a happy purchaser of this.

    Though, I also want White Gold, purely for the shark riding.

  4. TychoCelchuuu says:

    This game is going to be crazy. Somehow.

  5. Legandir says:

    I was hoping this would turn up for Space Week. Any idea what the screen at the end means? Last i heard for release was April 08

  6. Xagarath says:

    This is far too ambitious for me to be hopeful, but it would be rather welcome if they managed to pull it off.

  7. The Shed says:

    Looks like some hideous continuation of Freelancer. What the devs would come up with if they all decided to take acid and drive around.

    Could be interesting, but skepticism is hard to fight off after Boiling Point.

  8. Jim Rossignol says:

    I think it’s going to be awesome whether they “pull it off” or not. Boiling Point was still a fascinating experience because of, rather than in spite of, the bugginess.

  9. Phil says:

    Will there be flying jaguars in space?

  10. Chris Evans says:


  11. Joe Martin says:

    Far too ambitious by the looks of it. It’ll fail in the same way that Boiling Point did and, to be honest, I never expect much of a developer who can’t make their own website work. I tried to find more info out about White Gold and there’s no description, plus half the screenshots don’t work or are watermarked from games sites. Eyebrow officially raised.

  12. Kieron Gillen says:

    They’re in the Ukraine! They have to manually carry their pictures to the internet-well in the centre of their village…

    Actually, I’m off to visit them in a couple of weeks time. Really looking forward to it.


  13. Simes says:

    Space combat, dune buggies, battlemechs, weird insectile weaponry…

    This game has everything.

  14. TreeFrog says:

    Ukraine? Fancy. Any chance you could pick us up some Clear Sky tidbits while you’re there?

  15. Pwnan the Lolbarian says:

    Any idea what the screen at the end means?

    It says “Autumn 2008”.

  16. Ozzie says:

    Looks interesting, though the space bits seem a bit generic and the music sounds very cheap.

  17. Kadayi says:

    I’m liking the look of this ;)

  18. Turin Turambar says:

    Too many genres in this game for the Deep Shadows guys. They will fail.

  19. Okami says:

    @Turin: Define ‘fail’.

  20. roryok says:

    From the website

    “Only then you will deep into unknown sectors of the Galaxy, face the unknown abnormalities, fly in the comet?s tail and plunge into some accidental portal ? then you will realize the endless depth of the Space.”

    ‘accidental portal’… hmmm… ‘ unknown abnormalities’… HMMMMMM… sounds like they’re covering their asses already…

    in Soviet Space, scream cannot hear YOU!

  21. araczynski says:

    wow, that first screenshot looks so morrowind its not even funny.

  22. roryok says:

    that website is hilarious

    here’s a description of Boiling Point

    “A sudden loud telephone call awoke my senses and cut my life in two. From the calm, muted evenings of boredom, wine and general inertia, that call thrust me into the raging hell of Colombia, a world of cocaine, violence, blood, sweat and the vengeful smell of gunpowder.”

    yes, what i wouldn’t give to return to wine and general inertia.

    and yes, the game’s been out for two years, and they still can’t decide what country the game is set in. The fictional country of ‘Realia’ is where it was initially set, except the dialogue mentioned bolivia at least twice.

    Now its Colombia.


  23. Marcin says:

    Eh, it’s not their fault they’re not used to PR. I find it rather refreshing, actually.

    I should go back and attempt to make some more progress in BP, I really should. Looking forward to whatever becomes of this thing as well.

  24. Jonathan says:

    In the light of Boiling Point I’m going to look on this as being excited about a giraffe doing a head stand.

    It sounds utterly incredible but only vaguely possible and I know it’s going to end up horribly broken with it’s arse in the air. But I’m damned if I’m going to miss the show.

    I don’t hate giraffes but I do think they’re a bit full of themselves and would try this if they hadn’t learnt not to from evolution.

  25. Turin Turambar says:

    @Okami: Fail: they won’t make a good game.

  26. AbyssUK says:

    I hope not too much is lost in translation, boiling point was massive in its scope.. and this looks like they have put boiling point through a particle accelerator and smashed it at 0.99997 times the speed of light into a solid molecule of AWESOME… only god knows if it’ll stick too it.

  27. Garreett says:

    This looks like Serious Sam mixed with EVE mixed with Halo.

  28. Jonas says:

    Or alternately: Boiling Point in Space.

    Too obvious?

    I honestly can’t see how they’re going to fill all this game space with interesting stuff to do. Generic spawning enemies may be enough for a cheap MMOG, but as an elitist RPG gamer, I demand actual meaningful and varying content. Even Boiling Point was made out of tiles (tiles!) and featured massive repetition with intermittent areas of actual interest.

    Then again, it might be brilliant.

  29. Al3xand3r says:

    You know, I thought this would be an elite-style game and that made me worried about how thinly spread all the content would be. But I think I was wrong in my initial assumption and this will be much more restricted, hopefully offering a still free-form action RPG but with more dense content. For example the story could take place on a handful of planets and the space uniting them rather than an ever expanding procedurally generated universe. That could work if it had a deep story to go with it and still allowed open ended gameplay within that area.

    I really like what they’ve done with the vehicles, it all seems very solid. The weakest aspect seems to be the actual FPS parts but that looks decent too. I do hope it’s optional though and I can just stay in a vehicle for 90% of the time or at least 90% of the combat. Even just roaming the desert in that buggy looked fun.

  30. mkreku says:

    I love that you guys are putting a little spotlight on Deep Shadows and their two HUGELY ambitious projects, Precursors and White Gold! I absolutely loved Boiling Point (yes, despite the bugs and crappy AI) and have been following this small company ever since.

    They’re really friendly with the fans too, as evidenced by the amount of feedback we get on the official forums over at Deep Shadows homepage..

    Really looking forward to these two games! Also looking forward to Kieron Gillens report once he returns from Ukraine! Man, that’s an exotic country to visit..

  31. dhex says:

    no one’s mentioned the amazing boiling point intro movie?

    link to

    one of the weirdest bits of boiling point was coming across a police station filled with cops with russian accents.

    i wish i could have stuck it out more, but it was just so screwed up in so many ways.

  32. Kanakotka says:

    I hope it doesn’t crash and burn in similar way as boiling point did. This looks playable, at the very least.

  33. marilena says:

    Boiling Point can be an acquired taste, but at the end of it all it’s an amazingly fun game. It can’t be all bad if people can end up spending the better part of 17 pages on stories about it.

  34. Kanakotka says:

    Boiling point as a game, wasn’t horrible. Technically it was. It was very system specific whether it would run or not. Out of 5 different systems i tested running it on (the biggest having 8gb of ram) not a single one could run it without starting to lag a while after. The 8gb of RAM system managed to keep it up for around an hour before starting to lag. And these were all patched to the latest. The whole game was a goddamn memory leak.

  35. roryok says:


    This is the internet. People can write 17 pages about dog shit.

  36. Noc says:

    I’ve done that once. it was an illuminating treatise on an oft overlooked subject.