#87, October 4th 2020
Availible On: PS4 | Xbox One | PC
Developed by Arkane Studios, Prey follows the gameplay structure of their main series Dishonored in a Sci-Fi setting. Shortly after the opening few minutes, something is definitely wrong and it’s up to you (Morgan Yu) to navigate the space station and destroy the alien invaders. These invaders, known as the Typhon, can change their form instantly, keeping you on edge during your entire playthrough.
This is by far Arkane’s best accomplishment with Prey as Talos I is a fantastic setting to explore. True to the studio’s open world nature you can navigate around Talos I in a variety of ways. See a locked door? You could hack it, or maybe find a vent that leads past it. The game has a general structure built around its main story but you are free to explore and break that cycle right away.
That description sounds close to a 3D MetroidVania, but I wouldn’t put it in that category mainly to my biggest complaint with the game, loading screens. It’s hard to go a full three minutes without running into a loading screen. Each one takes 30+ seconds and takes you out of the action constantly. Later in the game you have to travel from your office, to the bridge of Talos I. This moment should be tense as the Typhon have really hunkered down on the ship, but instead its sitting in three loading screens between the elevator ride, loading the Arboretum, and loading the bridge. For a game that is built around the constant dread of what’s lurking behind every door, the real horror is trying to load what’s behind it.
To combat the Typhon, similar to traversal, the player has a number of methods. Prey has a few guns at your disposal, but the real fun is mixing using objects in the environment to either create a trap or throw at the enemy or using the psychic powers you find throughout the game. Enemies do respawn, so it’s key to assess every situation, “Do I need to take them down or can I get past them?” mentality.
Talos I and the Typhon make a host of sounds that will keep you on constant edge. The sounds of Prey match beautifully with the environment in complementing each other. Not every game needs to be played with headphones, but Prey is one that benefits from having the action pumped straight into your ears. Besides the general ambient noises, the game has an adequate selection of voice acting.
Prey’s story is generally interesting. I was always curious what would happen next. Morgan Yu is at odds with everyone around them during the campaign as you constantly find out new information about the world, side characters and finally, yourself. To gain physical & physic powers the Yu siblings developed chips that gave them power, but removed any memory the user gained when removed. I can’t stress enough the long load time in this game, when the story wanted me to go across multiple areas my first thought was not what will happen next, instead how many loading screens will it take to get there.
With multiple endings, I beat the game in just over 15 hours following mostly the main story missions. If you enjoy the general gameplay loop, Prey offers a ton of content with a variety of side missions. For the most part Prey is a great game and if you can play on PC or hardware that can improve the load times this is an easy recommendation.
Time To Completion 15 Hours