Prey has been a name in the gaming industry for several years with its sequel being heard now and then. After many changes in publisher and studios, we finally receive a remake of Prey from the creators of Dishonored, Arkane Studio.
Prey is a first-person survival game. Being true to its predecessor, the game is set in an alternate world where President Kennedy manage to survive his own assassination attempt. As President, he manages to channel more funding into space research program. You play as Morgan Yu which in this game, you will be allowed to either be male or female. You wake up in a space station Talos I, which is a space station orbiting the moon. As you progress through, many things are not what it seems to be and slowly the plot will reveal itself.
Soon after the station is attack by lifeforms known as Typhon. These creatures have various abilities from the simple Mimic, which can turn itself into any object in the room to a Telepath who can control survivors to go against you. These lifeforms are very aerie to look at and Mimics tends to jump scare you often to the point where you will want to destroy everything in the room to make sure there is none around. As you explore the station, Typhons will be respawning and may be hiding in every corner. This gives the feeling that nowhere is safe in Talos I.
You are not that defenseless though. As you progress, you will gain new weapons to help you across the journey. There are generic weapons like pistol and shotgun but one weapon is unique and that is the GLOO Gun. The GLOO Gun creates a solid blob that can freeze enemies to absorbing fire. The blob from the GLOO Gun can also make steps along the wall for you to traverse balconies or ledges. You also have abilities granted to you by Neuromods which are like plug in enhancers. Starting abilities are mostly passive like allowing you to have more health, more stamina and hacking. As you progress, more active abilities unlock in terms of telekinesis, kinetic shielding and many more.
These variety of weapons and abilities play quite a crucial role as each type of enemy has it weaknesses. Weapons can be upgraded but it is not necessary at most times. Learning which ability tree may grand players’ different gameplay experience as they go. Having different abilities are also what makes this game shine. There are always multiple ways to approach a situation in this game and all that is very dependent on what abilities the player has. I spend a lot of time figuring out how to enter certain areas and it is one of the best design in the game.
The game has an interesting crafting system where it allows you to create items once you have unlocked the blue prints. The materials needed are easily gathered by collecting junk around Talos I and placing it to a recyclable machines. As you progress, the need to scavenge around room becomes a norm. Crafting is simple. The list of craft able items is pretty abundant from weapons to ammos to health injectables.
Though the main mission can be completed below 15 hours, there are optional mission which will help the player make it to the end easier. Rewards given by optional missions are most of the time useful and will help with surviving the horrors that arrives in the end. Make no mistake, even a veteran player will find this game hard. Prepare to die repeatedly in the beginning when you are under equip to handle certain situation. Luckily the save system is excellent with quicksaves and manual saves which will help with the trial and error when facing a situation.
Controls in this game feels good with a very neatly design quickbar menu when you hold the triangle button. There was an issue with the input lag for aiming which made shooting fast moving Mimics a pain and made hacking a challenge. Luckily, this was patched quickly by the developers. The game‘s visuals are decent at best, nonetheless, this is not one of the best-looking game out there.
As good as this game sound, there is a lot of problems which is dragged it down. The game is a little, how should I put it… boring as it passes the mid-point. Going between places to complete objectives feels like a chore and the 2 to 3 minutes loading time on the Playstation 4 makes it worst. Enemies will feel very generic after a while and they will respawn to make your live miserable. Quest and logs are cumbersome to view as you will spend some time scrolling down just to solve certain puzzles. As good as you are giving choices in this game, there seems to be very little impact to the story overall.
Prey feels like a new game in an old environment. On the outside, it works perfectly fine as a game but on the inside, it is just another game which take good elements from other existing games and combine them all together. Without any new mechanics or gameplay, Prey fails to stand out as a game which is already saturated with many first-person RPG.