Prey – Review
Follow Genre: Action-Adventure, Survival
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Prey – Review

Site Score
8.4
Good: Atmosphere, Music, Feeling of powerlessness
Bad: Awkward combat controls, Loading times
User Score
7.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)

In many games we are often subjected to playing the prey in a horrible scenario, where we have to run from those who are chasing us, all while reaching a certain goal, in order to redeem ourselves, to save the world, or simply fight the baddie before the credits start to roll. Nonetheless, being a prey can also mean to simply survive as long as you can, in a setting where you’re rendered pretty much powerless against those who are only seconds away from snatching you up from behind. In Prey we were thrown in such a position where combat isn’t always the option to move forward, and where scavenging and being careful might just become our only option, and in the long run, our salvation.

Prey

Story

In the not so distant future of 2032, you’ll play as Morgan, who is recruited by TranStar as a researcher on Talos I, which conducts various sorts of research in the middle of space. Nonetheless, when during your first day you are the subject of a few ‘behavioral tests’, things go awfully wrong when the professor in charge of the tests is attacked by a Typhon, a strange alien being. When you are knocked out, you wake up in your apartment, which seems to be a fake version of said living space, seeing when you knock down the walls when trying to find a way out, you still find yourself on Talos I. Sadly, you have no recollection of what transpired before you messed around with ‘neuromods’, which are implants that grant you superior abilities, which have the sad effect of wiping your memory clean upon removal of said mod. Luckily you don’t lose all your memories, but just until the point that the mod was installed.

When roaming around the facility, you find many bodies and the complex otherwise deserted. You are then contacted by January, who slowly explains to you what is going on, and he will then serve as a guide that may help you find your way out of this hazardous situation.

Overall the story doesn’t develop that much at the beginning of the game, leaving the player bedazzled on what is actually going on. The latter is actually quite fun, as it keeps the game mysterious and it will make the coming ‘mindfucks’ even heavier, which certainly works for a story driven survival game such as this.

Prey 1

Graphics

Prey is by no means an ugly game, as it looks quite good, and in many ways it looks fairly realistic in an unrealistic situation. That being said, the game will never truly stress the capacities of your next-gen console, as many items are seemingly replicated all over the facility you find yourself in, and because of the void of living beings this game has, it’s all about the environments, which look reasonably ok, but again, it never unlocks the true potential of what your console is able to produce. The alien beings are nicely animated, but they are always the same, albeit with a few different ‘types’ among them.

Sound

The soundtrack of Prey is rather captivating, and it achieves its goal of chilling you to the bone, without having to bombard you with heavy tracks. Instead the game focuses on setting the right tone by using a very atmospheric soundtrack, and sometimes it just gets to you with the usage of environmental sounds, that just sound creepy, because in this game you’ll be on your own most of the time. Of course, the music tends to change its pace a bit when an enemy is out to get you, but for the most part, things stay rather tranquil, and only try to set the proper mood, making you truly feel like a prey in an abandoned setting.

Voice acting in this game is also of top notch quality, even though you’ll mostly just hear one voice, namely the voice of the person that keeps calling you. There are also audio logs you’ll come across during your solemn trip through the alien-filled facility, which also adhere to the same audio quality as the rest of the game.

Prey 2

Gameplay

Prey is a first-person survival game, with the necessary combat and action sequences to spice things up. Nonetheless, for the most part of the game, you’ll find yourself rummaging through a facility in space, trying to learn more about your past, while fending off or avoiding alien beings, which are seemingly everywhere, possibly disguised as everyday objects. You’ll feel powerless, you’ll have to scavenge as if your life depends on it, and even on the easiest difficulty, you’ll still have to do your best to survive in this highly volatile setting.

Luckily, when wading through the hostile and deserted facility, you’ll still find some weapons, and other items that will aid you in your quest for the truth, as well as your escape. Having weapons will not always aid you that much, as enemies are hard to kill, because targeting is quite hard when playing on a console, and you’ll also lose a lot of health every time you’re hit, making it so that combat is not always the most desired course of action. That being said, you’ll slowly upgrade your character by leveling its skill trees, which in turn will help you navigate around the facility, unlocking new routes or new options for you to work with. It’s up to you if you’d rather invest in your hacking skills, being able to repair turrets, or become stronger so you can pick up clutter and other items blocking a possible route.

Prey 3

Overall the game is very straightforward on where you need to go, and you’ll have to go back and forth quite often to collect items, unlock doors and so on. Even though this may sound dull and boring, it actually isn’t as the atmosphere of this game is spot on, all the while the mystery is slowly lifted on what happened to you and what the hell it is you are doing. Things are rather smooth, safe for the extremely long loading times and the controls do feel a bit as if they were designed for mouse and keyboard. Nonetheless, after a few playing sessions you’ll get used to the somewhat tricky combat sequences and awkward viewing mode when you’re accessing PCs and other objects in the world of Prey.

Conclusion

Prey is a great game for those who are yearning for a real survival experience with a somewhat ‘lost in space’ kind of vibe. While this game is not easy, not even at the easiest difficulty setting, you’ll get used to making choices that aren’t always in sync with what other games always expect you to do. You’ll find yourself on the other side of the fence in this game, in a fairly powerless situation, which is a welcome change of pace, especially in Bethesda’s game library, where you often play with an overpowered character.

Prey 4

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Prey - Review, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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