‘Prey’ will draw you in and not let you go


The cover art for “Prey” Image from Bethesda.net

“Prey” feels like the combination of ideas from a lot of different games. Blending elements from “Bioshock”, “Deus Ex”, “Dishonered” and others make for a game that was sorely overlooked at the time of its release.

The most notable thing about “Prey” is the creative freedom it gives the player when it comes to how they approach gameplay. A variety of weapons and abilities are available and they offer plenty of opportunities for experimentation.

Even the game’s exploration can be approached in a variety of ways. A few hours into the game I realized that the GLOO gun could be used to make makeshift stairs instead of just freezing enemies in combat. Recycler charges can be used on enemy robots instead of just random objects. Combat, too, is as open as the exploration.

“Prey’s” approach to combat is unique. With all the options that are in the game, combat feels more like a puzzle than a fight. The player can use stealth to pick off enemies one by one or use alien powers and heavy weapons to wipe them out quickly. Even with all the tools you gather over time, combat remains a constant challenge which keeps it from getting stale. Though combat is interesting, the shooting and camera movement feels stiff and unrefined.

The game’s sci-fi feel and isolated atmosphere of this game immerses the player in the world and story. The entire game takes place on the Talos 1 space station which was built by the Russians and Americans to observe an alien race known as the Typhon. Talos 1 has since been overrun with Typhon and exploring its various facilities and piecing together the mystery of what went wrong is a highlight of the experience. The game doesn’t beat the player over the head with its exposition so all the background story can either be totally ignored or endlessly dissected if the player chooses.

“Prey’s” biggest problem is its first couple of hours. The beginning of the game is really slow and lacks the elements that make the rest of the game so engrossing. If the player doesn’t know that areas are meant to explored multiple times throughout the game then the opening moments can feel overwhelming and confusing. It took me a while to understand how to really play the game, even with its tutorials.

The various gameplay styles and multiple endings make “Prey” very replayable. However, the slow beginning and lack of polish in the combat act as a barrier to new players. It’s a shame because once things picks up, there’s few games that can compare to this, especially in recent years. The good news is that “Prey” isn’t hard to find for a good price so it’s worth taking a chance on. The good definitely outweighs the bad and earns “Prey” four stars.

[Final Score: 4/5]

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesD on Twitter.