Content of the article: "Prey (2017) has some satisfying gameplay"
Really similar to Bioshock or System Shock 2 in formula and does a great job accomplishing what it sets out to do. If you love either I implore you to give this one a try!
Some thoughts I scribbled down: (careful if you wanna play blind tho….potential spoilers).
Exploration games should take a page from Prey. There is so much freedom from the get-go that it's actually daunting on your first play through. Course, you might not even know the option exists at first and that's totally okay because you're meant to figure it out eventually. Say you're heading to a different floor and there's an obstacle that obscures your path. You can use a neuromod (the collectible upgrades of this game) and obtain the leverage ability to move wreckage. OR, you could throw a recyclable charge to erase everything. You can mimic a small object and enter thru the gaps. You can find an alternative entrance and hack your way in. You can create some steps with the glu gun and climb VERTICALLY to drop in. Hell, you could even use the useless toy crossbow to shoot the unlock button on a terminal and enter in like James Bond. Exploring and salvaging all the items offers collectibles, audio logs, more neuromods, and a greater idea as to the picture the story hopes to accomplish- it constantly encourages some fun problem solving and I'm all for it- it's not as tedious as other games. In addition, the level design had some gourmet work (sometimes i would stop just to appreciate at the visuals and details of the space station pondering what happened before it all went down) and there's constantly secrets around every corner to unveil.
Atmosphere. This game messes with you constantly. For example, as soon as you play, you'll come to realize that mimics have the ability to disguise themselves as items you'd normally want to pick up. That's fantastically terrifying in itself. They took an major mechanic of the game and tied it to a dangerous minigame- is that medkit real or an alien coming to grab my booty? Backtracking to already explored areas, you wonder if that vase was always there… hmm… maybe there are too many chairs here… and you're constantly on edge. Apart from the tense psychological warfare, there's the overarching mystery of wtf is going on. Simply visiting places, listening to those recordings, reading emails, and making some choices in the game, you peel back the layers… slowly. I remember observing the environment and noticing scuff marks on the floor outside your own apartment and finally piecing things together by the end- and there are many cool details like that thruout. From beginning until the very end, you really never are too sure.
Combat is unique in this game and I actually like how it plays out. While it can be a shooter, I wouldn't classify it as such. If you wanna bash your head against some of the bosses with a gun like Halo, you do you, but the fighting on the nightmare difficulty kicked my ass playing it this way. The game was meant to be played kind of like a puzzle with some resource management in mind (bullets especially, which you need to manage). For example, fighting a technopath and realizing that the useless stun gun can actually root that guy in place. Or that certain bosses are better to kill up close versus faraway. Or that the glu gun is the mvp of the game. It's only possible by experimenting with these other resources/abilities that don't use exclusively use one playstyle… and boy are there lots of toys to play with. This makes it so that enemy patterns are essential to learn and that some abilities are better than others to use in different scenarios, which i found rewarded constant new strategies. This also includes neuromods and typhoon abilities similar to the plasmids of Bioshock. It's up to you how you play, and even using the alien abilities have implications to the story.
The flaws: Of course, no game is flawless, and there are a few nitpicky things. The game probably glitched out 3 times total where I couldn't walk into certain doors (one of which even having the safe code). Inventory sucks because you're going to cap it out FAST. Recordings can talk over each other on super rare occasions which is frustrating. Backtracking can really suck sometimes with mini bosses/required unlockables/abilities mounted in certain areas, limiting your exploration until you have better gear or abilities, etc. It's rare but it's there… so it can be tedious if you want to 100% everything. (The f, this isn't a metroidvania lol) Otherwise, areas that are part of the main story always have multiple ways in so you don't get stuck as mentioned before. But overall, these are quite minuscule implications in the big picture, and they're minor annoyances compared to the joy I've had playing the game.
Overall, I love this reimagining of those kinds of games and can't wait for more to potentially come out in these newer game generations.
- Prey is a game all about choices
- Is there a way to have job-based JRPGs (FFV, Bravely Default) without grinding?
- I feel Diablo IV will be underwhelming without the addition of Raids.
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