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Prey Review (PC)

Overview

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Prey Review (PC)
Prey is a sci-fi first person shooter that scores many high marks with its unique and innovative gameplay features that are presented in gorgeous living environments and game levels. These elements have made Prey into a fun and exciting game. With a closer look however, Prey falls prey to the fate of many first person shooters with linear game levels and an average storyline.

Pros

  • Lots of new and innovative gameplay features.
  • Environments and game levels are extremely detailed and gorgeous!
  • Nice variety of unique alien weaponary

Cons

  • Enemy AI is quite basic Often not challenging.
  • Linear level design limits replayability.
  • Lackluster storyline.

Gameplay, Features, & Storyline

It seems that each new first person shooter tries to introduce some innovative or ground breaking feature that is intended to set it apart from all other games in the genre. Some features truly are innovative while many others are just repackaged features made to look somewhat original. With Prey, Human Head Studios has done a terrific job of infusing their game with some unique features while looking spectacular at the same time.

Prey tells the story of Tommy, a Native American living and working on a Reservation as a simple garage mechanic. Tommy, who is reluctant to embrace his Native American heritage, dreams of leaving the Reservation with his girlfriend Jen. The game and story opens in the Roadhouse tavern with Tommy trying to convince Jen to leave with him when suddenly the power goes out and they, along with his grandfather, are abducted by aliens and taken aboard a ship orbiting Earth.

Tommy is able to escape in is opening moments on the ship and begins his quest to save Jen (and mankind) from the aliens. The premise behind the storyline is quite original and based on Cherokee mythology, but unfortunately it doesn't flow and at times slows the game down a bit too much. Overall is not very compelling.

If you suffer from motion sickness be prepared for a wild ride as Prey is full of changing orientations that make up a few of it's great new gameplay features. Throughout the alien spacecraft there are certain walls that allow for humans and creatures to walk up them and even on to the ceiling. Don't know where that attack is coming from? You may have to look up at the ceiling to find it...or down at the floor. The Wall Walk feature is quite simple, all you have to do is walk Tommy straight into the wall and he will automatically begin walking up it.

Similar to Wall Walk in regards to changing orientation is the gravity flipping feature that can really throw your equilibrium off for a minute or two. In various rooms there are special targets that, when hit, enable you to control gravity. This becomes quite important to figure out since inaccessible areas in normal orientation may suddenly become accessible and uncover useful objects, paths, or portals that are necessary to advancing through the game. It's also quite amazing to see all of the graphical detail when walking into a room upside down when you've just been exploring it right side up.

Spirit Walk is another unique feature in Prey that allows for Tommy to leave his physical body and enter the "spirit world". While in the spirit walk you have the ability to find and explore areas that you may not be able to explore normally. While in this form your are still susceptible to attacks but enemies generally won't attack unless you fire on them first.

Each level in Prey is intricately detailed and offers a visual overload of excellent graphics. Located throughout many corridors and rooms are portals that if entered in the correct direction will lead to other rooms or corridors. Despite the seemingly confusing nature of portals and the endless possibilities they could have the levels are quite linear. The portals do add a twist at first but after a little practice they are quite easy to navigate and it's not at all difficult to determine whether or not you're on the right path.

There is a good variety of enemies and challenging encounters but overall Prey does not offer a very difficult challenge. There are two difficulty levels but the more difficult one is only activated once the game has been won at the easier difficulty level, with a linear path the fun in replaying at a harder level is somewhat lost.

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