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A love letter to old school PC shooters: Prey first impressions

So far 2017 has been a great year for gaming. Gamers got the chance to play excellent games such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, Persona 5, Nier: Automate and The Legend Of Zelda: Breathe of the Wild. Right from the start of the year the gaming industry has been going full speed and it doesn’t seem like it is going to slow down anytime soon.
In 2006 Human Head studios developed a game called Prey. It was published by 2K games and to this day is praised by gamers and critics alike. The game was unique in story and gameplay alike which helped it stay memorable to this day. Years later in 2011, Prey 2 was announced as it followed a human bounty hunter stuck on an alien planet and would include gameplay that was based around bounty hunting. With an impressive trailer fans were excited to say the least. Sadly, the game went through delays and a variety of other problems, which led to its cancelation.
Now in 2017, developer Arkane studios made a reimagining/ reboot of the series, which was published by Bethesda Softworks. The game was released on May 5th and no review copies were sent out, thus I have not had the chance to play much of the game. So far, I have played two and a half hours and I am extremely impressed with the game. Prey is a psychological thriller/horror/sci-fi shooter that follows the story of Morgan Yu. The main character Morgan is brought onto a research team for a secret project by his brother Alex Yu. As you can guess something wrong and somehow you end up on the Talos 1 space station. Of course, it is to be expected that you are not alone on the station. This game takes the element of paranoia and turns it to eleven. The alien species that haunts the station are the Typhon and there are many types. So far, I have encountered two types, the mimics and the phantoms. Just as I said this game will make anyone paranoid as you can be attacked at any moment. Mimics are small head crab like creatures, that can transform into any time around you.

There are a plethora of items in each area and mimics can take shape of things such as cups, chairs and anything you can interact with. Mimics will make you hit everything with your wrench just to be sure it isn’t hostile. Phantoms are a little stronger and even scarier than mimics. The player can see a phantom walking, so it is slightly easier to pick them off, but health wise they are tougher. These creatures can and will kill you if you are not careful with how you attack them. Aside from being tough, they also have the ability to disappear and are excellent at hiding from you.

 

 

Planning your attack is very important in this game, as it is a matter of life or death. The game in the beginning gives you four different weapons, the shotgun, the glue gun, the wrench and a silenced pistol. As I got used to the style of the game, I quickly learnt that the glue gun is the most important weapon. It can slow down enemies or even temporarily incapacitate them so you can inflict damage. Environment puzzles will sometimes need the use of the glue gun in order to be solved. As for the other two guns, ammo is scarce so you have to be careful with how you use them. Finally, the wrench is the classic melee weapon that is good for killing mimics and smashing items that might be disguised mimics.

 

 

The version I am playing is the regular Playstation 4 and I am glad to say the game runs pretty well. I haven’t noticed any frame drops and the overall the graphics are not the most impressive but they work well with the art style. In the small amount of time I have played. I quickly noticed that this game feels like a 90s PC shooter. Prey reminds me of games like System Shock, the original Deus Ex, Thief and a bit of Bioshock. There is little to none hand holding, as you are given objectives with a marker to the area of it and nothing else. If you want to complete a mission, you must explore areas, find codes and keycards in order to get into rooms. The lack of help adds to the feeling of being alone on the space station. It makes things more intense and mysterious. Overall, I’ve had a lot of fun with this game and it feels like a love letter to old school PC shooters.

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