How long has it’s been since you were actually excited for the upcoming release of a video game? Not every game can evoke this emotion of pure happiness and excitement that is only parallel to the joy of opening presents when you were a kid.
The original Prey was released over ten years ago, and even though the game was extremely successful at that time, it didn’t get a sequel. Prey 2 was announced, more than once actually, only to be finally canceled. Prey (2017) is Arcane Studio’s re-imagining of the original game title.
The basic concept didn’t change much- you alone are fighting against an unknown alien force set to destroy humanity. So now you’re wondering is the game any good? Should you buy it? Will you get bored after a couple of hours playing it?
The answers to all those questions, and more, are within this review. So if you’re not sure whether there is actually any quality in this game, you might want to read-through.
Following the footsteps of great titles
What would happen when Half-Life and BioShock had a digital offspring? The answer might be that Prey would happen as all that we’ve seen from the game so far is extremely familiar to both titles.
Although it’s obvious that the game has elements from other games as well, it’s undeniable that both Bioshock and Half-Life had some influence on the developer team of Arcane Studios.
There is the suit that repairs itself and protects you from damage, your first weapon is a wrench (instead of a crowbar), and the first enemy that you encounter incredibly looks like the Headcrab from the Half-Life series. But that’s a good thing, right?
The fact that both games inspired the developers to create Prey is only a confirmation of thequality of both Half-Life and BioShock. There is also an inventory system that can be described as the one from Deus-Ex series, but this is still debatable.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of renting a game, you can acquire PSN card codes for free and play the game. This way you can give it a test run and decide whether to buy it and add it to your collection or pass it.
Plot and storyline
The game takes place in and an alternate reality where the U.S. President John F. Kennedy survived the assassination in 1963. This leads to a decision to invest more funds into a space program that further accelerated the space race. As technology improved, a new threat was discovered that attacked earth.
This newly founded alien species was called Typhon and were ultimately defeated and captured by joint efforts of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. They’ve built a space station that would act as a cage for that alien species.
The main protagonist wakes up half a century from those events and starts his first working day for the TranStar Corporation that bought the whole project, space station and everyone in it.
As you’ll find out yourself, you’re more of a test experiment than an employee. After things go wrong, you’re left alone to defend against a well-known alien threat. It’s a promising story that leaves enough space exciting gameplay.
Skill tree and progression system
Now, the skill three and progression system are a bit different from those seen in other games. As you progress in the game, you’ll find neuromods. Apparently, these mods are quite popular in the future, and every member of the society that is privileged enough can implant them. They unlock skill trees add abilities, and there are more than a couple of them.
You’ll also earn points which you’ll be able to spend on abilities and skills. The way these neuromodsare created is a bit morbid and obscure. Apparently, in the future, we’ve found a way to deal with death row, prison system and available space in it. When an inmate is sentenced to death, they are locked into a room with a Mimic.
The mimic then absorbs the human, killing it in the process, and creates a few copies of itself. The mimics are then lured into a device that’s called a material recycler which processes the mimics creating exotic material as a result. This device is later on plugged into a fabricator that finally produces a neuromod.
So the neuromods are basically, alien abilities processed into an implant that a human can use. Don’t say that Prey didn’t offer anything new. Each skill tree, or neuromod, is different from the rest and unique in its own way.
While some may allow you to carry heavier objects, which you can toss at your enemy and squish them, other will allow you to interact with devices, repair them and much more.
Jump scares and other horror techniques
Who thought that predictable jump scares could create a chilling atmosphere such as the one in Prey? It seems that the developers relied solely on this horror technique to create a unique and obscure atmosphere. The mimics or Typhons are an alien species that can mimic the objects around it.
This means that whenever you enter an office room with a lot of object in it, you should draw your weapon and be prepared for the worst. A simple object such as a chair, or a coffee mug, can quickly transform into a flesh eating monster that will kill you in an instant.
This is the atmosphere in Prey. It leaves players wondering and in constant doubt. You can never be too sure that you’re safe while playing Prey and that is the beauty of this horror game. It creates paranoia, and no matter how much ammo you have you won’t be able to know whether there’s an alien in the room unless you have a keen eye and pay attention to detail.