When I watched the reveal of Prey at Bethesda’s 2016 E3 conference, I thought this could be a game that could be huge, but that wasn’t the case when it came to release day. Bethesda has the review policy that the press cannot receive the game until release day the same with all consumers which really hurt the game’s reviews from other sites. The initial release of Prey was very dull with little to no marketing unlike their other games that all had TV ads, Prey was a game almost that most people didn’t even know was coming out, or that it was a Bethesda product. Prey is a hidden gem that one should play if they like games that it takes ideas from like BioShock and System Shock respectively. Prey is a game that should be praised on how well it takes the ideas from other games and mashes it all into a great but sometimes tiring adventure.
Prey builds on the idea of thriller and Sci-Fi, but kind of dodges the bullet when it comes to being a true Horror game. Prey shines when it comes to how the player approaches situations. It truly gives you many options and all are risky, not just one. Stealth takes apart when it comes to the combat. The Gloo Cannon really is a fun weapon to use to stun enemies, stop fires, and even to climb up areas. The game’s atmosphere is where Prey shines as well, getting that view of space and the feeling of loneliness when exploring the ravaged space station Talos 1. The music is a bit of a hit and miss, it really blares in the player’s ears when a mimic turns into an object nearby or when enemies spot you, so I would recommend turning down the volume a tiny bit. The graphics and design of Prey is done beautifully using the CryEngine instead of their own engine which is a factor into whey Arkane Studio’s Dishonored 2 was awful on the PC side of things.
Prey performs and runs beautifully at 60fps at 1080p on PC, while achieving 30fps at 1080p on PlayStation 4 and 30fps at 900p on Xbox One. But the console ports have some frame issues in certain areas with a lot of lighting and color such as a room with grass that can really slow the frames down a lot. The PC port did and still has issues with corrupted saves, which I can say I have not experienced in my playthrough of the game. PC is definitely the place to play Prey with the more fps for the quick reactions to enemies and the game does not require much in terms of hardware to run the game, which is great considering how hard it is to run a game using CryEngine like Crysis 3 at high settings.
I don’t want to spoil anything about the story that has not been revealed past the opening hour of the demo. But the difference in playing as either a male or female has no significant difference in the outcome of the game just to clear things up for certain people that may wonder. The whole station of Talos 1 is full of little bits of lore and cool stuff like emails that reveal some info on what it was like before the Typhon outbreak. The transcribes are interesting to listen to when trying to connect the pieces together with what happened and how things went down.
The freedom to roam around the station is a great thing to do when you need resources for ammo that have to be recycled first. Outside of Talos 1 in space is cool with thruster controls and cool physics as well. The toy nerf-like crossbow is fun to fool around with and is just there for giggles and for distractions as well. The weapon diversity is great with the main weapon or stun being the Gloo Cannon which is primarily used on an enemy first, then using a secondary weapon such as a Wrench, Shotgun, Pistol, or grenade. The neuromods are a great way to level up and gain abilities like Hacking, Repair, and more Stamina and Health. Plus by using the Psychoscope you can scan certain Typhon enemies and after scanning enough you can learn their abilities through the neuromod leveling tree. My favorite being the power to turn into any object nearby, like a cup and rolling around like its Prop hunt on Garry’s Mod.
The diversity in enemies is kind of weak in Prey. Most of the time the player will just run into Mimics and no more than 1 or 2 Phantoms. Now the Phantom can have certain abilities like Fire and EMP, but nothing too distinct. The diversity in enemies is a weak point that should be noticed. Mimics are the most common enemy the player will run into, and sometimes that can get tedious and boring.
Overall, I have enjoyed my experience with Prey, even though other people are having issues with saves being corrupted, when it comes down to the game it perfectly makes the player feel like there are in an Alien type situation. Prey does not hold your hand at all so it feels like a good difficult game. Any fans of Bioshock and Dishonored I can highly recommend this game to you. Prey captures all the feelings of Bioshock and System Shock and masterfully creates a unique game that takes ideas from others. Prey I believe is a great game that had terrible marketing, but in the end, it lives up to its ideals. Prey is now in the running for GOTY alongside a tough field with Zelda and Horizon, with more competition to come later this year. Prey finds enough to separate itself from other games like it, even though it takes the ideas from other games in its genre.
- Ability to turn into a cup
- Bioshock-like atmosphere
- Has it’s share of jump scares
- Gloo Cannon provides great tool for combat and puzzles.
- Space looks beautiful, yet terrifying.
- Console versions feel sluggish.
- PC save issues at launch
- Terrible marketing