I usually only write reviews of games I have finished playing from start to finish but work being an absolute nightmare at the moment, I am currently not playing nearly enough in a week to finish games like Prey anytime soon. So until I actually finish the game here is my first impressions of the game’s first four to six hours, once I am done with the game you can expect a full review. Despite the name, the new game has absolutely nothing to do with the original game released back in 2006 by Human Head Studios. It also is not a reboot like Wolfenstein: The New Order or DOOM. And for those living under a rock, Prey is from Arkane Studios the same studio that brought us Dishonored. From the get-go, it was clear that Arkaine Studio’s inspiration comes from games like System Shock, Bioshock and Half-Life, as there is plenty of similarities between these games.
Prey is extremely narratively driven just like the games they took inspiration from, and it is extremely refreshing to see that approach being used in first person games again. So I am going to be purposefully vague regarding the story since it would be easy for me to spoil the entire story since it is so story-heavy. But without giving away to much you play a scientist named Morgan Yu who is doing research in the field of neuromods (They are comparable to the Gene Tonics in Bioshock.) which instantly give you new skills and knowledge by injecting it into your eye and straight into your brain. Through a series of reality-defying revelations you find out that scientists have been experimenting on captured aliens and like things go in these type of games, they go horribly south and the captured aliens manage to escape.
I was extremely surprised by how much happened in just the opening hour of the game, and if the game keeps up the stories pace throughout I can safely assume it is going to be one massive mind-bender of a story. The initial alien species you encounter looks like four-legged spider (Called Mimics) and as the name implies they have the nasty ability to camouflage themselves as everyday objects. Never in my life have I been so mistrusting of everyday objects in a game, see that coffee cup on the table? Maybe it’s just a Mimic waiting for you to get close enough before attacking you, and I lost count how many times I shit myself when a random piece of furniture turned into a Mimic and started attacking me. Prey manages to make every room you walk into an extremely unsettling experience, to say the least.
Exploration in Prey and skill choices seems to be an extremely important key component in the game. I can tell us much already from my progression in the game. In just a few hours I have played the game I have encountered multiple areas that are completely cut off and cannot be accessed without the right tools. Although I have only found the GLOO gun, pistol and shotgun, ammo for these are in extremely short supply which further adds to the tension the game creates as running and gunning is definitely not an option in Prey. Ever shot counts! A rather interesting key element of Prey is the ability to recycle any object (Junk) and 3D print something else from the broken down materials. From new weapons down to modifications, ammunition, health packs and neuromods. This encourages you to start picking up all kinds of junk you find in the game.
[Editorial Note:] I have thoroughly enjoyed the six to eight hours I have spent with Prey so far, the gameplay has been solid and the storytelling extremely satisfying. I cannot wait to go back is to find out exactly what went down, and what the ultimate consequences of the experiments happening will be, and the ultimate fate of Morgan Yu.