You play as Tommy, a cherokee with no respect for his heritage and no desire to live in the lands of his ancestors. Tommy's girlfriend, Jen owns a small, run-down bar in the reserve and refuses to leave her job and her past behind to move onto bigger things with Tommy. It would appear Tommy's only living relative is his grandfather, and elderly cherokee with mystical powers and a message of warning that Tommy makes no effort to listen to.
Tommy, his grandfather and his girlfriend, along with just about everybody else on the planet is quickly and efficiently kidnapped by an alien race not ten minutes into the game. The alien's seem to want to harvest human's for the protein we carry in our organic matter. Tommy's grandfather is brutally killed, and his girlfriend is separated from him. Tommy breaks free more from pure luck than anything else, and spend's the rest of the game stalking through a massive space-ship, avenging the death of his grandfather and desperately trying to track down his girlfriend.
We find all of this out in about the first 200 seconds of gameplay.
None of the rather detailed backstory is given enough emphasis and save for the fact you cannot really die, you can spirit-walk and you have an accent, you would pretty much forget your character is of cherokee descent.
If it wasn't for a few interesting gameplay twists we would be dealing with your bog-standard FPS game that really doesn't play much differently to Quake 4.
The weapons, in my eyes at least are just your usual machine gun, shotgun, more powerful machine gun etc. standard crap. I will admit they're cleverly disguised under strange alien designs.
However Prey is unique amongst FPS shooter's in that upon death, the action does not stop until you reload at the last save point, however you are transported to the land of the ancients, Tommy's ancestors and the resting place of Tommy's grandfather. Quick shooting of a mystical bow and arrow at strange wraith-like flying creatures will see you instantly transported back to your corpse, with full health and a nasty attitude.
It keeps the action fast and frantic and it's a great gameplay mechanism to avoid boredom. However plenty of people have taken the opportunity to complain about dying being an integral part of 90% of games, after all where is the fear of an enemy's bullets if ultimately you know you cannot be defeated? Regardless, it works well in Prey and fits in nicely with the poorly-implemented cherokee theme. Tommy can also "spirit-walk" even when not dead, which is an out-of-body experience of sorts, very useful for crossing areas your physical body could not, and it helps that when spirit walking you have your trusty mystical bow to send ghostly arrows into enemies. They however, cannot harm what physically does not exist.
Not that the bad guys don't have their own high-tech tricks. Portal technology is something these guys obviously mastered a long time ago. They will warp in and out of rooms at will, and making use of one of their portals will be a regular occurence for Tommy.
The game likes to flip gravity a lot too, enemies will be walking on walls, on the roof above you. Gravity can be wrapped around spherical objects, meaning small planetoids can be walked on and explored like mini-moons.
More interesting gameplay twists, nothing too spectacular.
Throughout the game you will have a spiritual companion in the form of Talon, an old pet that died many years ago, who you meet again after first travelling to the land of the ancients. He will travel with you through the belly of the massive alien ship, translating alien language into readable english for you in the process. Indeed later in the game he becomes extremely useful at attacking enemies and drawing their attention away from you. Handy little guy.
Can i just say one thing, though. At the beginning of the game, the most interesting area of the DEMO that a lot of 360 owners played before making this purchase, it was easy to see a heavy emphasis on interactivity had been placed, and you could screw around with the whole bathroom, from lifting up toilet seats and flushing toilets to flooding sinks and using hand dryers and light switches. In Jen's bar the TV channels can be changed, you can change songs on the jukebox and alter the volume. The bar stools can be played around with, and there are some cheesy arcade machines like poker and blackjack and stuff like that to enjoy a few mini-games. To me this was sort of deceiving. A lot of people might have expected the entire game to continue with that sort of interactivity. The entire environment in Jen's bar was interactive and it was cool to see how you could affect it. Once you're on the ship though, it's straight back to running down corridors with basically nothing interactive to play around with. And it stays that way.
Running on a heavily modified version of the Doom 3 engine, it's a stunning looking game. Animations are a treat and the textures are drool-worthy IMO. The bad guys are some freaky look dudes. I don't know much about video cards, their performance and why the Xbox 360 "sUxoRZZ!1" compared to high-end PCs. I do know that Prey looks very sexy on 360, and the fully Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is equally delicious. You won't be disappointed with the presentation.
The VerdictA nice twist on a molested genre. FPS's have been almost done to death, we have raped the genre lets face it. It's great to see that chances are being taken like with Prey here. We desperately need more gameplay innovation these days. If you have a 360 and you like shooters of the third or first-person kind, then pick this up if you see it cheap. It's sexy, it's fun and it isn't like everything else.
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I agree, changes need to be made...too bad the game was boring as hell.
Thats strange. The game looks awesome from some of the gameplay vids I saw. I will see when I play the game.Resistance 2, KillZone 2, WarDevil, MGS4, God Of War 3, Final Fantasu XIII, White Knight Chronicles, Gran Turismo 5, and a alot more, how can 2008 not be the PS3's year.
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Genre: First Person Shooter
Developers: Human Head Studios (ported to Xbox 360 by Venom Games)
Publisher: 3D Realms
Version Reviewed: Xbox 360
Its difficult to rate the gameplay of a game like Prey, because on the one hand it's just a standard FPS which can't even compare to the likes of Halo, Half-Life 2 or even Doom 3. But, on the other hand Prey has many features that very few FPSs have ever offered before, and some that are completely new and unique.
Level Design is very beautiful, the environments stretch from small claustraphobic corridors to massive open areas that are simply too big to explore on foot (yes there is a vehicle in the game). The levels are gritty, dirty and extremely detailed, there are writtings on walls, signs of struggle and random human and alien objects scattered everywhere. Also the levels are never boring because sometimes, in oreder to get through a level, you would have to travel through portals, walk on walls and cielings, walk through barriers in spirit mode (the ability, you gain, that allows you to leave your body and walk around as a spirit). The levels are also filled with detours and secret locations with hidden ammo and health conntainers. All in all, the level design feelsa very fresh and experimental, which is a great way to separate this game from all the other FPSs on the market.
Action in the game is quite bland. Enemies' AI is not vey strong and niether is their health or their weapons. There are some interesting battles, but they are too few and far in between to call this game action packed. Same goes for weapons, there are some very nice guns that are a pleasure to use, these include the acid gun and the link gun. However there are also some weapons that are a pain to use because they are weak, hard to use or simply repeditif. In fact, I am not sure the game should even be called an FPS as most of your time is spent exploring the levels and solving puzzles, not shooting things. It feels as a sort of a Myst game with guns...
Immersion into the Xbox 360 version of the game is inerupted by the stupid tips that appear during loading times, but you will soon get used to these and become absorbed by what is perhaps the most immersive FPS game ever made. The main character, Tommy, reacts and comments on everything that is going on around you,this acta as a reminder to remind you that you are playings a him and not just some floating gun. The game is also filled with other characers and pre-scripted events so that you are always aware of where you are and what you are supposed to be doing.
When I started the game my first thought was: "God, Doom 3 engine sure aged badly in some 2 years." You begin the game in a bar and D3 engine is vey bad at handeling these kind of environments. However, you soon leave tha bar behind and begin exploring the biomechanical environments of the Sphere, and that is where D3 shows its true power. The alien environments look great, the dark and gritty levels of the Sphere are rendered and animated beautifully. Howevere the same cannot be said about your enemies, although they don't look bad, they simply don't look good enough to belong in these beautiful environments. The textures quality is quite poor, the models aren't great either. Thankfully, after you enemies are killed their corpses will soon dissappear leaving you little time to explore their graphical drawbacks.
The world is full of stories, and from time to time they allow themselves to be told...
If there is anything that separates Prey from all the other FPSs out there it's the story, the game is the most story-driven FPS that I have ever played. From the very beginning of Prey I became completely immersed in it, thanks to how well the story is told. As I have already mentioned the main characters comments and reactions to his surroundings manage to keep the player immersed in the game for its entire duration. The story is also full of unexpected twists and turns that allow you to learn more about the aliens, their world and why they came to earth. Personally, I think that it is thanks to the story that the game never becomes as repetitive and boring as oh-so-many other FPS titles.
What can I say, I like the maps, they are very innovative, but there are simply too few of them. The weapons are fine...nothing special except for maybe 1 or 2 guns...and spirit-walking is also fun.
Now for the really bad part.
Online, simply put, sucks. If you join a game it will lag so badly that you will NEVER be able to win a game. If you create your own game YOU WILL WIN, easily, because everyone else's game will lag something terrible and all you'll have to do is pick them off one by one, there is simply no challenge. There is also no co-op, but I thin kit wouldn't have worked in Prey anyway. However there is also no split-screen multiplayer of any kind, there is only LAN and Xbox Live.
The only way to play multiplayer in Prey is a LAN party, so if you have enough friends with 360s who will be willing to drag them to your house, then, I'd say, you can have a lot of fun.
Everything is perfect here. The sound effect are pretty detailed, from walking on something organic to shooting enemies, everything sounds great.
The music, I thought, was really good, one of the first songs you hear in the game is "Don't fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult, and I thought the song worked amazingly with the game. Also, music helps set the atmosphere of the game and in the case of Prey that is done beautifully, the creepy tunes in the background will send shivers down your spine as you are exploring the dark corners of the Sphere.
Lastly there are voiceovers, these are very well done. I don't remember the names of the voice-actors, but man, these guys should do more games. All too often voice acting in games is overlooked, think of Final Fantasy X, however that is not the case with Prey.
About 6-7 hours to finish the game on Normal and 9-10 hours to finish it on Cherokee (Hard) mode. Multiplayer is...not good. I am not sure if the game will ever be worth re-playing but less than 20 hours of fun for 75 Euro is not a very good deal. Although Human Head are promising to release a fix for multiplayer, so then, the game might become fun for a bit longer. But, to be honest, I would be surprised if anyone still finds Prey fun a week after buying it.
Overall (not an average)_____8/10
Prey is a great experience, although quite short lasting, it is surely well worth playing through once, at least. It is not an average FPS, as it focuses on things that other FPS titles usually overlook, such as immersion and storyline. The game also offers a lot of innovations in the form of weapons, portals and messed-up gravity, so there will be plenty of thing to keep you entertained.
Personally, I think that Prey is probably the best next-gen game you can rent, but I would not recommend buying it, at least not untill there are a couple of new multiplayer levels and the lagging is completely repaired.
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I just got this, seems like ALOT of story to sit thru at the beginning... I have only played it for about an hour so far, I have already become kinda bored with it.I own an XBOX 360 Elite, and a PS3 60GB...
I hate them both equally for different reasons.
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