Prey (2017) Review – A Scary Good Time

(Original Article published on Enthusiast Gaming, May 5 2017)

Prey has gone through a lot of change since it first debuted back in 2006 on the Xbox 360 and the PC. The original game featured Tommy, a Cherokee character who used his link to his heritage to channel a spirit form that allows him to roam freely aboard a spaceship full horrors, mind-bending puzzles all wrapped up in a highly under-appreciated package. 

In 2011,Bethesda revealed Prey 2, a sequel to the game set on an open-world alien planet where you play a bounty hunter. Things looked good but then, much like the game’s setting, died in the vacuum of space. After a long quiet period, the news hit the internet: Bethesda pulled the plug on the game due to quality problems. Fans were noticeably disappointed, they really wanted a Boba Fett simulator. The IP was officially dead, and the world moved forward.

Then came the big announcement that Arkane Studios, the team behind the phenomenal Dishonoured series were taking the reins of the IP and coming out with something completely different. I had my doubts, but any doubts were silenced when I played the demo that came out just a week ago.

Today, I fell in love with the best first person shooter I’ve played in years.

If you enjoyed games like System Shock and Bioshock, Prey is a beautiful love child that embraces formulas like the games previously mentioned, and injects something fresh and exciting. But before I start the review, I just have one thing to say.

Fuck. Mimics.

Gameplay

If you’ve played the Dishonoured series, you know that Arkane is fantastic at combining weapons, items and thrilling powers in a satisfying way.Through the course of the game you can use a wide variety of powers like the superthermal to lay waste to your enemies. But my favourite thing to do is it to throw a recycler charge at the aliens which sucks up everything within its vicinity, and turns it into materials that can be used for creating ammo etc. Talk about going green. Only draw back is sometimes theres a bit of backtracking, which is easier when there are a lot of freaky enemies and things to find.

Story

“Good morning Morgan”. These are the first words you hear when the game begins. You wake up in your beautiful apartment overlooking a glistening futuristic city, and you’re late for work. You board a helicopter on your way to the TranStar offices to do some tests at your company. Not to give away anything but when the game really starts, you end up on Talos I, a massive space-station that the devs=elopers called “An open space-station game”. It’s safe to say that things go to hell and it’s you against an alien race known as the Typhon. Prey has been touted as a psychological thriller, and I can very much vouch for that. The opening hour alone, which you can plan on consoles right now, is a swift kick to the brain. The game also has an interesting set of characters that drive to the story forward in a satisfying way.

Visuals

While this game won’t be compared to games like Battlefield 1 andStar Citizen, Prey is undoubtedly a gorgeous game, both graphically and in its design. The world of Talos I is an intricately crafted space that begs to be explored thoroughly. Navigating the world is a blast when the design is both intriguing and horrifying. Talos I is a space station filled with offices cladded in oak and gold and mysterious labs, giving the station a sense of decadence and beauty similar to Bioshock.

Sound

Mick Gordon did the music. That is all. The man behind the soundtrack of the other amazing Bethesda shooters, DOOM and Wolfenstein, bringing us 80’s synth wave and chilling atmospheric music to Prey. But the real standout is the sound design of the environment. The world is a treat to listen to, especially with a good sound system.

Mimics

Fuck mimics. I now have a fear of inanimate objects. They can literally become anything, even a god damn chair. I’m never sitting again. But the thrill of fighting one is rewarding.

Conclusion

I tried my best not to giveaway too much of the game because it really is a special game. Bethesda and Arkane have brought us the System Shock sequel we’ve always wanted with its own unique formula. People who hold a nostalgia for the original game and what could have been with Prey 2, need to give this game a try. As a fan of the original series I can happily say I enjoy Arkane vision far more fully realized, captivating and a damn good time. You need to play this game.

Pros

  • Tense, beautiful environment with tons of possibilities of exploration.
  • Creepy, intriguing story with great characters.
  • The best first-person story driven shooter in years.
  • Mimics. The goddamn mimics.

Cons

  • The controls need a bit of tightening, especially on consoles.
  • A bit of backtracking in the world. Nothing too crazy.
  • Mimics. The goddamn mimics.

FINAL SCORE: 9/10

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