Prey


#1

So I got Prey recently and just starting playing. I never thought a game would ever make me paranoid and afraid of EVERY OBJECT IN THE ROOM.


#2

I know. It is very freaky. It is also quite brilliant given the interactivity that you can have with all of the objects in the game.


#3

That’s nothing compared to how I drive in real life after Grand Theft Auto. :wink:


#4

I felt like this, for the first two hours. But the enemies get stale quickly and combat is so clunky and awkward. Your character walks slowly, especially when attacking, your wrench has a low range, and on top of that the mimics are agile and swerving. The game is still very good, but the lack of engaging combat makes the whole game feel a bit more underwhelming.


#5

I’m of the persuasion they should have added a melee function to the gloo gun. Looked like too much weapon switching to smack around mimics in gameplay vids.


#6

I’m so tired of Bethesda and other publishers/devs, buying game names and making an ENTIRELY different game using that name, like they have Done with, Prey, Syndicate and Fallout. They may be good games but, are nothing like the original and could have used a different name, FO included as FO1 is actually lore from Wasteland. This new Prey doesn’t even Star Tommy or have anything to to do with native americans. It’s not they aren’t good games but, ruins the chance of sequels for the originals and those fan bases.

The original Prey was so popular there algorithm for the serial numbers flat ran out of serial numbers and steam is now no longer able to sell copies of prey as the underlying DRM ran out of random numbers. That fan base might have appreciated a sequel tothe original story line.

/rant


#7

Eh. I really enjoyed Prey 2007, but this game is in an entirely different – and better – class. This is basically what I wanted Bioshock to be.


#8

I’ve heard the opposite actually. That Bioshock was better. In your opinion, what was better and what was worse?

Also, I’ve heard mixed things about the story: is it good or is it bad?


#9

So far the story is very good. Definitely Arkane’s best plot writing. I hear the ending sucks, which kinda fits with an SS2 successor.

This game has a much deeper RPG character tree than Bioshock did. Bioshock was a glorified FPS with some basic powers, many of which were interchangeable. Prey lets you interact with and explore the environment much more than Bioshock did. It has viable stealth. It’s overall a much richer and less action oriented experience.


#10

I’ll have to say that while I haven’t finished the game yet, I’m fully expecting this game to have multiple endings as it shows so many possible outcomes already. Ability to save survivors, possibly non-functional escape pods, and other possibilities I won’t say as to not spoil too much.
I already feel like i’ve already done significant enough things to alter a possible ending. But i’m going to have to play more and see that way.

The biggest problem I’ve had with stealth so far is not inherant to the mechanics, but is actually related so save-loading. If you save-load with an enemy in line of sight, but is unaware of you, he is much more likely to notice you after loading the game. I’ve had this happen one or two times so far.

Also I’ll talk a bit more about combat, as I have been a bit negative towards this. And I still am, but it’s not as bad as I initially thought.
Let’s get the bad stuff out first: It becomes very apparent, despite different enemy mechanics, that combat in general is very shallow once you turn up the difficulty to Nightmare. It’s too difficult to avoid enemy fire without being completely aware of him, your surroundings, and how much time you have to prepare. You will take a hit from most typhons you meet. And on Nightmare, unless you’re on full health, you’ll get two-hit. It’s a huge pain in the ass. If you meet two or more phantoms at the same time on Nightmare difficulty, you’re in deep sh*t.

Now here’s the good stuff: This added difficulty, I actually like it somewhat. Despite many deaths feeling a bit unfair, It’s enough to make you actually scared of meeting enemies. Despite having seen them enough times already, the fact that they pose a legitimate threat at all times keeps you alert and afraid. I don’t think this feeling would be conveyed nearly as well on lower difficulties.
The game has also learnt how to be more creative with enemy placement. The beginning of the game was placed so full of Mimics it wasn’t even funny. Or scary for that part either. It became a chore instead. Now, after progressing far enough through the game to meet a varied amount of enemies, the game has allowed itself to be more creative. Mimics actually scare me again, because the game threw a bunch of different enemies at me for a while, which made me forget Mimics actually existed for a while. Also, the first time I saw a medkit drop from a closet from itself, I totally tried to pick it up. To got hit in the face afterwards. Yeah, that got me good. And it’s only happened a handful of times so far, so every time it happens, I’m at least slightly caught off guard.

And my last point, melee. I’ve gotten used on how to use a wrench properly, but Mimics are still a pain to hit. Combat with Mimics just doesn’t work. One may say the difficulty of hitting one makes it more scary, well no it doesn’t. Mimics try way too hard to strike you unprepared, but you won’t be after you’ve spotted them. So instead, they just keep moving unpredictably and jump around, not attacking, until you sprint towards them and are less than 5 meters away from him. I don’t want to play Cat and Mouse, chasing enemies until they’ve hit a dead end, I want to progress.


#11

The game starts pretty good then falls apart spectacularly about half way through and all the butchering/commercialised design becomes even more apparent.

Is it better than Bioshock? Since I value faeces under my shoe more than I do Bishock, yes. Better by far. The damage from faeces under the shoe is minor and temporary. A minor temporary inconvenience. The damage Bioshock did to gameplay design conventions in general and the perception/misunderstood nature of the Immersive Sim is more permanent.


#12

Can I ask you two questions?
What do you consider a good game?


#13

Would you rate Bioshock the same if you rated it independantly of it’s influence on modern game design? I feel like your opinion is a bit skewed here if we are to look purely at the game and not it’s effects. And how do you think Prey’s design is similar to this “modern” version we’re seeing today? Map design, combat, aesthetics, etc.?


#14

Tbh, both Prey and Bioshock fall flat when compared to SS2. Prey lacks the characterization, and Bioshock lacks the villain. Plus, I felt a little jaded on the simplification of design which led to fewer overall approaches to each playthrough. Why rehash the past unless you can do it better than the originals? I’ve about had it with retro-flashback games that live on their nostalgia value alone. Bring something new to the table, or leave my main course alone.


#15

I can’t deny that, but I don’t think you can deny that SS2 has set the bar very, very high and that Prey is still a one of the best immersive sims that have been released in the past few years, considering what else has been released. That it doesn’t match SS2 doesn’t mean it’s any worse of a game on it’s own.


#16

Arkane is never bad, but they have yet to improve on their narrative delivery or vanilla plots. I think with more characterization, their games would feel more like a complete package to me. I loved Arkane’s early work, but they are still crippled by the same problems that have affected them since Dark Messiah - the gameplay is fine, the narrative is uninspired.


#17

I’ve been really enjoying the writing in Prey – definitely more than any other Arkane game, although I thought the Dishonored games had solid-but-not-exceptional writing.

It isn’t up to par with System Shock 2 (Ken Levine is a stellar writer) but Prey is better than SS2 in some other ways, so it’s a wash overall. Prey is a lot harder, for one thing (almost shockingly so on Nightmare).

Also, the gameplay options are even more varied and feel very natural (stealth was really undercooked in SS2). The environments are ridiculously rich and full of details to explore. I really like the skill trees too, and the both specialized and jack-of-all-trades builds are very viable. I haven’t found any builds that are broken-easy like some of the ones in System Shock 2, but I might discover them the more times I play it.

I could nitpick some things about it, but my overall feelings are very positive. It’s hands-down the best post-Ion Storm/LGS immersive sim in my book.


#18

Have to say I agree with this.

For me Prey has been a real surprise, I have enjoyed all of Arkane’s games thus far - but for what ever reason they always left me with enough problems that just pulled the experience down from where I feel a post IS/LGS immersive sim could be. Perhaps it was because I went in with lower expectations, but Prey is the first Arkane game that has exceeded my initial expectations, and the only game I can think of since probably Deus Ex which has sent those real imm-sim shivers down my spine.

Is it as good as those LGS classics… I’m not sure, it’s got to go up against 20 odd years of nostalgia and replay which those games have in their favour, but I’d say it’s as close as anything I’ve played in the intervening period of time.


#19

I just finished Prey. I probably need to let my impressions cook a little longer, but what the heck. :smiley:

The comparison to System Shock 2 is probably the most accurate. Except for the lack of a central villain – not necessarily a bad thing – Prey is comparable to SS2 in both its mechanics (meaning RPG elements and the feel of moving and fighting) and its world-building (meaning the level design, lore, and story/dialogue).

And what I mean by that in particular is that I thought the gameplay of Prey wasn’t as good as the world-building, just as I thought the story of SS2 was OK but was outshone by the love that went into constructing the ships/lore/story of SS2. Prey’s gameplay was not bad! Based on what I’ve read, I’m not the only person who found mimics too hard early on, but with some perseverance that challenge evens out as you obtain enough weapon mods. (As for later on, popping on the psychoscope solved most “is there a mimic in here?” problems.)

I also need to add that I yelled at Arkane Austin more than a few times when doing Prey’s horrific “hacking” minigame. The “pipes” minigame in BioShock was far better than Prey’s, which was nothing but an exercise in fast-twitch muscle control with zero connection to either the world or the gameplay of Prey.

So when I say the gameplay of Prey was good, but the world-building was better, I mean that it is the world-building that kept pulling me back to play this game. Even when I was really frustrated with some aspect of the gameplay, there were always just enough unanswered questions, and missions that were almost done, and unexplored areas, to make me want to keep playing long past when I should have gone to bed.

The world-building team for Prey obviously enjoyed what they were doing, and demonstrated an almost-Looking Glass level of attention to plausibility and coherence in the placement of people and items, and in the structure of the world.

Also, as rabid as I’ve been that NightDive’s System Shock “reboot” is changing too much of the original, I have to say that I’m going to be disappointed that it won’t include flying around outside the station in microgravity. :smiley: That aspect of Prey made So Much Sense. One could, if one were that sort of person, nitpick that there were “too many” airlocks in Prey, or that they were located in odd places, but nitpicks is exactly what those are. The ability to jet around the exterior of Talos 1 was a fantastic touch in both gameplay and world-immersion. I think I’m going to have to demand that all my science-fiction/horror computer games have this feature from now on.

So overall, I think Dishonored 2 was a better game than Prey 2017; the former’s gameplay mechanics and world meshed more effectively. (Human NPC opponents helped, too.) But Dishonored 2 was a superb game. To say that Prey was nearly as good means I thought Prey was outstanding. To compare it to BioShock, I felt Prey was marginally less gripping in its storytelling than BioShock, but on a par with BioShock in the levels and lore of its world, and definitely better than BioShock mechanically.

It’s impossible not to think of this Prey as a loving and frequently faithful homage to System Shock. It succeeds in that thanks to its fantastic world-building.

And as a game assessed strictly on its own merits, this Prey is a very good immersive sim game. Anyone who enjoys immersive sims would be missing out by not playing it.


#20

One criticism I’ve heard held against Prey I agree with: the creatures are very much a one-note in terms of texturing. They all have a tarry black appearance. Not much diversity in terms of texturing.