I have to admit that Prey isn’t usually the kind of game that I play. I generally have always generally liked third person games better. I guess there’s something to be said for seeing your character, right?
At any rate, however, I’ve been watching Prey’s development and the ramp up to last week’s release with interest. Not only is the premise of the story interesting, but so is the fact that the game’s main protagonist, Morgan Yu, can be played as either male or female, something that will broaden the game’s audience. Add in an alternative history with JFK having survived his presidency, a retro-inspired space station and enough jump scares to cause my hair to go grayer than it already is and you have the recipe for a great game.
Rather than opine at length in this “review in progress”, I thought I’d do something a bit different leading up to Friday’s “OFFICIAL GAMESPACE.COM REVIEW” and gather my most salient impressions of my first few hours in the game into a handy and easily-read bullet list. I won’t place them by pros or cons, but simply as I discovered them during my time in the game so far. Deal?
Our Prey Bullet Point Review in Progress
- a rare 100% single-player experience
- the opening sequence is a shocker and you can’t make me say anything more than that
- the PC controls are absolutely fantastic
- Talos-I is not only gorgeously (and grotesquely at times) designed with so much stuff hidden away that explorers will be discovering new things constantly
- there is a real feeling of exploration and non-linear gameplay, though some things can be locked up until a “key card/code” is found to open a location
- amnesia is scary
- mimics can literally be anything in the game and those jump scares? They happen when you put down that tape dispenser you were just holding and it changes into a smoky oily mass of goo that wants to kill you
- the story, while starting with a bang, settles into a somewhat predictable journey of discovery of self, but one that is interesting and deep
- mysteries inside conundrums inside half-truths are everywhere. You have to untangle it all
- Neuromods are where customization takes place. It’s pretty lackluster at the beginning but developing your character becomes something special as you move along. There’s a real opportunity (though I’ve not totally experienced it yet) to make yourself utterly unique
- combat is much less interesting than story — it’s pretty typical, though the element of avoiding combat through discovering alternative ways around problems and monsters is challenging
- the “Mimic” enemies are more annoying than challenging and appear with a sound that over time will get on your nerves
- read everything — there are some genuinely funny things to be found that can ease the overall tension of the game
- in the early hours, wrenches and painful melee combat are too prevalent — it gets better, but it takes awhile
- recycle EVERYTHING
- be careful where you go — a misstep into a “high level” zone can be deadly
- if you loved Dishonored, Deus Ex and System Shock, Prey is right up your alley with its survival-horror schtick going on
Prey is shaping up to be something really special and a worthy addition to the genre. So far, I’m impressed and am finding it harder and harder to tear myself away.
Look for our full review on Friday!
Oh and while you’re here? A guy beat the game in TWENTY MINUTES…. There are no words!