Speedrunner sprints through Prey in 7 minutes

According to Steam, it took me 22 hours to finish Prey [official site]. I wasn’t rushing, but I wasn’t dawdling either. John spent 30 hours on Talos I for his review. Compared to speedrunner Seeker TV, who finished in a blisteringly fast seven minutes, we’re a pair of doddering geriatrics. Check out the run below, though beware of spoilers.

Seeker TV clearly wanted to escape Talos I more than I did. Glitches made the run possible, letting the runner clip through the station, but that doesn’t detract from what is a very impressive sprint. The real trick, of course, is to not freak out every time you see an alien. I spent more than seven minutes hiding from a single Mimic.

According to HowLongToBeat, the average time spent finishing the main story is 16 hours. Unless you’re a superhuman speedrunner. If you fancy shaving a few hours off your own time, Seeker TV’s YouTube channel contains a few videos that might make your mission easier.

31 Comments

  1. Chromatose says:

    Seven minutes – a pretty similar length of time to what it took me to uncover a progress-blocking design flaw in the first area of the game, shortly before hitting the refund button. I’m glad other people are having fun with the game, but holy hell it sapped my patience unbelievably quickly.

    • dsch says:

      Throw a tantrum after seven minutes instead of maybe restarting and not do whatever you did the first time. Nice.

    • DarkFenix says:

      If you hit refund after just 7 minutes, you went in wanting to hate the game. You were more the problem than the game.

      • Chromatose says:

        Okay, so the ‘7 minutes’ quip was a pretty poor attempt at humourous exaggeration.

        I played for about an hour. Given that Steam has a two-hour refund limit, I did not want to push my luck. In that hour, I’d experienced a lot of things I did not enjoy about the game, and the bug in question was kind of my final affirmation that this probably wasn’t the game for me.

        • MrHabushi says:

          What was the bug, out of curiousity?

          • Chromatose says:

            If you use the computer terminal in the gantry above the fake helicopter scene, you can toggle the scenery on and off. This is a really neat touch, but unfortunately if you leave it in a certain state, and then drop down into the backstage area, one of the moving walls blocks the entryway.
            Unless you have the GLOO gun already, it is then impossible to progress through, because that entryway is needed to access both the rest of the level, and the computer that controls the scenery.

            I’m aware that this might seem like a pretty nitpicky thing to refund a game over, but with a refund window of just a couple of hours, you kind of have to labour under the assumption that your initial experience is kind of on-par with the rest of the game. Given that people are breaking the game in some truly spectacular ways to condense a roughly 30-hour game into seven minutes, that impression seems to hold up.

          • Unclepauly says:

            That was not the only way to get to the other computer. You couldn’t have spent a whole hour looking because you would have found it.

          • Chromatose says:

            Unclepauly – I did not spend the whole hour looking for the computer, I spent an hour playing the game.

          • Jenuall says:

            Not saying you’re wrong to have taken the decision to go for a refund, you’re the best person to decide when you are and are not having a good time, however just to confirm that this action is not game breaking – there are ways that you could have continued from this point.

  2. Fernando says:

    Bah, crazy people.

  3. Nibblet says:

    Bah humbug. Back in my day we had to read a 50 page manual, then wade through miles of corridors and dozens of loading screens just to get out of the tutorial areas.
    Kids these days..

  4. Hunchback says:

    This is probably the stupidest “achievement” i’ve seen in a while, Darwin awards not counting.

    “Rushing” a game that’s built to immerse you with quests, dialogs, audio logs, decisions, fear, atmosphere, STORY… in 7 minutes?
    I know the point is that they do it fast, but i really don’t get the point of that. It’s like “Hooray, i finished Half Life in 4 minutes! I rock!”, “OMG I finished The Witcher 3 in 10 minutes!!!1” “You both suck, i finished Skyrim in in 35.2 seconds, i am the bestest!11one”

    Meh i say, meh!

    • Dewal says:

      You do realize they probably finished the game more than once before managing to find a way to speed things that way ?
      Doing a speed doesn’t contradict the fact of playing the game right a few times before, it’s about finding more ways to play it than what was planned at first.

      And even though I don’t see myself doing speedruns, ever, I understand what can be the appeal in trying to find shortcuts and loopholes in the game, that’s actually one of the interests of exploration.

      Your criticism makes me think of someone looking at people doing the 100m and saying “but why do they run, if they walked they would enjoy it more !”.

      • syndrome says:

        Don’t worry, he obviously can’t understand the purpose of speedruns. Your analogy is correct.

        “But why would they try and kick the ball, when they could’ve just as well carry it in the goal with their hands? Heck why they even have to score a goal, why not have a pint of beer instead! Meh i say, meh!”

  5. Daymare says:

    For as long as I read games forums, I’ve read complaints about game-breaking bugs. Ever since, I’ve counted myself one of the lucky few who’ve been spared this in almost all cases.

    Along comes Prey.

    25 hours in, only halfway through because I was really enjoying myself, I can’t enter some levels anymore, because the game just crashes to desktop. I’ve read that the last patch fixes this, but considering I’ve only ever encountered it AFTER this last patch, I guess I’m just shit outta luck.

    Ah well, at least I was one of those with smooth fps in Dishonored 2.

    • Unclepauly says:

      I’m smelling a “my game is better” vibe here…

      • Unclepauly says:

        Yes I can smell vibes, no I don’t know how.

      • Daymare says:

        Sorry, what do you mean? Where did I write my game is better than … what?

        You mean because I said I’m taking my time, in an article about a speedrunner? I.e. “my game is better than this speedrunner’s, because I’m playing it ‘the right way’?”

        Sorry, but no that’s not what I meant at all. What I posted happened to me yesterday and this was just the first, convenient article on Prey that I could start complaining about it.
        The train of thought was: Oh, someone finished Prey in 7 minutes, whereas I, yesterday, found out that I probably won’t finish at all.

        Disheartening to know your first thought about a random person on the internet is that they’re a douchebag.

  6. haldolium says:

    Nice run. Could be even further optimized, think below 6 is definitively possible.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Now is it just awful of me to notice aloud that the first poster with a clear interest in speedrunning has also got a username based around “Haldol?” No offense meant – rather, I feels.

  7. Creamice says:

    Is it common/accepted to use clipping errors/bugs to access areas like he does in the video, for this kind of speedrun?

    Seems to be really pointless to do it this way.

    • Nevard says:

      Often there are many categories of speed runs with different times recorded.
      There’s “tool assisted” where you use automation to perform feats that would be exceedingly difficult for human control to reproduce, “Any %” where the objective is to win as fast as possible, “100%” where you have to do everything, usually a couple of categories between any% and 100% based on the game itself, and whether or not you are allowed to use glitches. All of these categories are used in combination to make things rather complicated.

      I wouldn’t necessarily discount speedruns that use glitches as “pointless” though, often these exploits take a lot of skill to use in of themselves. With the oldest and most popular games that are run for speed, it’s usually pretty much the case that people have hit a hard limit on how fast you can do the game “properly” and are now limited to finding new and more efficient ways to abuse bugs in the game engine to get better times.

      • Creamice says:

        Thanks for the clarification, that is very interesting.

        I guess what I am saying is that, for me personally, what I’m seeing up in the video is not someone playing the same game as me.
        This is a different activity with different rules and goals. And thus the whole thing is not really all that impressive or interesting to me.

        But I agree, “pointless” is too harsh. If this is an enjoyable hobby to people, more power to them!

        • April March says:

          My understanding is that non-tool-assisted speedruns allow these kind of glitches, because otherwise there’d be endless arguments about what is or isn’t a glitch and whether it should be allowed. Unlike, say, competitive fighting games, you can’t rely on what the devs intended because the dev didn’t intend you to finish their game in seven minutes anyway.

          And if you find this experience divorced from yours, I urge you to look for a tool-assisted speedrun to see what an experience completely divorced from a regular playthrough looks like. Most of them look like a bizarre glitch-art concept video themed around the game.

  8. Jenuall says:

    Not watched the video as of yet – still making my own way steadily through the game (36 hours in and there’s still a few decks I haven’t visited on Talos yet!) but I always enjoy watching the inventiveness of speed runs!

  9. caff says:

    I love speedruns! They put a huge smile on my face and this one is no different. Literally seconds in, he’s jumping on a chair to break the collision detection on the ceiling, then repeatedly abusing the same tactic with the gloo gun. Brilliant!

  10. April March says:

    I love how the constant breaking of the game makes this incredibly expensive and well-produced game look like Baby Dev’s First Unity Game.

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