In space, no one can hear you read this review of Prey!
The people at Bethesda/Arkane Studios were nice enough to send me a review code for their survival game, Prey, for the PlayStation 4. The best way to describe this game is a combination of a first person shooter and a survival game.
You’ll need to the explore every bit of the Talos I space station to figure out what’s going on in the main story of the game. One of the best features of Prey is that you can play it pretty much anyway you see fit. It’s like a “choose your own your adventure” book where you can go to any part of Talos I, even if you aren’t ready to be there yet. If you aren’t ready to be there in the game yet, it might be a bad experience for you but that will teach you things such as what better weapons you need to find for example. As I mentioned the Talos I is an open world/open environment play area where you can pretty much do whatever you want. However you start out in your apartment and need to figure out how to get to the Talos I. I’m not going to ruin it for you so you’ll just have to play Prey for yourself to figure that one out, it’s pretty interesting!
Prey has main game tasks as well as optional tasks for you to perform while playing. This adds on to the play anyway you feel aspect of the game. There will come a time where you have to get into a room and find a certain person but how you find that person and how you get into that room is up to you. You can climb the side of the wall or you can smash open the glass windows and get in that way. Aspects like these add so much more custom features to the game that already lets you go anywhere you want to.
The game also lets you play at your pace such as if you don’t think you can handle a monster fight, don’t! You’ll have the option of going around and finding a different way through the area. You might also be able to power yourself up. This is where the RPG elements of the game come into play where you can teach yourself different attacks/abilities. You can find Neuromods strewn about Talos I and those are your XP.( I guess that’s a good way to describe them) You have a branch system of leveling up your abilities so make sure you search for as many Neuromods as you can! Deeper into the adventure, you’ll find the Psychoscope that will allow you to scan/collect alien abilities and that could be the difference between life and death. However, you might lose yourself the more alien contact you collect so be careful.
Learning the controls will also be the difference between life and death on the Talos I. At the start of the game, you get a tutorial but it doesn’t have the same old tutorial feel to it. During said tutorial, you learn the basics of the controls as well as how to make the best of your “situation” but you’ll have to learn fast if you want to survive! However, there will be plenty of weapons and items at your disposal so make sure to check pretty much everything and everyone. You have a favorites wheel where you can save your favorite weapons to make them easier/quicker to use, which more action games are using nowadays. There are four slots on the wheel but one major issue I had was that you have a non-removable flashlight that stays on the favorites wheel at all times. If and when you get into a tough monster fight, you might want to have four usable weapons on your favorites wheel but too bad, you need a flashlight!
One piece of advice when checking things on the Talos I; things could be Mimics, the alien monsters on the ship so be careful and be diligent of your surroundings! Checking your surroundings could be as easy as checking out a filing cabinet or as difficult as checking a dead body. You will need to use everything in your arsenal to survive and that could be using a weapons upgrade kit you found on a dead co-worker, that could a air shaft that was hidden behind a laundry cart, it’s up to you to find the path/item and use it to your advantage!
The controls take a little getting used to but there is always a slight learning curve in most first person action games. The times where I found it the most challenging to aim was when I was using the wrench to attack a Mimic, which is a very fast pain-in-the-ass to deal with. You can also use the Gloo Gun to slow the Typhon forces down since anything covered in Gloo has their defense lowered and thus attacks do more damage to the monsters. Aiming is still tough at times but that’s what makes the game challenging, the fact that it isn’t an easy victory every time!
If you find yourself having a tough time getting anywhere in Prey, there are two menu options that you should check out. You can change the difficulty of the gameplay anytime your playing and you can quick save your game. It might be time for you to increase the difficulty level of the game and then you find it too tough for you so you can quick save and then set it back to the easier setting, killing two birds with one stone.
You have the option to set a curser on your map so you can always know where to go next and this holds true for the main story objectives as well as the optional objectives. It takes quite a bit to actually get lost in Prey, the problems come out when you know how to get somewhere but you don’t have the means to advance any further such as if the power is out or if you need a key card to open a door. One thing that got on my nerves was that you take fall damage and the distance didn’t even have to be that high a fall to hurt you. It wouldn’t kill you but in an area where enemies can do large amounts of damage with their attacks, any damage hurts in the long run!
Graphically, Prey looks fantastic but there was one moment that stuck out for me that won’t be winning any awards for “best special effects.” I’m talking about when there is a lot of fire in a room and the fire looks really fake. I thought we were passed this in terms of special effects where fire would be copied and pasted to make more fire. Saying this fire doesn’t look like real fire is the understatement of the year! Aside from the phony fire, there were a few other things that got to me in Prey. Space travel is amazing and was really fun, probably one of the best parts of the game. My issue with was that is was really easy to get lost out in space as well as when you need to locate something/someone in space, it didn’t differentiate between markers. What I mean by that is it was really easy to search for the wrong person in space. Also, there was one gripe I had with the branch system for learning abilities and that was you needed Leverage 2 to move a laundry cart but Leverage 1 couldn’t move really anything. This could be me just being mad but why not just have more practical abilities.
Prey from Bethesda/Arkane Studios is an action/FPS/survivor game set in the Talos I space station where survival is key. It has its ups and downs but at the end of the day is a pretty solid title and I’m giving it a 8.5/10. I would like to thank Bethesda/Arkane Studios for the review code.