Because Prey is built on a modified version of the Doom III engine, we knew we were in for a visual treat. This is more apparent then we could have imagined though. This game takes the engine to the next level, and throws mass amounts of eye candy at us. The portals are one of the key ‘cool factors’ of the game, and look amazing. The force fields, wall walks, blood stained walls, lighting, weapon effects… oh I could go on forever. The game is gorgeous. A lot of the games textures are repeated throughout the game, but it all comes together well.
You will come upon many doors and various pipes that are actually living matter, and they look gross. They are so well represented though, you swear you can almost smell them. It’s not pretty, but you -are- on an Alien ship… and these are some of the most grotesque Aliens imaginable. Really though, the screenshots laced throughout this review will show off what the game has to offer. Prey seems much more optimized than Doom III or Quake IV were, so you will be able to enjoy the game in great quality as long as you have a decent rig.
In terms of sound, it is also amazing. If you have a 5.1 setup, you will notice it quite well here. If you wish to hear what a person is saying, you will want to have your ear facing them in order to hear. Now, as you can tell, this game is not for the faint of heart. There are sounds throughout game that can really scare the crap out of you. Trust me, when you hear kids screaming followed by hearing something being smashed into a pulpy mess… it can leave you with an uneasy feeling.
Some of the dialogue is really what helps make the game though. Tommy will often curse and swear, and speak what’s on his mind. Half the time it sounds cheesy, but it’s not too bad. Beyond that though, there are a few funny elements that you will stumble upon. One example is the Art Bell radio show. As you progress, you will pass by screens that are actually playing the Art Bell show. In each, Art will be interviewing people to ask them what they see out their window or what they have heard. This adds a lot to the story, and some of the dialogue will make you laugh out loud.
The weapons in Prey are unlike any you have seen in any other FPS game. While most will mimic similar weapons in other games, they look nothing similar. Your most ‘normal’ weapon is your pistol, which doubles as a sniper rifle. Others include bomb spiders, an energy gun, rocket launcher and a shotgun that is incredibly powerful. The energy gun is one of the most interesting though. Occasionally you will find a pod that houses a certain element, which you can suck into the gun. There are a total of four elements that I recall, and all of them have devastating power.
There are three primary characters in the game: Tommy, Jen and Enisi. Enisi is your grandfather who constantly urges you to believe in your Cherokee heritage. In addition to these characters though, there are numerous monsters that you will encounter. Some are more difficult than others, but they are ALL very well detailed and amazingly scary.
One of the most common questions revolving around Prey: “Was it worth the wait?”
While it’s hard to justify waiting over ten years for a game, Prey delivers what people wanted, and much more. The game is undeniably fantastic, and is geared up to battle other upcoming FPS games for the best of the year. The game is well put together… everything is great. The sound, the graphics and more importantly.. the gameplay. Human Head has had a long time to perfectly plan out the game, and it shows. The storyline -could- be a bit better, because it still follows the simple ‘guy out to save the world’ scheme, although they did make it more interesting than some other games out there.
Prey offers a lot of innovation, most notably the portal system and spirit walk. It wouldn’t be surprising to see other game developers borrowing the ideas and improving or altering them. They are both fantastic additions to the game that did indeed help add to the gameplay. There was a lot of repetition with the spirit walk though. There is only so many times I want to walk through a force field to deactivate it. I get the point already.
Worth the money? Damn straight. Your collection this year would not be complete without Prey. So pick it up, or prepare to become prey yourself. I am awarding Prey a well deserved 92%.
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