GOG Interview: Ziggurat Interactive talks about re-releasing a cult classic from 18 years ago

As you most likely know by now – it happened. Boiling Point: Road to Hell, an absolute cult classic from 2005 and one of the first open-world FPS ever, has been re-released by Ziggurat Interactive and is now available on GOG!
With our love for classics we couldn’t be more excited, especially that we’ve also had the pleasure of talking to Cole Law from Ziggurat and asking them about the game itself, its iconic status and of course, how does it feel to revitalize such an important game for many players.
Hope you enjoy the read!
Since its initial release in 2005, Boiling Point: Road to Hell has become a true cult-classic with fans all over the world praising its ambitious design and the amount of sheer fun it provides. Could you tell us how you recall the perception of the game all those years ago and then its transformation into the icon that it is now?
Boiling Point: Road to Hell definitely has a passionate fan base originating from its original release by Atari in 2005, bridging all the way to today. And what is so cool about this title is how varied player experiences are and its replayability - sometimes even years apart. The fun isn’t just limited to the gameplay but also in the sharing of the stories of how you handled different situations, the alliances you made, and the realization that this game reflects so many early attributes of contemporary open-world games.
To touch more upon the aforementioned ambitious design of the game – one of its best qualities is the freedom of gameplay in its open world. Some even say that it is the first true open-world shooter ever. What was the conversation like when deciding to bring back Boiling Point with so many open-world shooters on the market since its original release?
Our goal at Ziggurat is to bridge past experiences with modern audiences. Having the opportunity to work on Boiling Point is an honor for us. There are so many people who love this game and the impact of this franchise on the immersive sim shooter genre cannot be measured.
Only the original Far Cry pre-dated Boiling Point, which really felt alive and full of potential in a similar way, making Boiling Point a historic evolution: A first-person shooter in an open world with RPG mechanics. Being able to bring this title to modern PCs is a treat and delivers our mission to highlight these important contributions in gaming history.
And looking back, how did the development process of the game look overall? Was it smooth sailing all the way through, or more of a bumpy road with lots of challenges?
There are always unexpected challenges in revisiting games. These games may run on their originally intended hardware but revitalizing these titles and making them accessible on modern hardware can make for some challenges – some known but always with new surprises – that our partners at Big Boat Interactive handled like seasoned captains on the high seas.
Some of the game’s libraries were so outdated that it made the game impossible to run on modern hardware. The amount of engineering that went into reconstructing the underlying foundation for this game is astounding. However, we did have to reconstruct the launcher that was included in the original release of the game. The work that the team has put in has allowed us to preserve this game as intended by its creators almost 20 years after its original release, quirks and all.
With the cult legacy of Boiling Point: Road to Hell, are there any memorable fan stories or experiences related to the game that you could share with us?
We will always remember that one player review we read early on in our production cycle that started with “Review of Boiling Point Road to Hell [2005]: Morrowind with guns.” We really loved that image and how that could recontextualize the gameplay for new players approaching the title.
Was having the game re-released and available to its enthusiasts through platforms like ours something that you’ve expected? How do you feel about it?
This is what we do! It’s incredible to see the passion that this franchise has already received on threads since we announced the game and we feel like this is a perfect match to the core nostalgia celebrated at GOG. It’s always so exciting to see people relive their favorite gameplay moments and share them with newcomers to the franchise, but not have to crack out the Althion X2 from 2005.
Which games released after Boiling Point do you think improve on the mechanics laid out by this title?
I am a huge fan of Fallout, with New Vegas being my favorite entry in the franchise. Seeing some of the relationship mechanics being mirrored by this game is really interesting. Some quest lines done for factions directly involve making enemies of other factions. Then having to watch your back for this specific group of angry people with guns is a fun feeling. It makes me feel like Saul Myers truly does have an enormous impact on the living, breathing world of Realia. Making these choices and seeing the payoff of certain storylines just makes me want to replay the game making different choices throughout.
What would you like to share with our community before they jump into the skin of Saul Myers?
It is an open-world game exploring a fictional country called Realia facing multiple factions to save your kidnapped daughter…or just muck around, hit the bars, drive cars, fly helicopters, shoot things, and curse with no abandon. But if you are going to save your daughter (and you probably should) you’ll want to make some alliances by accepting missions, using bribery and persuasion, or just grab a gun and go in blazing and see what you can accomplish.
There are multiple ways to go about a problem to find a solution. Some of those solutions can be more explosive. But be careful who you align yourself with… it's bound to catch the attention of other factions. But really, just have fun (and please save your daughter).
And there you have it! We’d like to thank Cole very much for the interview and we can’t wait to relive all those awesome memories we’ve made back in 2005 in Boiling Point. Make sure to check this classic out. Enjoy some good old gaming everyone!