Often there are games that have immensely negative press prior to release. It can be crippling. On the other hand I’ve seen huge build up to games that simply flopped on release. Take the case of No Man’s Sky. Never before could I recall a game that re-filled the shelves of pre-owned sections of CEX so fast. No Man’s Sky was built on lies and shattered promises. Luckily Hello Games mildly redeemed themselves from total failure with the release of patches that added cool features like base building. So what does all this have to do with Prey? Arkane Studios latest title to accompany last years release of Dishonored 2; Prey, is a solid stealth action adventure game. Prey (PS4, Xbox One and PC) seemed plagued with negativity from gamers all over the globe in the run up to release. As I read the comments on early gameplay videos it became clear that people disliked graphics, weapons, environments and enemies which left me feeling bewildered and confused. How can we fully judge a game before release? We cannot. If No Man’s Sky is anything to to go by then we should be careful in setting our expectations of any upcoming video game?
Morgan You is the main protagonist in Prey and we are able to choose our gender before the goings on start to unfold. Right off the bat this seems like something that is super cool. Whilst we are unable to change the look of our chosen Morgan I think it’s nice little extra. We start out in our apartment and proceed to make our way to a training station. Once there it takes no time for one of the researchers to be attacked by a Typhon; a hostile alien life-form. It’s here that Prey began to take a turn which seemed odd given that this was less than one hour in to the game. Admittedly I was expecting Prey to be a boxed standard first person shooter but this early twist set my gaming tastebuds in to overdrive. For those of you who haven’t played Prey there is going to be a mild spoiler here: The opening scenes were all a simulation! The apartment was not real. The training station was not real. At this point Prey seemed to open up very quickly and I became hooked on the experience. All of the negativity during the build-up seemed irrelevant now.
Prey offers some excellent gimmicks that really push the game and drive the story. Most crucially these gimmicks are delivered in a timely manner throughout the main campaign. Take the notion of collecting trash and there is plenty of it in Prey. Each item you collect can later be hauled in to a recycling unit to create new items, ammo and weapons. This is a fun and welcome feature in the world of Prey. Often these recycling compactors are in areas that are safe; away from alien threats. This is important as it slows the tempo of Prey perfectly. I often used these moments to cycle through menus and spend my skill points.
Playing your way was a crucial aspect in Prey. More often than not I spotted enemies from afar as they appeared to be wandering with no purpose. It’s at this point that I was able to decide whether I was going to approach them in a stealth or go out all-guns blazing. I opted for a mixture of the two but I would advise a more stealthy option for newer players. Depending on which approach you take will given you a very different vibe in Prey. Stealth definitely amplified the atmosphere and fear. At any moment there was always the risk of being spotted by a Mimic particularly as there didn’t appear to be much cover around. If stealth was ever the choice then sometimes it came down to crouching and sneaking directly next to an alien. Personally I felt that this was one of the stronger elements to the gameplay: choice. Arkane Studios did a great job!
From very early on in Prey you are met with Alien life-forms. Mimic’s are one of the most prevalent in the first couple of hours but many more follow. All aliens can be looted upon death which I would highly recommend you do because you will need the resources for the recycling compactors. Later in the game one of the best abilities come to fruition: the Mimic ability. Morgan can morph in to disguise as nearby inanimate objects! Imagine morphing in to a mug then rolling around the environment. What is the purpose of this? Sometimes there were areas that a human form cannot reach so the mimic ability can prove really useful.
Despite the pre-release negativity surrounding Prey arkane Studios have done a fine job in bringing this solid first person shooter to the market. I was gripped and I would like to think that your experiences will be just as rich as mine. Take a look at more from me in this episode of Should You Buy.
Blog post by Gemma @Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
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