Bethesda and Arkane Studios are best known for games such as Skyrim, Fallout and Dishonoured. Prey the latest title from Arkane Studios is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
The original Prey in 2006 features Tommy the man who hates his native Indian ancestry. After a bar fight, he gets abducted by an unknown alien species. The game was generally well received and pushed the boundaries of physics to create a game that played differently to other shooters. Prey 2 was announced and players would take on the role of a bounty hunter on a station hunting aliens down that were in trouble with the law. Unfortunately, that was cancelled. Arkane Studios reboots Prey, not everyone was convinced with the footage and demo that was released. I for one knew it would be great from what I saw and experienced and I was right.
Prey places you into the shoes of Morgan Yu and you awaken in your apartment not suspecting a thing, the day progresses, your brother gives you a pep talk and on you go to work for testing. Not everything is as it seems on the second day after one of the testers gets attacked by a Typhon. It turns out you were lied to and you were on a space station the whole time and the apartment view was just a monitor projecting the image of earth. The Typhon’s have escaped containment and are roaming the space station, you must find a way to stop them and survive. The Typhon are a species that were discovered in space many years ago and no one knows what they are or who they are, they just kill. The story builds up as you progress and offers a lot of fantastic moments in the game. Prey’s storyline is one of the best I’ve played this year it has all the elements, excitement, tension and dread which adds to the already terrifying feel of the space station.
I’m not one to usually get scared by games anymore but Prey manages to create stress and panic. If it isn’t Mimics taking the form of props around the station it’s a giant Phantom hunting you down. If that isn’t enough to scare you, running and gunning is not an option. Ammo is limited, Neuromods that let you upgrade Morgan with alien powers or standard skills are limited, health kits are limited, you will die. I’d like to think of Prey as a Bioshock/Dishonoured type of game with the difficulty of Dark Souls. Prey is a game where you have to think, killing enemies usually takes a combination of attacks and sometimes a stealth approach. One moment had me stuck in a trauma centre with a very powerful Thermal Phantom waiting for me after locking the door. I had virtually no ammo but a few shotgun shells, I ran around looking for explosive tanks and lined them up on the door. After many failed attempts I managed to lure him in and blow him to hell. A very proud moment but a moment that had me thinking, Prey is really something else. You’ll be faced with many moments of feeling underwhelmingly weak but finding what works for you is the point of the game. You are given the choice of many weapons, alien powers and skills and the game can be completed in so many different styles. I’d like to think of my style as holy crap god dammit please work.
Visually the station is beautiful, Arkane Studios have crafted a perfect world for you to explore and interact with it in many different ways. The game takes the look of the Dishonoured titles and it works. At first, I use to think the enemies looked a bit bland in footage previously but something I could turn a blind eye to anyway, but the enemies are terrifying and some of the greatest I’ve ever faced due to the way they act and feel and even look. They have created an atmosphere that adds to the fear. While the music, voice acting and most of the audio works really well, there seems to be an issue where some things are extremely loud and some aren’t, I hope this get fixed and I believe it will.
Prey is one hell of a game and one of my favourites this year. It requires thinking, exploration and being careful which many games just seem to want to throw action in your face all the time. Prey spaces out its many moments of action, fear and exploration making it stand out from the rest. If after Bioshock Infinite or Dishonoured left you wanting a game of similar style in story, gameplay and feel, Prey is the game for you. Do not judge the game before you play.