The game is a hybrid of a First-Person Shooter, Role-Playing Game, Stealth-Based Game, Wide Open Sandbox and space-based Simulation Game. The player is free to navigate the open world on their own, trade with merchants or extort them for money, work for The Federation, The Empire, or La Résistance, investigate long lost ruins or just travel through space to land and play around in the various planets and space stations.
This game provides examples of:
- Automatic Crossbow: Useful as a stealthy ranged weapon. (Hollywood Silencer is averted in this game)
- Cut Short:Treece rescues Dr. Apertov and threatens to kill him for the destruction of Casilla by using the Precursor artifacts, but the doctor drops the bombshell that all the planets are in danger now, Casilla was an accident caused by the planet's artifact having its self-destruct mechanism triggered, and that a "pure-blooded Amarn" is the only being who can properly use the precursor artifacts and that Treece will need his help. The doctor then asks if Treece (and the player) wants to solve the mystery of the Precursors. What are the Precursors? Was that rotating triangle artifact in the base a Precursor? What is a "pure-blooded" Arman? Is Treece a pure-blooded Arman? No answers, because the game then smashes to credits and there's no sequel since Deep Shadows shut down due to financial problems.Tehsnakerer:: It took me 20 minutes to comprehend that. I don't comprehend it but at least I just decided to take it in. I had to go watch a few Let's Plays because I had to double-check that that was indeed the ending. I had to reconfirm that my game hadn't just broken again. I needed a drink and a lie down (...) I don't think an ending has ever hit me so profoundly, but that's it. (...) It raises a ton of questions in a matter of minutes then asks one final question, read so poorly that it sounded bored.
- Precursors: With a religious cult devoted to them.
- Death World: Planet Reandore. Driving from one point to another in that planet counts as a mission in its own right.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted in the same manner as in Boiling Point.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: NPCs don't react to thievery unless you pick a lock, hack a keypad or a computer. Even then, you can usually disable the alarm beforehand.
- Relationship Values: One statistic for each major faction of the setting. Unlike in Boiling Point you won't be able to work for all of them.
- RPGs Equal Combat: Actually averted. You will have to fight to complete the game, but most missions can also be completed with stealth, or with diplomacy (If you have a good relationship with the faction you're going against).
- Simulation Game: The "Space Travel" part of the game.
- Stealth-Based Game: Though it's not always possible to be stealthy, most missions can be done like this.
- RPG Elements: You have Experience Points, and you choose a new ability with each Level Up.
- There are hundreds of non-linear Sidequests, many of them having multiple solutions.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can kill, steal, and extort as much as you want. Many optional missions target people who really don't deserve it.