PlatformOVERALL
Xbox One8.70
Overall 8.70
Prey 2017 has nothing to do with the old Prey, I have no freaking clue why they even used the name. This is basically a new Bioshock, it is Bioshock in space and its extremely well done. It has all the skill trees you come to expect in one of those games, you know like hacking, lifting heavy stuff, learning new psycho powers. The game presents levels with goals that can be accomplished in different ways using these powers, its the core aspect of why these games are so appealing.

The game takes place in a space station that is under an alien infestation. You of course have amnesia and need to put together what is going on, why and who to trust. There are choices to be made in the game that can lead to some minor differences in the end, its neat but nothing that important to say your choices dramatically matter. The aliens are black goo monsters called the typhon and one of their traits is that they can mimic any object.  Any room can seem safe but any of the objects in that room can be an alien waiting to jump at your face. It's a cool dynamic at first when you are a weakling and struggling to survive but by the end the small mimics are nothing but a nuisance.

There are much larger typhon that come with different elemental powers, all powers you can learn by scanning them. This leads to a dumb choice you can make where you can learn their abilities but "lose your humanity", dont even think about it of course you want alien super powers! The only punishment is that turrets now target you because you have alien blood and sometimes this massive monster hunts you down for three minutes at a time. Its like a bad version big daddy who is super easy to avoid, at least its a big threat and I like that.

The powers you gain are pretty cool, one lets you mimic any object. It can be used in stealth but its better used to shrink to a small object to be able to access locked rooms or locations. My favorite part of these games are trying to find ways around blocked paths in the environment, its that Deus Ex style world design and its very much present here. The space station is huge with lots of paths and locked rooms. There are loads of stuff to collect, not just ammo and health but junk used to craft ammo and even neuromods which grant you a skill point. At first I approached the game very carefully, planning my attacks but as I gained more and more powers I would run into battle unleashing death on everyone. My favorites were powers that turned enemies into allies. Many times I watched as my enemies killed each other and I would just run up and finish the stragglers.

The gunplay is ok, serviceable like in bioshock but never the core mechanic. The powers are the star but for some reason nothing ever felt as visceral as using electricity on a puddle in Bioshock, they are fun to use in prey but not as fun as bioshock.

What Prey does well is create a lived in location that absolutely feel real. Every location has a function and every single crew member on board has a name and job. The majority of these people are now corpses littered around the game world, all can be tracked by security stations, you can essentially locate every person living or dead on the station. Computer terminals tell the stories of these crew members, you will find emails detailing relationships, disputes, secret projects, all sorts of storyline not directly told to the player but there to discover in the background. These lead to many side quests that can be accomplished, there are some really good ones that lead to new weapons or even NPCs that can guide you later on the story.

This a big game that took me 30 hours to do everything. Progression was slow and methodical for me because that's how I play, I like to see everything. I was fully engrossed, loving to evolve my character to be more and more badass. After i explored every location the story had a few last steps before the ending and to me this is where it fell apart. Navigating the station is a pain in the ass, there is no fast travel and most locations require you to travel through many others just to reach it. Each location has to load for almost two minutes. This ends up with a finale where I was sent from one side of the station to another, back again, to another place, just endless errands and load screens. I was so powerful I didn't have to even engage the enemy, I was just putting on force fields and turning everyone on each other, I was sitting in load screens more than playing. Terrible final hours, no final boss, a new threat that was more annoying than anything and just so much traveling that it soured some of my experience.

I recoomend this game to all Bioshock or Deus Ex fans but just know I feel it is slightly a step below the quality of those games. Its easy to totally get lost and absorbed into the world of prey, its the part I loved most about it.
Posted by Dvader Sat, 30 Jun 2018 19:34:31
 
Sat, 30 Jun 2018 22:09:28
Nice review, pretty much spot on.
One thing I'll add about that end part and all the loading....that's one area where the PC version is far better. Digital Foundry have a video on it....if you have a good PC the loading times are literally about 70% less than the consoles.
I originally played this on PC.
I'm messing around now with the PS4 Pro version and yeah, the loading is much worse. Still a great game though, just requires more patience.
 
Mon, 09 Jul 2018 14:08:10
Loving my play through so far.  This would’ve been a perfect Bioshock sequel.  The load times are horrid though.  Unbearable at times and I’m only six hours into this game.
 
Mon, 09 Jul 2018 16:40:06
It will load faster on the PS5 if it's any consolation.
 
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 00:29:09
Alright, what is up with the mission to sneak onto the shuttle?  It’s confusing as hell.  I see the shuttle, just can’t figure out how to get to it.
 
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 14:19:35
Made my way out.  That was insane.
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