I had followed the development from afar of the Precursors game for years. I knew from experience that, despite the ambition and talent of some of these niche Eastern European developed games, it would likely be a poorly translated mess. But the lure of a space sim that actually lets me land on planets and explore them, built into a first person RPG, is an itch I've waited years for some game - any game - to scratch.
So once I saw it available on Gamersgate and Beamdog I decided to take the plunge. GG were out of activation keys, so I ended up with Beamdog's version... which I feel is probably superior due to the fan improvement pack being conveniently available here anyway.
Shockingly, even taking the translation patches and unofficial tweaks into account, this game is clearly much more well designed and polished than what I was expecting, especially given its ridiculous level of ambition on the part of what was no doubt a small team at best.
It's challenging, partly due to the fact that you can't pause while in your inventory (which on the plus side lends the game a realism and sense of necessity with respect to planning ahead for engagements ala The Witcher games.) And some of the default key layouts are a bit of a stretch (but they're customizable anyway, obviously, so that's not a big issue.) But apart from that, it's surprisingly intuitive, sensible, and workable.
Items are well described in terms of their functions. Shooting mechanics feel more or less like they were lifted from Halo. Leveling up and talking to NPCs is clear and understandable.
All in all, while there's a lot to acclimate to, none of it is particularly impossible to do so with since despite the abundance of things to see and figure out, all of it is presented much more clearly than in other such games (City of Abandoned Ships and White Gold, I'm looking at you.)
And while the repeat NPC models and spaceport layouts become a bit repetitive and there is some minor tedium involved in many of the quests, as well as what feels like some balance issues in terms of enemy damage dealing, ultimately the overall experience of traveling from planet to planet, exploring worlds, taking on missions, engaging in dogfights, thinking about faction attitude, and trading goods is a fun, unique experience... and shockingly, it's done just well enough that it all works!
I've been gaming a long time, and I have to say that it feels obvious to me that with some more funding and some more QA, this development house has strong potential to achieve some amazing things in the future.