#688 Prey

Posted: 24th March 2017 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , , ,

589th played so far


Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: PC/Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2006
Developer: Human Head Studios
Publisher: 2K Games

Ignore the category above – this is an FPS that just wasn’t categorised by the book as one, while we didn’t pick up on it earlier. Now the stats drive us forward, and we always need more shoot ’em ups.

Prey takes a shooter and sets it in space. Not gritty sci fi as we saw back in Doom, or even Dead Space, but anti-gravity and magical seeming portals type of space. The story starts with an alien abduction. We’re going for the fantastical here.

Our Thoughts

So Prey is a science fiction FPS with super powers. In genre similar to Psi-Ops, but in quite a different setting. Aside from the start, all action so far has taken place in a giant spaceship that assimilates different alien cultures… there’s a lot to it. You escape capture and travel through the ship trying to free your sweetheart.

It’s a straight forward love story and one that is, to be honest, the most boring part of the game. The protagonist doesn’t want to do anything, hates everything, just has the love interest to go after, and is, to be honest, acting quite stupidly as he is doing so.

The gameplay works far better for me, and is what kept me going. Although it starts off as a standard shooters, you soon find that the game introduces portals that allow you to travel from one part of the ship to another. You can’t control them yourself, but while they’re partially used to separate levels, they are also used as part of puzzles and to let you snipe enemies in places. Similarly, you can walk on walls, through variable gravity, which mostly makes for a weird experience, but also means the game makes far more use of its space. There are some other weird going ons related to it (like you ending up in what seemed like a snow globe at one ponit), but it mostly makes exploration far more exciting.

Then the most interesting thing happens. Our main character is Native American and at one point he gets a vision. That leads to him getting the ability to leave his body and spirit walk, bypassing forcefields but limiting interaction with it. You also have your spirit animal follow you, mostly used to point out points of interest. It makes for a nice mix of powers that create more interesting puzzles in the world, as well as some tactical implications.

Final Thoughts

I’m not sure Prey wowed me with its story – it certainly didn’t with its protagonist – but it created an interesting world to explore using far more interesting powers than other shooters do. It also feels more interesting to go through than Psi-Ops‘s world, although that’s a trickier comparison to make. They may seem similar but the environment they take place in make sure they’re not.