Tuesday, October 17, 2017


As I sit down to play Prey for a third time, it occurs to me that I should review the game.  I give it an "A".  I'll keep this is relatively spoiler free.

Prey is so many things.  For starters it's sci-fi, but it borders on survival horror for the first 25% of the game.  I say 25% because that's when someone should have a handle on what sort of danger to expect, and have a plan to handle most of it.  That's when the story gets good.  It centers on an alien threat.  The aliens are interesting, and well designed on many levels.  But that's not what drives the story.

The game introduces devices called Neuromods that it uses as a story vehicle in several ways.  These devices let you install new skills and abilities in your brain.  It's a very interesting way of leveling up your character through a skill tree.  It makes sense that you would make med kits go further with more medical knowledge.

But they also remove any memories you have formed since having installed them, if you remove them.  This allows the game makers to put you in the head of your character.  You are learning what's happening at the same time as your character because of this memory loss.

Neuromods also act as something to lose.  Most of these types of games try to include tough moral decisions.  This game actually succeeds.  The potential for all of humanity to instantly share the knowledge and abilities of the best and the brightest is something worth fighting for, and dying for.  It would dramatically improve the lives of so many.

The game had some flaws.  It also had it's share of glitches.  The bugs will be worked out in a patch, I'm sure.  The few design flaws are forgivable.  There are two things that would have bumped it up to an "A+" for me.

The first is the survivors.  You have a chance to save some people, but once you do, they pretty much disappear.  You can't track them on the map, which you should based on the in game mechanics.  I would like to have them make their way to safety off screen.  They could let you overhear them talking to other survivors.  The people organizing them could say, "Good work.  Looks like so-in-so made it to us, thanks to you."

The other is the very end, after credits scene.  I won't spoil it for you, but it builds on an interesting concept that was teased at earlier very briefly.  I think they should have introduced that idea in the game, and made it part of the story.  That, of not at all.

I can't stress enough that this is a great game, and highly recommend it.

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