Prey, As Told By Steam Reviews

The System Shock series is one of the most beloved mixes of RPG, thriller and AI gone wrong from the 90's. So unsurprisingly, anything that takes that formula and improves on it was bound to be received well.

Currently sitting at a 89% rating from over 1400 reviews, Arkane's reboot of Prey is going down a treat. As most people are familiar with by now, the latest Prey focuses on Morgan Yu, a scientist tasked with unravelling what happened on Talos I. The station, as any System Shock fan will appreciate, is filled with weird alien creatures, bizarre psychological experiments, and other odds and ends.

So, as you'd expect, fans are lapping it up.

But while the setting has been lauded by users on Steam, the game has gotten a considerable rap for the control scheme, soundtrack, optimisation and the freedom granted to the player. There's multiple avenues for tacking enemies and paths, which reviews have likened (understandably) to the Dishonored games. And even amongst negative reviews, the Mimics seem to be a standout.

On the flipside, users have reported a few game and save breaking bugs that have soured the experience. Others also complained about a lack of variety in the enemies, predictable story twists, the pacing of the story, monster respawns, and a feeling of helplessness.

Here's what people are saying about Prey:


    Disappointed that everyone compares it to Bioshock when it has more in common with System Shock 2 :(

      What's the best way for someone to tackle 1 and 2?

      I've been looking at the mod scene for both because I do want to play through, with *some* mod-cons but I also know what I'm in for so I'd rather not be rooting around with too many.

      I tried OG Deus Ex with that much bally-hooed graphics update, it was my first time with the game.

        Moderation error. Let's try this:

        Ooh. System Shock 1's bigggest hurdle might be the controls. If you can get past that, it's a great game. But then, I haven't played it since I was a kid. It's pretty elderly.

        I had serious problems with System Shock 2 when I played it when it came out. My main issue was it gave you a sizeable space to explore but discouraged exploring with respawning monsters and intense scarcity.

        I really don't know about mods, but good luck! Hopefully you can find some things to fix those issues.

        Edit: I believe if you really get stuck with 2 there are cheats.

        Edit 2: Oh there's a no weapon degradation mod for 2. Get that for sure.

        They both have slightly modernised re-releases, I'd probably start there. SS1 is a pain in the arse to play though, it hasn't aged all that well. I don't know if there's much that can fix it.

        SS2 is much easier to play because it's more modern. If you want you can disable weapon degradation and respawning monsters via a simple INI hack (and weapon degradation is awful in SS2, everything breaks within a minute of picking it up!). Apart from that it just looks ugly, but there's a community HD texture pack out there.

        System Shock 1 - do yourself a favour and wait for the remake currently being done.

        System Shock 2 is approachable enough (if a little janky). Theres a few mods about that improve the experience.

        SS1, not sure.

        For SS2, just buy the GoG version and play it straight. It looks a bit ugly and you'll need to rebind a lot of keys but it really doesn't need mods.

        Leave the weapon degredation and respawning monsters alone - the game's not the same otherwise.

        Make sure you get the enhanced edition of SS1 as the original doesn't have mouselook like a typical FPS. It had a mouse that was free to target and you had to change your view up and down separately. It was very painful. The EE fixes this.

    I love it .... though even on normal difficulty, the Phantoms are BRUTAL! I had to drop down to easy mode and was still being given a hard time.

    Last edited 08/05/17 2:21 pm

      Unlock the Kinetic Blast skill. It can deliver a hugely-damaging focused explosion on any target in range and lets you slow time while you aim it. Stick Phantoms with the Gloo Cannon first for better results. They may take a couple blasts, so either take cover or stick them again while the blast power recharges, then finish them off with a rapid salvo from the pistol. This tactic also works on Telepaths and Technopaths but take several blasts and you will probably need to disable their powers a times with Null Charges and EMP Charges respectively.

        I'm still haven't unlocked psi powers yet. But good advice. Thanks.

          Just FYI, I've read that unlocking psi powers gives you the 'bad' ending. Or at least one of them.

    Boring story? Boring enemies? What is that guy on?

    I love the enemies. I love that even mimics always pose a challenge, spilling around like smoke, making me hit every item of furniture in a room out of sheer panic sometimes. Early on I was lugging around a turret, but there's even a completely terrifying response to that play style too.

    No bugs so far on PS Pro.

    I'm on old school gamer. System Shock was a defining game for me. System Shock 2, I didn't like because of the respawning enemies, but here it's fine on account of the fact you have a substantially more interesting set of verbs for dealing with them, and the enemies are deadly but a whole lot of fun. And yes, stealth is viable, but it's hard to sneak up on mimics.

    I looked and Austin Grossman, one of the designers behind System Shock has credits on Dishonored and Dishonored 2. No credits on this, but obviously that talent rubbed off. And Chris Avellone as writer!

    The one thing System Shock has over Prey is that Shodan is great as an antagonist constantly taunting you. That I kinda miss.

    This is shaping up to be game of the year for me. I platinumed Dishonored and Dishonored 2 and I'll probably plat this. Just the idea of doing this without any neuromods has me sooo eager.

    Arkane Studios, keep making games and I will keep giving you money.

      SS1 had respawning enemies too. I replayed it about a year ago (the EE version) and it was still great. Originally played it when it first came out in '94 and it was just as good this time.

    Some of those reviews are just outright wrong - areas reverting to how they were before you entered?? Was that a bug early on or is something messed up with his install?

    This game caught me completely by surprise, I've had my head in the sand playing WoW for the last 6 months. Saw SeaNanners post a stream (which he never does anymore) so watched and man I want this game so desperately now.

    I want to experience the story, trove through every last email and message, learn all the secrets...I want to explore every nook and cranny but can't afford the game right now!! So frustrating....I'll get it eventually.

    Prey (this one, not the 2003 Prey) is honestly the Deadspace-iest game I have ever played that wasn't Deadspace 1, 2, or 3.

    - Start on a space station/ship during or after a deadly outbreak of space plague that turns the inhabitants into monsters: CHECK for both

    - Lone (competent) survivor tasked with unravelling the mystery of what happened: CHECK for both

    - Float around in zero-G in a spacesuit: CHECK for both

    - Upgrade your suit capabilities: CHECK for both

    - Construct customer weapons with a many varying abilities and modes: DS3

    - Channel the Bioshock guy through the use of superpowers: PREY

    I loved Deadspace 3, probably the only one who did, and would have loved for this to be the 4th (DS3's DLC got Isaac back to an Earth under imminent destruction and primed the series for a new chapter).

    Last edited 09/05/17 9:57 am

      I have only playeed the demo and thats the vibe I got. Funny because i didnt get that leading up to it and wasnt even falling for the hype but after playing the demo man this looks like its going to be fun.

      Gotta polish off persona 5 first

      Did you ever play System Shock 2? I loved Deadspace (1, anyway) for just how much it was like a 3rd-person SS2. If you haven't played it and you loved Deadspace, you should check it out. You will recognize almost all the areas of the ship(s) almost immediately.

    How are people hating on the soundtrack? I'm finding it super lush and beautiful, not to mention appropriately sci-fiey :/. It's like they went heavy on the theremine or something

      For me, while I like the soundtrack when it's bothered to make an appearance, I'd say it's been implemented poorly.

      The 'director' seems to stuff up the cues on when it's an appropriate time to play some music, and sometimes it chimes in with something that's supposed to be thoughtful and reflective in a moment of tragedy but the volume mixing is so badly off that it's almost like a horror note in its jarring and alarmingly suddenness.

      Not to mention that any of those more contemplative moments can be thrown completely out by the soundtrack change that seems to occur when you switch on your psychoscope or move too loudly and alert that phantom you can't fucking find a couple rooms over.

      As it is, there appears to be no 'defining' moments that the soundtrack has really enhanced, no regularly-played theme that I'd be able to pick out of an aural line-up the way I could pick out Halo's, Mass Effect's, or even that one theme from Horizon that got a few dozen variations to pepper through its musically-sparse length.

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