Bounding Box Software have announced that their retro-inspired FPS Prodeus will finally enter Steam early access this fall. This is a little frustrating for someone like me, as the game was Kickstarted all the way back in April 2019, but I'm only impatient because of just how good Prodeus looks. There are a lot of so-called "Boomer shooters" these days--FPS titles with retro-affectionate visuals and gameplay--and most of them are great. Hoever, Prodeus stands out for its gorgeous visual aesthetic.
Prodeus is imitating the early 2000's Doom 3 look, but using sprites and flat textures to pull it off. Games like Doom 3 and Chronicles of Riddick had this lovely pre-rendered appearance; their reliance on pre-baked normal maps combined with dynamic lighting gave them a shiny, leathery, highly detailed appearance reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country and Clay Fighter. They were a tantalizing look at what all video games would look like in a few years, but with a charming, pioneering primitiveness.
Prodeus has nailed that aesthetic using even older rendering methods, translating it into sprites and animated textures with absurd frame counts and levels of detail. The result is something that looks both new and retro, and considering I'm the only person who still unironically likes Doom 3, I can't wait for Prodeus.
I'm a little bummed that it's only going early access in the fall instead of full release, but the gameplay Bounding Box has shown off already indicates that the final product will be worth the wait. You can check out their latest trailer below.