Prey Review (Xbox One)
Sometimes games, even big Triple-A titles, just fail to pique your interest with all their promotion and hype. Meh, another reboot, another sci-fi shooter, another save the planet storyline…. This was Prey, for me anyway.
Then one snippet of commentary about the game hit my ears, ‘a sort of spiritual successor to System Shock 2’. Excuse me?!?
So I quickly watched a short promotional trailer and all of a sudden I was fizzing like a little kid on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa to bring him a new bike. And what a bike it turned out to be!
So your day starts out fairly normal for a leading scientist in a multinational mega corporation. You know, sun streaming into you super flash penthouse apartment overlooking the city. You play the part of Morgan Yu, either male or female your choice, a brilliant mind working for the TranStar Corporation.
Who would have thought that by lunch time you would be on a space station orbiting the moon battling for your very survival and of the entire earth…Thankfully due to the high tech work being carried out on the Talos 1 space station you are far from empty handed in the battle to save humanity. You even have to kit out your work suit to take the odd space walk.
Gameplay is based around a very solid first person shooter but the FPS action is only a small part of the journey through Talos 1. Hacking terminals, turrets, and other tech will make life much easier, as will researching and fabricating new tools and weapons.
Exploring the open world of Talos 1, inside and out, will reward you with lots of useful and unique items which, in some cases, will completely change your approach to some areas in the game. Definitely a System Shock vibe going on here, but Bioshock, Half Life, and even Dishonoured have to take some credit here. And lets face it, with a list of titles that stellar you know Prey is going to be great. And great it is. The meld of stealth, strategy, and action is perfect, and the ability to lean heavily in any direction of these styles will suit any gamer.Visually, you get a very Arcane Studios looking game, which, in my opinion, is a great thing. Going for hyper realistic looking characters can end up going really bad. Retaining an artistic, animated look allows many flaws or short comings not to detract from your immersion in the game.
The areas of Talos 1 are extremely varied considering it is a space station and can easily have you forgetting where you are, that is until you have to space walk between airlocks. Which leads me nicely into the audio, which is all of a high standard, except for when you leave Talos 1 on a space walk. Then the audio is absolutely amazing!
Silence. Apart from your breathing and bursts of air propel you through space you hear nothing. It is truly fantastic. As they say, sometimes less is more.
I have carefully avoided giving too much away with regards to the plot and characters in Prey, mainly because there has been considerable effort gone into the narrative and depth of characters you will come across on Talos 1 and ruining that would be just a crime. If like me you haven’t heard much about Prey, be ready for some fantastic moments when things begin to unfold, and like a good movie, be sure to stay tuned after the credits have rolled. Lets just say there is scope for several play throughs.
To say I was pleasantly surprised by Prey would be an understatement. It was an absolute joy to play with at least one more run through in the near future. I can’t remember the last time I was caught out and left stunned by an ending of a game, or movie actually, and with the premise of several different endings return to Talos 1 is an easy choice to make. Just remember, in space nobody can hear you scream, but farting could push you off course.