Community Review: Prey

Image: Kotaku

It's been a while since people have been asked to investigate an abandoned space ship or space station, and Morgan Yu's adventure goes delightfully pear-shaped.

It's not hard to see why Prey has gotten a pretty good rap since release. It harks back to one of the most beloved sci-fi thrillers of all time, the System Shock series, ditching the pseudo-spiritual inclinations of the original Prey for syringes in eyeballs and neuromods.

The game's well optimised as well - something PC fans don't expect at launch a lot these days - and the Mimics have been praised up hill and down dale for the thrill they add to proceedings. Having to worry about getting shanked by the nearby trash changes things a little, unsurprisingly.

Kirk found the environment was fun to explore, as did most Steam reviewers, and I'm cheekily impressed by the handling of the computers and menus in-game. It's got a level of class I wish, well, my phone or Windows 10 had.

How have you found Prey so far?


Comments

    Love it.

    I kinda stopped playing for a bit because I reached more tension than I can handle. After encountering a particularly... difficult... creature in the crew quarters, triumphantly beating it, and returning to the arboretum, now covered with coral, and seeing it again, I kind of decided, no it was getting too intense.

    But I'll overflow with praise about the amazing level design, the quirky little bits of humour and appreciation for geek culture, like Fatal Fortress, and cute little relationship nuggets. The way it continually surprises me with its smart little encounters or tricks with the Looking Glass tech.

    And I'm only using human mods this playthrough.

    Odd one, I haven't gotten on to this yet, but like a few games this year it's the LESS things I know about going in and making a blind or almost-blind purchase that end up bearing fruit.

    ie Resident Evil 7, Zelda, Nier.

    I suppose I am still a bit brassed off with the circus surrounding the game prior to release - all Bethesda, I know, but the grumpy actions of the games press didn't help the situation. All I know is the PC version - the format I'm leaning towards - has a cloud over it. but so did Nier....I think?

    So, like Mass Effect, I'm waiting for the Not Yets to become Yes, Now's, With Proviso's. The thing is, I don't want to hear every damn thing about the game.

    TOUGH SPOT.

      Why comment if you haven't even played the game? Like you're adding nothing to this community review at all.

      The PC version is very good performance wise - my RX470/i5 4440 on the highest preset manages [email protected] - although a later section of the game involving a certain reactor will bring a more powerful system than mine to its knees. It appears to be a substantial memory leak, and I can confirm that rebooting fixes the problem (issue might've been fixed in recent patch, although release notes do not mention it).

      As a fan of Dead Space and Alien Isolation, the game is pretty special, although for me it lacks the all-important sense of dread and tension that makes those two titles so appealing. As others have noted, the exploration is fantastic, and the various paths and actions available will be attractive to Dishonored fans.

    So far I'm mixed on it. Exploration is typical Arkane, so if you enjoyed trying to find your way around problems in Dishonored you'll like that aspect of Prey. For me, the combat is a bit disappointing, but that could be due to me not really having any good weapons so I'm left to charge in with a wrench and a lot of times I end up dead before the warning about being low health comes up. I die a lot in this game and I'm happy I haven't found a death counter so far.

    Playing on xbone has led to a loooooot of texture re-popping in on things where that had been on screen for a while ... like the gun I've had in my hand for the past several minutes just weirdly losing all texture or that billboard I'd been staring at while I checked something on my phone.

    All in all, it's a decent game so far with nothing really game breaking that I can find beside a duplication glitch that can give you free crafting materials.

    I give it a score of bethesda/10, so like a 6. It's decent if kind of forgettable. I mostly bought it because I like Arkane as a developer and the level design is pretty rad

    Last edited 15/05/17 12:11 pm

      I usually rock the wrench, because I tend to play frugal and CQC in most stealth games. And yeah, if I'm low on health and get surprised, I die pretty quick.

      Same general advice:

      1) Take advantage of the environment. EG, Hardware Labs has a blown electric junction right next to a door. Snowball the arcing junction, run through the door, luring any typhons with you, and then manual lock the door for easy kills. There's a few other places this pops up, and later on they aren't already blown.

      2) Cystoids. Don't shoot them with your handgun. Chuck something towards them. They're attracted by movement, and will swarm over it and splode. Was surprised a friend didn't know this. Easier in zero g on account of inertia.

      3) Recycler grenades are good. Good for enemies, good for clearing obstructed doorways.

      4) Stun guns are pretty effective on mind controlled humans, but stuns certain enemies for longer than you expect.

    Pretty excited to give this a go but I have to finish Persona 5 first in fear of it ending up in a pile of shame... It deserves to be finished first!

    It's System Shock 2 for modern audiences without a lot of the dilution of mechanics seen in Bioshock. Basically best praise I can give it.

    Only have one real complaint: while using firearms was a valid path in SS2, Prey seems to actively discourage it and push you towards Typhon neuromods. I tried a combat focused character and it just wasn't as effective as using Typhon powers - you need to invest lots into skills for security weapons, recycling (for ammo) and health. Just seems at odds with the rest of the game given how many other options you have to complete objectives.

    I'm enjoying my experience so far.
    I have a few minor gripes, lack of ammo finds so having to use my crafting on making more for an example, but I think I'm in love with Arkane so much that I can kind of overlook that. Like I can overlook stupid bugs in Bethesda games simply because I love Bethesda games.
    It's also very easy to waste what little ammo you have. The mimics move so fast, and the phantoms can teleport, you shoot and buy the time you've shot they're gone and so is your precious bullet. Wrench is definitely the way to go sometimes.

    One major gripe, though, and I know I'm not the only one to experience this... I start feeling nauseated if I play for too long. It helps if I have a bottle of water nearby, to take little sips here and there, but if I'm not careful then I have to quit and lay down until it passes.
    I'm not sure what causes it but I've had it with a few games, normally older FPS though so I dunno.

    Overall though, I'm really enjoying it.

      If playing on PC, have you tried widening the FOV? Apparently the default is 85, but it can be raised up to 120. To do so, edit the 'game.cfg'; do a search for the 'cl_hfov' variable and try between 90-100.

      If on console, Bethesda recently confirmed that Arkane is working on adding a FOV option, although the post I read was in reference to the PC version.

        PS4, sadly.
        But good to know, thankyou very much :) I live in hope.

    I'm still mixed on this gam . The game play is good but it's not really sticking me in much, the storey just isn't grabbing me yet, I think it's more the way it's told than the plot itself.
    Plus you find so many safes and keys it's quite easy to loose track and forget about some because you've found so many more.
    The gun play is interesting though. I've found I'm useless with the pistol at close range but at further distances critical hits come easily.
    I've only been with it a few hours so my thoughts may change, so far I say it's a great well made game, but it's not an awesome going to be a classic.

Join the discussion!