I have kind of finished The Precursors (about 30 hours). I ran into some trouble after visiting the last planet for a side-mission. Basically, to actually get around the galaxy hyper-jump fuel is required and I didn’t have quite enough left. There are space stations (where fuel and other things can be bought) in most systems, but not in this one, so that I was apparently stuck. I probably did overlook something about the game mechanics, but I knew that there was literally only the last story mission left and that the open world traversal was basically over. So it seemed that it wasn’t worth the bother and I uninstalled it. Even so, I mostly had a good time with it.
My 20+ hours with Boiling Point happened some years ago, so I don’t remember it that well, but one thing that sticks out in comparison is, that the faction system isn’t as interesting in Precursors. The big planets all only really have two factions that are antagonistic instead of the somewhat more complex system in BP. And money also doesn’t play much of a role in comparison. It seems stupid to complain about, since BP really let the player pay through the nose for story progression, but in BP you always had to think about what you spent your money on, because of how much was needed for the story. In addition, this also made your relation with the factions matter. Some people would ask for less money dependant on your relationship with their faction. Some of this might be in Precursors, but since money is never an issue…
The Perk-system is a classical case of a weird mess of some useful stuff and some mildly interesting stuff and some completely useless things, but I haven’t tested all of it. In hindsight it might have been a good idea to invest in lockpicking. There are some mechs and tanks on the last big planet which have only a 4 % chance of beign lockpicked without any training.
There is a story and the english voices in the cutscenes (I used Wesp’s patch) are horrible. But most of the game is working for either this faction or that faction to progress to whatever McGuffin is required. The actual plot is barely there most of the time.
Just to make this clear: Precursors isn’t just an open-world-game, it’s three big planets and three small planets (in terms of map size) and some space stations (all identical afaik) and all of this is connected through space flight. There is space combat, cargo trading, upgrading of the ship and so on. It’s all quite primitive and I kind of wish that they hadn’t bothered and instead focused on other parts of the game. Having the connection is nice, but I would have preferred something less involved.
The three big planets are all associated with a small planet which needs to be visited to progress the story. It’s a good way to add some variety in my opinion. The smaller worlds are mostly combat-oriented and aside from Sunax they don’t have any side-missions as far as I could determine.
The bigger planets are more involved full-blown, self-contained open worlds. Especially the first planet, Goldin and its only space port, Tamerheim, are a full success in my opinion. That in and of itself already felt like a complete game to me. I spent half of the game doing side-missions in town and desert and had a good amount of fun doing so. It certainly helped that I really liked the soundtrack and the aesthetics. I didn’t much like Gli - the second planet - which was mostly jungly and swampy. The fauna was interesting, but visually I wasn’t a fan of the day-night-cycle and I’m drawing a blank on the soundtrack. It probably didn’t help that I worked for the Democratic Union (human soldiers) instead of the native Clatz. The latter might have made things more interesting. And then for last, Reandore. It’s another desert, but it looks different enough that I didn’t mind. And the desert-soundtrack was back as well. I preferred it to Gli, but neither of these accomplished the open-world feel that Goldin had.*
All of these worlds have vehicles. I got all the endurance-perks early, so they perhaps weren’t quite as mandatory for me as for other players, but they are still very useful for traversal. Goldin had only Buggys, whereas Gli also had a strange native animal and Reandore had tanks, mechs, fliers and various kinds of Buggies and such. Apparently the official 1.1.-patch broke access to the fliers. Most of the other vehicles weren’t accessible to me. Not sure why, but story objectives allow the player to drive some of them. And at least one tank and one mech in the imperial camp looked like they could be lockpicked. Shame, since the one time I was allowed to drive an anti-air hover tank it was immediately obvious how nice it was to be rid of that burden that are tires (that exist to be popped constantly with barely any replacements in sight).
The FPS-combat seemed fine. Some cool organic weapons, but overall the combat felt better to me in BP. I think it was more deadly and more tactical, but as said, my memories of it are kind of hazy. Most human enemies use energy-shields, which slows down things significantly. The animals and monsters weren’t much of an issue for the most part. In fact, the only creatures that are actually dangerous all exclusively exist on Goldin. Especially the Deathclaw-like Gnows are fast and deadly.
Hmm, what else. Ah yes, carrying weight and storage: Carrying weight for the player character can and should be upgraded (through perks I mean). Vehicles and the player’s space ship have more than enough storage space, which is also very useful.
And that’s enough rambling about Precursors now. I’m probably forgetting things, the whole thing is not very organized etc., but it will have to do.
*Also, bonus points for the imperial officer on Reandore actually reacting to my whining: “But I don’t want to do the stupid space missions”, to which he basically responded: “Alright, I need you here anyway. Let’s do some missions here on Reandore instead.”. How novel. A choice that actually matters