Have You Played… Prey (2017)?

This is possibly premature, but I’m worried that Prey might have fallen through the cracks. I don’t hear it talked about that much now. Don’t wait for a sale. Don’t dismiss it because it looks a little sterile in screenshots. Prey is exactly the game that long-time RPS readers have been praying for, for decades. (Pun possibly intended).

As much as I accept and like them in their own right, BioShock wasn’t System Shock and Dishonored wasn’t Thief. Prey is the closest we’ve had to that revered immersive sim/System Shock model since the glory days. It’s got this alien invasion plot and no shortage of shooting, plus a sideline in magical powers that can be left alone entirely if you prefer (I did), but what it really is is a game about exploring one big place. Learning it, conquering it, loving it.

A game about opening doors, and finding out how everything connects, slowly turning your world from a series of unfamilair areas into one inter-connected space that you know the layout of intimately. Inhabiting a place for dozens of hours, not moving progressively through several of them.

Hacking security stations, sneaking through maintenance tunnels, fixing lifts and, once in a while, exiting the space station for low-gravity wander around its vast exterior. Hours and hours and hours of bending this place to your own will. I haven’t enjoyed another game more all year.

161 Comments

  1. DeadCanDance says:

    Truly the game of the year for me. A perfect rare gem that is all but forgotten now.

    • Someoldguy says:

      It’s 40% off on Bundle Stars right now, which might tempt some late purchases.

  2. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    “This is possibly premature”
    Yup, it sure is.
    I’m waiting for a sale, and by waiting, I mean playing all the other games I already own.
    I will get to Prey sooner or later, but not right now.

    • Curg says:

      This is exactly the problem I have. I have nearly 500 games (I know some people will say I need to bump those numbers up) in my Steam library, and have probably completed 1/3 of them.

      If a game I have on my wish-list comes up on sale I grab it, but I can’t justify paying full price on games I may not get around to play for the rest of the year.

      It’s the problem of “I don’t want to buy this now as I have other stuff to play still, but if I don’t buy it will the lost sale of that game affect the developer making another equally good one?”

      • Excors says:

        If you can afford to buy 500 games but you haven’t had time to play more than a fraction of them, that suggests your time is much scarcer (and therefore much more valuable) than your money.

        You’ll only be able to play a finite number of games in your lifetime – perhaps a thousand in total. Why spend that time on anything other than the best games that exist?

        • Great Cthulhu says:

          Spot on!

          Before Steam sales and bundles, games were rare treasures that HAD to be completed, and which had better be 40+ hours long. It took me the better part of a decade to get that out of my system…

          Now a game has about an hour to convince me that I’d rather play it than do anything else. Otherwise it’s uninstall and “hide from library”. Went through about 250 games from my backlog in 4 months this way. All that’s left is games that I’m thrilled to start playing. Should have started doing this years ago. :-)

        • PiiSmith says:

          Sometimes the novelty of playing something I do not know outweighs the knowledge, that I like something and could continue with it. Trying a lot of games also has to do with curiosity. In this way I also found out that I liked things, I was not aware of.

        • Curg says:

          At least 3/4 of them have come from bundles where I’ve paid to get the one game I want and then the others sort of end up tagging along. I also subscribe to Humble Monthly (I consider it a sort of charitable thing whilst my materialistic side gets something from it too) which bumps up the list over time. In the 13 years I’ve had a Steam account the amount of games I own has increased exponentially the more the years go on, but alas my time available to play them doesn’t :(

    • alh_p says:

      This is totally premature. If at RPS you feel you have exhausted the games you can recommend, then just quietly discontinue the series, or pause it for a bit. No one will think ill of that. What we don’t need is recommendations for obscure Amiga games and last week/month’s headline. You are already using this feature to recycle old material. I’ma long time fan of the site and don’t normally get het up about this stuff but this feature has started to feel stale for a while now…. please let it go quietly.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        “What we don’t need is recommendations for obscure Amiga games”
        Woah now, let’s not get crazy. I’m pretty sure we all need some obscure Amiga games in our lives.

      • CalvinCoolidge says:

        I think the writer’s intention, or least how I took it, is to use this article as a vehicle to remind us that something worth playing is worth paying for. And Prey, according to the folks at RPS is such a game. Like many others, I have literally hundreds of games stacking up in my Steam library, but at least a couple of times a year, I’ll pay full price on a game just to support the company/genre, knowing full well that I won’t play it for a very long time. For example, I payed full price for Dishonored because it sounds like my cup of tea and I wanted to support those guys. Still haven’t gotten around to play it yet. Sometimes it backfires. I payed full price for Beyond Earth and ended up paying way too much for a crappy Civ V mod.

        Or maybe the writer just really liked the game and wanted to talk about it some more, which would kinda validate the things you said. I dunno, I’m just some guy who reads things about video games.

      • Vandelay says:

        What part of “Have you played…” dictates the release date? If there is a recent game that the writers want to highlight in this manner than why not?

        Prey was a great game that RPS writers enjoyed greatly, but seems to be forgotten about elsewhere and has supposedly not sold very well. I don’t see any issue with them writing an article about it to remind people who haven’t played that it is great.

        As for the feature, shame you don’t like it. Personally I think it is a nice way to remember games that some may have missed. Whether that is a modern classic or an ancient Amiga game, I don’t see the issue (games that can still be purchased would be a sensible restriction though.)

      • Frank says:

        “Have You Played…” started out for recommendations, but nowadays it’s just revisiting.

      • Talsted says:

        You sound like you’re fun at parties.

      • Thants says:

        Or maybe he’s doing what he explicitly says in the write up he’s doing and trying to bring attention to a recent game that he feels is in danger of falling through the cracks?

  3. Beefenstein says:

    Even good games aren’t important when everyone has 10,000,000 of the things and all we do is go on Reddit to moan about petty squabbles in the corporate or streamer-celebrity worlds.

  4. jellydonut says:

    It’s a shame because it sounds like a good game, but I cannot abide games or movies that rely on jump scares.

    • Premium User Badge

      Grizzly says:

      The game doesn’t rely on jump scares though. The mimics can provide jump scares, but there is a trick to spotting them, and you can hear them too. It’s not a scripted “MONSTER IN YOUR FACE” moment, but rather a neat way to get players to focus on the enviroments they are in and noticing if there’s anything out of place.

    • Giftmacher says:

      This is so incredibly far from the truth I don’t know what to say other than please reconsider.

      • jellydonut says:

        I may have used the wrong word. Contains jump scares. I didn’t mean it relies on them, I mean it contains them altogether. I saw it in the first gameplay video and that entails a hard pass for me.

        • Matt_W says:

          I’ve played about 15 hours of the game and have encountered one jump scare. If you can’t take any, then yeah, that one will be too much. But it’s much more about hearing some monster stomping or skittering around and wondering where it is than about one jumping out at you from the shadows.

        • vorador says:

          I hate jump scares and never had a problem. A few hours into the game you get a scanner that points them for you, and even before then you can always look for clues and douse the suspecting objects with goo or just clobber them.

        • Zenicetus says:

          As the others said, you can quickly learn to spot and avoid jump scares, but you’ll get a few before you adapt. There is also at least one scripted surprise attack, aside from the ones you can spot. So if you can’t handle it at all, I’d recommend avoiding the game.

          • atchoum44 says:

            I’m not again jump scares i like them when there are few but this game still kinda relies on it. Monsters repop randomly, there are a few scripted surprises and you are constantly looking out for those bloody mimics (brilliant monsters, love them).
            In the end you’re so powerful that you don’t care but the first 10 – 30 hours (depending on your pace and the amount of exploration you do) are very tense.

    • TychoCelchuuu says:

      Neither can I but thankfully this game doesn’t rely on jumpscares, so you’re good to go!

    • sub-program 32 says:

      As someone who hates jumpscares herself, there are exactly 2.5 ‘true’ jumpscares in this game. One is horrible (well designed but horrible to experiance), one isn’t too bad because it kinda warns you that something bad is about to happen in advance, and the 0.5 is unplesant but over so quickly that you don’t get much time to think about it. Other than that it’s just mimics, which you get used to by about the second area.
      I should emphisise that the rest of the game is great, and deffo worth experiancing, or at least watching a Let’s Play of it (I can know an Lper who accidentally missed the Horrible jumpscare if you want to see it).

    • csbear says:

      Great game… I only remember one jump scare after playing numerous hours. Definitely not the premise of the game… It’s getting mechanically repetitive now in typical Bethesda fashion, but still, a top-notch game from Arkane.

    • Blake Casimir says:

      I never felt Prey used jump scares as part of its horror aesthetic. The mimics can make the player jump a bit but I felt that was merely part of their design as enemies, not because the developers felt any desire to scare players with cheesy jump scares. Otherwise, I felt a far more “artistically compelling” sense of dread playing that game, similar to Alien: Isolation.

    • Jekadu says:

      It comes down to how well you tolerate the Mimics. They’re not as awful as scripted jump scares, but if you’re as bad at spotting them as I am, they can definitely be a nuisance.

      It’s a great game, though. I’m averse to horror as well, and made it through just fine.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    I too left the magical powers entirely alone on my first playtrough, even though it was somewhat tempting to turn myself into a coffee cup, I prefered being able to fix the coffee machine.

    And yes: It’s the *best* 0451 game. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Becuase a lot of your enemies are monsters that do not want to talk to you, you can still use an entire set of utterly violent skills whilst pulling off a non-lethal playtrough. To add to that, you get perhaps the most interesting variety of tools I’ve seen. The gloo gun pictured above can be used to bypass enviromental hazards, stun enemies or climb walls. There’s a foam bolt crossbow that allows you to fire noisy bolts that distract enemies and that are registered by touchpads… It’s lovely. Nearly the entire game revolves around unconventional problem solving, it’s almost sad that there’s so much death in it.

    If you have any interest in Deus Ex, System Shock, or any other game that is built from the Looking Glass legacy, you owe it to yourself to play this.

    • Halk says:

      It probably says a lot about me that it makes me angry that you call it a “0451 game” and not a “451 game”.

      • Urthman says:

        Yeah, but you see, THIS flamethrower goes up to a THOUSAND degrees Fahrenheit. It’s the temperature at which hard drives melt.

        • Halk says:

          I believe you are missing my point.

          • Urthman says:

            I was just making a joke about whether it’s properly considered a System Shock reference or a Bradbury reference.

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          It was a three digit code in the original System Shock. But most of the games since have had it as 0451 or some variation thereof.

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        Grizzly says:

        Yes, yes it does :-P

  6. yhancik says:

    I haven’t, but it’s nothing personal against Prey. My aging PC is slowly slipping under the “minimum requirements” of many games, and I still have so many other games in my backlog that I feel absolutely no urgency in upgrading for a game or two, no matter how “essential” they might be.

    I don’t feel I’m missing out. I’ll eventually catch up with Prey, some time in the future. It’s all fine 🖤

    • poliovaccine says:

      Just fyi, it runs shockingwell on a lo-spec machine. I actually run it just fine on my old laptop, which usually isn’t equipped to handle anything released beyond 2014.

      I only recently had a bit of an upgrade, but when Prey first came out I ruled myself out as being able to run it on that aforementioned laptop, which at the time was my only gaming machine. I was very pleased to learn – via RPS actually – that it was so well-optimized, and in fact it ran just fine on that aging laptop. So there’s hope yet, not that you sound totally urgent about it or anything.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I played it briefly, but then got mobbed around the time they gave me the stupidly named gloo gun. For some reason, dying to a pile of blobs that moved too quickly to be hit just annoyed me, and I dropped the game outright.

    I’ll probably get back to it later, probably a few months. I think the problem was largely that I’d just come off of playing Dishonored and Dishonored 2 back to back, and the game felt… way too similar.

    Even had the stupid “Play your way” pop ups all the time.

    • Zenicetus says:

      The mimics can be temporarily frozen with the goo gun when they jump at you, then switch weapons for the kill. Or spot them as not belonging in the environment, and rush in for a wrench kill before they transform, if it’s just one.

      The multiples are a PITA for sure. Same reason there should never be too many rapidly moving flying monsters in a FPS game. It’s just not that much fun.

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        Grizzly says:

        If you gloo the mimics whilst they are still disguised, they can’t transform back into their true form.

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      jssebastian says:

      I know exactly what moment in the early game you are talking about, in the lobby of neuromod division where there are 2 or 3 mimics that tend to cluster together and disguise as mop buckets. I also got the demo, played for almost an hour and was going to quit in annoyance over dying to that bunch multiple times.

      I thought, well, let’s give it another try, and ended up playing 5 hours of the free demo, then bought the game and had to start all over again cause progress does not carry over.

      Mimics are annoying in the beginning but you soon start to feel really clever for spotting them and either killing them by surprise or routing around them, or just letting your friendly turrets pulverise them. And the thing is, they work really well as a mechanic to push you to be observant of the environment and not feel too safe.

  8. Cyda says:

    I bought it and played less than a hour before getting bored of it. I should give it another go because far too many people claim it is superb for it to be as dull as it seemed.

    • Matt_W says:

      The first hour is properly dull–I almost gave up as well. At least play until you get to the Hardware Labs. That’s when the game starts to reveal itself more.

    • atchoum44 says:

      Yep i nearly completely stopped after a few hours. The extent of the game and it’s mechanisms are very very slowly revealed. I really started to be interested by reading carefully the e-mails and noting who was involved in what. Sub plots in them are very well written.

  9. TychoCelchuuu says:

    This is my GOTY 2017 easy, maybe my game of the decade. It’s everything I could have asked for from a spiritual System Shock sequel and more. Arkane has never made a bad game, and in fact I think they’ve just gotten better each time: Arx Fatalis was great and it’s all uphill from there (maybe Dark Messiah was a slight dip).

  10. noom says:

    Just recently got round to it and am (I think) getting towards the end now. Definitely one of my favourite games of recent years and a worthy spiritual successor to System Shock.

  11. Mouse_of_Dunwall says:

    My second favorite game of all time. Truly a masterpiece.

  12. Rao Dao Zao says:

    The fact that enemies are indistinct black shadows is a massive turn-off for me. I read that article which showed they put a hella lot of effort into making them shimmer nicely, but it’s… still an indistinct black shadow…

    So ye, I’ll be waiting for a GOTYE with all DLCs and patches.

    • epeternally says:

      DLC isn’t happening, this game bombed hard. Hard enough that, especially combined with other recent flops, it may be the last AAA immersive sim ever. More patches are also unlikely, no updates since May 31st. The latter is rather a shame since even though Prey is stupendous, patching out some of the gratuitous respawns would definitely improve the experience.

      • drewski says:

        Yeah, it seems like the immersive sim revival is basically over. Too expensive to make for not enough sales.

  13. Merus says:

    There was a period there where 2017 was overflowing with just tremendous games, when really it was just April with an assist from the first three months of the year. Let’s pretend Prey came out now! I’m told it’s very good. My PC can’t run it yet.

  14. Scraphound says:

    I tried to play it, but to me it’s Bioshock with really annoying enemies.

    • LaKriz says:

      Comments like this are pushing me away from purchasing Prey. There are so many people complaining about how dull and repetetive the enemies are, that I think it might be a waste of time and money.

      • Blake Casimir says:

        Prey is really NOT much like Bioshock (which was linear and relied heavily upon its story to force player progression), and it is entirely possible to play the game in a stealthy fashion avoiding most – if not all – of the combat. Which, similar to the brilliant Deus Ex: Human Revolution / Mankind Divided, is a compelling way to play the game. The phantoms to drop useful things though so it’s worth killing a few…

        Further, this is an immersive sim. Anyone considering this game should not be worrying about the repetition of the combat but should really be approaching it with a mindset of “how can I solve this? Stealth? Combat? Or ‘magic’?” Like all immersive sims it’s a game that treats the player with intelligence and gives them a variety of ways to solve problems.

        Bioshock was little more than a puffed-up FPS. Prey is not just an FPS!

        • epeternally says:

          What? Prey being an immersive sim with many choices for dealing with encounters doesn’t magically mitigate that those encounters are far, far too frequent. My opinions on the actual combat mechanics themselves are very positive but killing the same group of thermal phantoms for the third time because you actually explored and didn’t do everything in the optimal order is not fun, it’s not good game design, and it drags despite the fundamental merits of the combat.

          You can’t just sugar coat around the fact that yes, Prey is an extremely repetitive game. There are not that many types of enemies and you will fight them over and over and over long past the point where it ceased to be interesting. Mind I’m not saying Prey isn’t good, Prey is fantastic, but the overused respawns are a major detriment to the experience. Especially if you’re going completionist. Doesn’t even feel like intentional design so much as an oversight, especially since Prey actually has the good sense to throw fewer enemies at you near the end.

          • Blake Casimir says:

            Show me a game that is not in some way “repetitive” regarding its inherent gameplay mechanics / loop. Would you complain that Mario is “too repetitive”? I could say that other immersive sims such as Stalker or Deus Ex are “repetitive” in that the player has to make similar actions throughout the game, though the content / levels keep changing. It’s the same with most games. Singling out Prey for this reason is rather ridiculous.

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        jssebastian says:

        It’s nothing like bioshock. In terms of gameplay, Bioshock is ultimately a linear shoorter with some cool powers and some cool enivornments. Your interaction with the environment is pretty much limited to “shoot it” (or equivalently, “mind-zap it”) or “listen to the audio log”.

        Prey is an immersive sim where you learn to know the environment intimately and find all sorts of ways to traverse it. Shooting things is just one among many of the possible interactions, the real goal is to find a way into all those rooms by gradually understanding how you can manipulate the environment.

    • RichUncleSkeleton says:

      It’s more like Dishonored with really annoying enemies.

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    subdog says:

    I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but when I read all of these comments like “eh, I’ll wait” or “eh, this one little thing bothered me so I ditched it” I have to wonder what you’re even doing here at RPS.

    Prey is the holy grail of a subgenre and a style of play that used to be revered on RPS. And conversely, RPS used to be *the* place on the internet you’d go to read about it. While the dark night of the mid-2000’s Call of Duties descended on us, RPS was still exploring what made Deus Ex and Thief tick, and explaining why Bioshock failed to recapture that spark.

    Now we have Prey, which sticks the landing as close to as perfectly as a game can get. And seemingly half the RPS commentariat just shrugs. This isn’t hyperbole- this is the single best immersive sim that has ever been made. If that matters to you (and it probably should), then play this game!

    • Halk says:

      In my case the lack of enthusiasm is caused by Dishonored, which stole all its good ideas from Thief, but suffered from a serious lack of focus resulting in the addition of lots of other, bad ideas. In the end it was 20% Thief, 80% filler.

      It’s just hard to be keen on an Arkane Studios game after that.

      • falcon2001 says:

        I guess I’m kind of confused by the idea of Dishonored being called unfocused here. What?

        Either way, they’re right: Prey is fantastic.

      • Blake Casimir says:

        For me, I felt that Dishonored suffered from very poor character and story development. But the level / world design and core gameplay were excellent.

        I didn’t love either Dishonored game, but I played through the second one and felt that the expanded world design and more intricate level design made for a superior gaming experience. I did play a “flint and steel” no super powers run my first time through though, with Corvo. Honestly, I wish the game didn’t have those ridiculous powers…

        • Mouse_of_Dunwall says:

          I actually really like the stories in Dishonored and its DLC. I think Prey is Arkane’s best story, but I think Dishonored has some very memorable characters and a well-told narrative.

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      Drib says:

      I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but when I read all of these comments like “eh, I’ll wait” or “eh, this one little thing bothered me so I ditched it” I have to wonder what you’re even doing here at RPS.

      I’m here for gaming news and occasional interesting diaries, along with reviews of stuff that I find interesting. It’s a gaming news site. Why do you think people are here?

      I found Prey kinda dull but I only played maybe half an hour. I’ll go back to it when I’m less tired of Dishonored, which is what the game felt like.

      But implying that liking a particular genre of game is the only reason to be reading RPS is more than a bit absurd.

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        subdog says:

        I think people come to this site to read what its writers think is important and unique about PC gaming.

        I get that RPS is different in a lot of ways than it was seven years ago when KG did Dark Futures or Walker did his epic Deus Ex retrospective. And I get that PC gaming is broad, with many genres and niches, and RPS does a great job of covering them all to some extent.

        But no other niche/genre has been so deeply associated with RPS as the immersive sim. It could be argued that Prey and its modern cousins wouldn’t even exist if RPS hadn’t kept writing about Looking Glass and keeping that conversation alive.

        • drewski says:

          No offence, but I think the audience has changed a lot more than you give it credit for. Sure, a decade ago this was a perfect RPS game. Nowadays it’s a very different site, as befits a PC gaming market which has completely changed.

    • ComradeSnarky says:

      Based on the underwhelming sales figures of Prey, Dishonored 2, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, I imagine the immersive sim is well on its way to a second Dark Age.

      Each of these games had problems that may have cut into sales–technical problems, bad marketing, Bethesda’s counter-productive review policies, etc.–but publishers will see these numbers as proof that there’s no market for immersive sims.

    • Frank says:

      I *am* here for that, but I am not at all surprised if there are many others here who aren’t. I pretty much ignore whatever The Flare Path series is, and everything Laird writes about hardware, but I’m sure there are others for whom those are big draws while immersive sims are a sideshow.

    • Blake Casimir says:

      100% agree with your comment Subdog. I feel the gaming landscape would be missing something vital and important if the immersive sim ceased to exist. And for a long time in the 00s there were almost none of them.

      And there are still pretty much no developers making first person free-look/movement dungeon crawlers like Underworld / King’s Field. SADFACE

    • Leucine says:

      For myself, I’ve been burned too much. With the Bioshocks, though mostly the first, (yes, I’m still sore about it) we were promised a “spiritual sequel” to System Shock and what we (or I, at any rate) got was Deus Ex: Invisible War: System Shock Edition.

      Then came Human Revolution and people raved and praised it, saying it was a return to form. No it bloody well wasn’t! It was more towards the original than IW but that still isn’t saying much. I didn’t even bother with Mankind Divided since, if the first was any indication, I wouldn’t like the second either.

      And now there’s Prey. You’ll have to forgive me if, after multiple disappointments I’m a little cynical. Now I know, I know we’ll never get anything like the originals again but everything that’s come after has just been such an abject disappointment.
      I haven’t played the Dishonoureds for the same reason, too expensive at the time and after HR and MD I’m still wary.

      Certainly I’m not going to risk the kind of money Arkane is asking for Prey just on the word of others.

      • ComradeSnarky says:

        Your loss. Human Revolution was okay but easily the worst of the several games you’ve listed. Bioshock was quite good but is really a simplified SS2 (even lifts story beats) with a more interesting setting.

        For the record, $40 is the amount of money they’re asking for Prey at the time of writing over at GMG. Dishonored 2 is half that. Dishonored 1 is literally $2.37–or $9.50 with the (excellent) DLC. Those are eminently reasonable prices for great games.

      • Blake Casimir says:

        Very much your loss. I don’t agree with your opinions regarding newer immersive sims, save that they perhaps don’t quite have the breadth of some of the older titles. But I’d sooner take deeper puddles over shallower oceans. (Skyrim can sod off…)

        I paid £35 for Prey, played it to completion over 38 hours, and loved every second. The combat IS the weakest part but once the player has all upgrades it’s certainly not as clunky as System Shock 2 (which otherwise I adore).

    • KenTWOu says:

      I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but when I read all of these comments… I have to wonder what you’re even doing here at RPS.

      Prey is the holy grail of a subgenre and a style of play that used to be revered on RPS. And conversely, RPS used to be *the* place on the internet you’d go to read about it.

      Subdog, I’m on your side, but the thing is RPS used to be *the* place… today’s RPS didn’t even consider the possibility of giving GOTY award to Dishonored 2, because RPS staff didn’t bother to finish the game that was released a bit later that year. So nowadays you can’t expect extraordinary dedication to immersive sim genre from RPS readers.

  16. sneetch says:

    This is a truly excellent game, I have to say it’s one of the best games I’ve played in years, more a First Person Adventure (reminds me of Metroid Prime, in many ways) than a straight FPS.

  17. Halk says:

    I am not waiting for a sale, but waiting for it to become available DRM-free.

  18. DinoSteak says:

    I wanted to like Prey, but at the end of the day it fell short in a lot of areas. Too formulaic, lack of puzzles, and really the respawning enemies killed it for me. I made it about 6 hours in but gave up once I realized none of the tactical effort I put in to manage ammo and upgrade weapons mattered BECAUSE EVERYTHING RESPAWNS and you can just run past most shit then reload a room. Really lame that. I get respawning has a purpose in the lore of the game but when lower mimics start becoming a chore, instead of scary, by about 3 hours in… you’ll just be over it.

    That tells me they didn’t know how to balance the gameplay, and it really starts to show at the midpoint of the game when you’ll probably have 100+ rounds for every weapon.

    • Zenicetus says:

      The respawns were another thing that killed it for me. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed both Dishonored games so much more. There is a feeling of accomplishment in clearing an area. I know respawning fits the storyline here, but it still smells like lazy design to pad out the game.

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      subdog says:

      Respawns only happen when triggered by plot events and thus still reward good pacing and preparation, and harder difficulty levels will put more stress on your resource management. It’s not at all like the kind of random respawning in System Shock.

      • Blake Casimir says:

        Can’t agree that respawning feels like lazy design. In fact such an opinion feels like that of an uninformed / ignorant armchair game critic.

        The Typhon were a parasitical (or similar) type of alien race. It therefore seems “natural” for them to respawn. And as subdog says, often returning to areas they will be empty until certain quests are finished. So the respawning is NOT constant. Further, combat does provide a way for the character to stock up on certain items.

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        jssebastian says:

        I definitely stopped playing system shock 2 because of the respawning enemies. In Prey it seems new enemies spawn only as you progress through the plot, so it does not punish you for taking your time to explore or doubling back to clean up something like system shock 2 did.

        Also, I think enemies spawn in a way that is somewhat consistent with the environment, such as a phantom later emerging from a corpse that was lying around the first time you walked by.

        • Blake Casimir says:

          If that’s why you stopped playing one of the greatest PC games ever made, I feel sorry for you. :/ Respawning enemies really don’t bother me though.

  19. Shazbut says:

    I, too, want this game to gloriously successful. I haven’t played it yet though, so maybe that’s unjustified, but everyone says it’s a true immersive sim.

    My PC can’t handle it yet. I’ll play it eventually. This game will have a long shelf life I think

  20. KostaAtanasov says:

    Thank you, Alec! This is exactly the kind of recommendation I needed ! I’m playing this game first chance I get, have not been looking forward to playing anything for a long time.

  21. Sui42 says:

    Prey was pretty darn good. But if anything, I saw it as a sign that the games industry is still stuck in the past. I mean, it’s true that Prey totally picked up the torch of Thief and System Shock 2. But it basically picked up exactly where 1999 left off, revealing how little progress has actually been made. We’ve basically waited nearly 20 years for the all-consuming console market to catch up with where PC games left off.

    I didn’t see Prey as a huge step forward. I saw it as a nice nostalgic bubble-bath with HD graphics. And TBH, after a while, I got bored. The mechanics started to get repetitive, and I realised that the retro-futurist space station (which was always a kind of lame rehash of Bioshock and Fallout) didn’t have anything *truly interesting* hidden away in its corridors.

    (not to say I didn’t think it was the most technically impressive space station ever depicted in a game – because it was, and I loved being able to explore the OUTSIDE as well. It’s just that, ehh, I’ve explored so many space stations in games, and they’re all a bit samey? I’m getting pretty bored of sci-fi air vents.)

    I dunno. I just think that, with the exception of the mimic enemy, Prey has very little originality in it. I’m not saying it’s not good. Or even great. I’m saying that simply being very similar to System Shock 2 does not make a revolutionary title in 2017.

    Now Arkane’s other big game – Dishonoured – I absolutely love. It borrows from Thief but doesn’t try and copy it exactly. It has tons of new ideas, and an absolutely incredible art style thanks to Viktor Fucking Antonov. I’m still only half way through Dis2, but already it’s thrown more brilliant ideas at me than most full games. In short, it’s much better than Prey, because it’s bringing the genre forward.

  22. Zenicetus says:

    I played part of it, maybe a third of the way through. Got bored and shelved it for now.

    It was mainly the repetitive enemies. I just got tired of seeing the same thing over and over. I think I’m also probably burned out on game designs where I’m alone (mostly) in an empty environment except for monsters trying to kill me. Seen that too many times, so the game mechanics have to be really compelling to offset the emptiness. There are some cute ideas in the game, like the goo gun and nerf arrows, but otherwise it just wasn’t enough to offset the repetitive enemies and combat.

    I may revisit the game during a slow period, but for now I have plenty of other more compelling games to play.

  23. TychoCelchuuu says:

    Some of my favorite tiny touches:

    1. The reployer story arc.

    2. The fact that the game has some security cameras but they don’t do anything – they’re just cool looking props. Flips the script on how these sorts of games usually work.

    3. The fact that turrets are good guys, not bad guys. Another deviation from the normal immersive sim schtick.

    4. Everyone in the game is a person with a name, not just a corpse or whatever.

    5. They named the cool recording/display technology “Looking Glass.”

    6. The robot designs make sense: they’re utilitarian, they’re all built on the same basic chassis, they don’t try to emulate humans or anything, and they work well in zero-g.

    7. The story isn’t about an evil AI trying to blow up the world or whatever.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Not to disagree, with this or any of your points (esp agree about the reployer story), but the turrets *can* become enemies if you use enough alien neuromods. They begin to see you as an enemy. Very cool little trade-off.

      • Disgruntled Goat says:

        Prey has this annoying tendency to give you cool toys, then punishes you for wanting to play with them.

        “Here, make your own neuromods! But if you use them, turrets will attack you.”

        “Here, cool psychic powers! But if you use them, a Nightmare will endlessly respawn every 20 mintues to aggravate the shit of you.”

        • RichUncleSkeleton says:

          That’s kind of an unfair complaint. You’re basically a walking tank once you’ve purchased the right alien neuromods. The Nightmare and occasional turret help to balance out the difficulty so that you can’t just roll over everything.

        • Premium User Badge

          subdog says:

          The Nightmare spawns every 20/30 minutes regardless of your power usage.

          It’s the only spawn in the game that you don’t trigger through your own actions, though killing it puts it on a longer timer than evading it.

          And by the time turrets start turning on you, you should have multiple means of disabling them or turning them back to your side.

        • Dia says:

          Hacking, don’t follow just the alien powers skill trees. Hack the plan.. erm, station! Especially the turrets, then upgrade them, set them all around entry and exit points and periodically go by and repair them. You’re given a way to push the nightmare off your trail (or if you really want, draw it to you.) later in the game. It starts slow but between the multiple endings and choices you can make has great replay value (can you beat it with out a single nuromod, human or alien? if so, there’s a reward for that. still not sure if named Typhon count as killing ‘humans’ or not for that reward..also, sorry entire cargo bay survivors for the nightmare that ate you all but thank you for being recyclable.) if you don’t mind doing it more than once and why buy or play an ‘open world sim’ game if you can’t handle that aspect?

  24. cpt_freakout says:

    Argh, you got me. Like others I have like 534987345 games to play still but this does seem like something I’ve been waiting for since forever. I was going to wait for a while just like I usually do with games I really want to play but this recommendation just tipped me over. Thanks for that (but my savings say “screw you!”).

  25. Jason Moyer says:

    “Dishonored wasn’t Thief”

    That’s because it was Victorian Deus Ex.

  26. Tempus Fugit says:

    I was incredibly apprehensive about Prey because I did love the original. I bought it and I ended up playing it exclusively for a week, which is weird for me because I’m usually playing multiple games at the same time. Nope, I was hooked. In a year when there have been so many great games, Prey is most likely going to be at the top of my list.

    • Dia says:

      I started out streaming it and it felt slow but by a few hours in i was hooked, still am.

  27. snv says:

    I’m interested enough i Prey to give it a try if it were not so excessively expensive.
    Somehow sometime we seem to have drifted off to console game prices. Even during the occasional sales the game does not get lower than what i would have expected and accepted as a full price for a AAA game a short while ago.

  28. rpenm says:

    It’s Dishonored in space, plus transhumanism and lovecraftian aliens. Similar art style, environmental storytelling, map design, opportunities for player choice. Neither are perfect games, but I don’t understand the lack of hype for Prey.

    Prey also has a better story, imho.

  29. Paul Debrion says:

    I can’t speak for everyone but to me Prey (2017) is very much the System Shock successor I’ve always wanted.

    Heck, I’ll commit some heresy and say I actually enjoy Prey (2017) more than either of the System Shock games.

  30. poliovaccine says:

    I’m still playing it! The fact of it taking place over a single, consistent space makes it lend to replays somehow about as well as any good open world games. In fact, it’s sort of like a small, yet densely detailed open world in and of itself.

    I also see it as totally superior to Bioshock. As much as I appreciated what Bioshock wanted to do, I felt stealth was too poor to be a real option, and many of the systems lacked for much integration. By contrast, the Talos station absolutely feels like a real place, in a way that reminds me of Pathos-II in SOMA but which is a lot less linear right from the jump. I keep finding creative ways to kill or avoid enemies, or to navigate around, that are genuinely emergent in the way people love about Deus Ex. Prey is absolutely my favorite Shocklike and one of my all time favorite games.

    Nice to see it get some more love, because yeah, while it didnt do poorly, I think it must have sold below expectation. The comments here make it clear why: everyone is already spoiled for choice, and can’t be induced to buy *anything,* no matter how quality, at full price, not with a backlog literally hundreds long. And I get that. There’s also competition with multiplayer games, where often it doesn’t pay to wait to get into em. But this game is one that deserved to override that completely rational impulse with hype. Unfortunately for the subgenre, it didn’t.

    Here’s hoping we see more like this, though. Oh, and I don’t know who’s responsible for this notion that the game has all these jumpscares, but it doesn’t. It has mimics suddenly turning into their true form and skittering away after disguising as furniture or something, but unless you count anything remotely sudden in a videogame as jumpscares, the game does not have jumpscares. At worst there may be, like, one or two *scripted* quasi-jumpscares throughout the entire game, I can’t even remember. But to those folks – of all things, don’t deprive yourself cus of *that!*

  31. GlasWolf says:

    It’s £26.39 over at Green Man Gaming, if anyone’s tempted.

  32. Disgruntled Goat says:

    I couldn’t finish it. Too much clunky combat, too much backtracking, too much dull storytelling. I just stopped caring.

    I despised the Nightmare. And the only way to permanently get rid of it was to invest 13 neuromods into the Repair skill, which was otherwise useless. The designer who thought this was a good idea needs to be fired.

    • Blake Casimir says:

      I found the Nightmare thrillingly unnerving. A typhon of that size that the player is expected to deal with. Prey is a great rare example of a game where the developers treat the player with respect (“here are your tools, now you go and find your own way through Talos-1”) but aren’t afraid to throw real challenges at them and/or mess with the player’s expectations.

      • Disgruntled Goat says:

        I was fine with the Nightmare once, even twice.

        After the seventh time, I shut off the game and won’t play it again.

        Yes, they give you a way to permanently get rid of it, but you have to severely gimp yourself by pouring over a dozen mods into a useless skill. That’s not player choice, that’s bad game design.

        • Seyda Neen says:

          I was done with the game pretty much the first time it showed up. It just stopped being fun, and I realized fighting the other enemies wasn’t fun either. If I could just play the game like a walking sim, no enemies just straight exploration, I would love it.

          • Blake Casimir says:

            No no, please don’t encourage more walking sims. It discourages gameplay mechanics leading to empty worlds with nothing to actually do in them. I’d much, MUCH rather take Prey’s slightly iffy combat than none at all.

        • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

          Just like with almost everything else, there are at least two more ways to open that hatch without repair skill. Good game design.

  33. Blake Casimir says:

    Getting the only negative out of the way: the post-credits player-authorship shattering “ending” making player achievements into a bullet point list of things to note was utterly infuriating and I wish dearly that it didn’t exist. In a similar fashion to wishing the same of everything that happened in Mass Effect 3 once that glowing elevator descended…

    Prey is incredible. I loved every second of it. Deep immersive systems, compelling player character development, some genuinely interesting NPCs and backstory, well-crafted non-linear game world, solid if unspectacular combat etc etc it goes on. Basically it’s nu-System Shock and I’m fine with that.

    I’ve been on an immersive sim binge since Prey released. Played that to completion after 38 GLORIOUS hours. Then followed it with Dishonoured 2 (typically lame Arkane characters with typically outstanding Arkane world building, level design and game systems), and the two Square Enix Deus Exs. Mankind Divided in particular was a thoroughly satisfying experience that I was sad to see the end of.

    But it’s really not enough. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that the gaming equivalent of FineWine(tm) should be so rare. I cannot wait until System Shock 1 Remastered + 3 + Underworld Ascendant are all released…

  34. Nolenthar says:

    Bethesda reviews policy, Dishonored 2 PC release catastrophe, Prey’s having a demo on consoles but not on PC, so many signals which convinced me to not buy it at launch. On my wish list definitely but a sale this will have to wait.

    The days where I had to buy a game at launch are long gone. Parenting saw to that.

    • KenP says:

      This nonsense makes me not want to buy it at all: “Prey trademark forces Prey for the Gods name change”
      link to rockpapershotgun.com

      • Premium User Badge

        Mungrul says:

        Not just that; the whole shenanigans surrounding the original Human Head version, the lurking suspicion Arkane had the game in development before Bethesda told them to slap the Prey IP on it for legal reasons, and the fact that Bethesda are involved at all prevent me from playing this. I just can’t bring myself to support any venture Bethesda / Zenimax are involved with at the moment.

        Maybe one of these days Robert A. Altman will choose to leave the industry along with his pack of slaveringly rabid lawyers, but until that day comes to pass, I ain’t giving them another cent of my money.

        I swear the fucker would sue Robert J. Altman for making movies using his name if he was still alive.

  35. dethtoll says:

    For years I’ve been looking for something to be the next System Shock, only to be disappointed.

    – Doom 3 felt like an attempt to jam SS2’s narrative style with a post-Half-Life linear gameplay, to the detriment of both.
    – Bioshock was a stripped down version of System Shock 2. A great game in its own right (sequel is miles better though) but still a shadow of its inspiration.
    – Dead Space played at it (and was even planned to be SS3 very early in development) but went off to do its own thing, which is fine, but I can’t help but wonder what could have been.
    – Alien: Isolation comes very close, but at the end is still something of a mixture of styles.

    Prey? Prey is it. This is the next System Shock short of the SS1 remake or SS3. It’s got everything I loved about the SS games and then some, with a visual style right out of Syd Mead’s brain, a little bit of Portal’s vibe early on, and gameplay that’s rewarding and deep in a way that’s rarely seen outside of 451 games.

    • RichUncleSkeleton says:

      with a visual style right out of Syd Mead’s brain

      That’s a terrible thing to say about Syd Mead’s brain. The visual design is one part store-brand 2001 and one part Arkane house style.

      • dethtoll says:

        I don’t understand this comment, so I’m going to ignore it.

        [edit] Oh, haha, I see you all up and down the thread telling everyone how little you liked the game. All the more reason to ignore your comment.

      • Premium User Badge

        subdog says:

        Not really though.

      • Thants says:

        It doesn’t look anything like 2001 or Dishonored.

  36. Jenuall says:

    Prey was absolutely one of my favourite games of the last few years, and one of the first games in a long time to get close to scratching that Looking Glass Studios itch that has been bugging me for the last 17 years!

    However I felt it just fell short in a few key areas:

    I get that games have to be more accommodating now but Prey still felt too hand-holdy in a way that was detrimental – seriously let me turn off objective markers, I want to find my own way! Don’t pop up an objective update everytime I find the next breadcrumb in your trail – or if you do, don’t make that update basically tell me exactly what I need to do next, exploration and discovery is half of the fun! This was particularly annoying with the “locate a person” mechanic, which could have been used as a nice way of rewarding investigative players – if I find some clue that Johnny Bob-bob from Engineering might have a stash of something interesting then let me feel empowered to explore this myself – I could look him up in the register, explore his cabin in crew quarters etc. Similarly with the smugglers stashes on the station – what felt like it could have been an interesting challenge that would make me as a player explore and ask the question “which of these alarm points would be the most beneficial to stash loot in if I were a smuggler, turns out to be just a game of “bash the fire alarm that’s got a red light above it”.

    Secondly, as others have said the enemies are a tad dull and combat, whilst not as terrible as some have stated, could be better. I actually think there are some really interesting behaviours and interplay that are possible between the enemy types but their placement and the ease with which they can be dealt with on most difficulties generally means the player will never experience these. The fact that Arkane went with the fairly dull, but admittedly common, approach of static enemy placement and fixed patrol routes also hampers this. If they had gone with a more random spawning and exploring approach as used in SS2 the player would have been more consistently on their toes and needing to develop more interesting tactics to deal with the more varied enemy combinations this would throw up. For example the ability for the Fire Phantoms to set mimics on fire to attack the player never really comes up, nor does the ability for the Weavers to revive corpses and turn them in to Phantoms, or the way the telepaths can control humans to do their will, or the way technopaths can take over turrets… All of these behaviours to occur but only really in the areas where Arkane have pre-determined that they want them to. Playing the game now I know where the enemies are going to be (yes they respawn sometimes, but not in a way that leads to anything new) and can either engage them fairly easily in combat or just avoid them – there’s no fear of turning a corner and finding something you didn’t expect. The nightmare was a let down in this area as well – on first introduction I was excited to think that some creature would be persistently hunting me through the station, instead it turned out to be just a large bullet sponge that appeared at set points and was replaced each time I defeated it by another.

    Exploration was also a bit of a let down for me, ultimately, which is frustrating because it does some of this so well. I may have been misled by some articles like those which RPS and others have ran which describes the game similarly to a metroidvania type affair of interlinking spaces which open out further and further as your skills and equipment progress – to my mind this really wasn’t the case. Yes there is a surface dusting of it I guess, but at its core the game is a case of going through locations 1 through 8, occasionally backtracking through an earlier location, but generally beyond the very early period of the game once you enter a location you can explore pretty much all of it during that first visit. Also the areas get far less open and interesting to explore as the game progresses.

    Additionally I’d agree with the general consensus that the story suffers from the lack of a compelling villain and for me fails to really deliver any memorable moments. There are some great little side stories told through the logs and emails, but they aren’t enough to make up for the weak core of the story.

    Despite all of the above criticism I still think it was a phenomenal experience – easily the best game I’ve played this year, and probably the best Arkane game since Arx Fatalis – and I would be hugely disappointed if the perceived lukewarm reception/sales resulted in Arkane moving away from this kind of experience.

    • Disgruntled Goat says:

      You can turn objective markers off in the quest log.

      • Jenuall says:

        Yes, but then they pop back up every time the objective updates, or a new one is added. Just let me turn it off entirely!

        It’s obviously not a major thing, but given how customisable most game UI’s tend to be these days it just feels like a particularly frustrating oversight.

        • dethtoll says:

          Given how customizable Dishonored’s UI was I found that kind of disappointing too.

  37. Crusoe says:

    Even the compliments of Prey sound drab. Apt, considering the decor and the seeming lack of variety of enemies.

    As an old school immersive sim fanatic, I’ll play it eventually, but I’m not holding up my hopes.

    Also:
    ***Spoiler***
    I watched the first couple of sequences from RPS’ impressions video, and was thoroughly underwhelmed by the “testing area” reveal. In fact, it was almost a complete cut and paste from the reveal at the beginning of Deus Ex Invisible War.

    So please tell me it dramatically improves.

    • RichUncleSkeleton says:

      It improves if only because the initial testing area is such a confusing mess in terms of level design. But conceptually, Prey definitely reaches peak cleverness in that first half hour and gets ever duller and more insufferable as the lousy story plays out.

    • Premium User Badge

      subdog says:

      “As an old school immersive sim fanatic, I’ll play it eventually,”

      The ambivalence so-called fans of this genre have towards what is certainly the best modern example of this genre is just baffling.

      If you aren’t interested in playing Prey, you aren’t interested in immersive sims. Full stop.

      • dethtoll says:

        Absolutely.

      • Zenicetus says:

        So let’s see… if I enjoyed both Dishonored games (especially the DLC for #1), but didn’t enjoy Prey, then I don’t enjoy immersive sims at all. Got it.

        • dethtoll says:

          Did you like Thief but not System Shock?

          • Zenicetus says:

            I liked both Thief and System Shock, and I liked the Dishonored series. I didn’t like this one, because the combat (or sneaking) was too repetitive, and the enemies were ultimately boring after I had seen enough of them.

            Hard to imagine, eh?

            Keep in mind that I like this type of game enough to take a chance and actually BUY IT AT FULL PRICE, helping to fund the studio and the genre in general. This particular one just didn’t click with me.

        • Premium User Badge

          subdog says:

          If that’s the case, it might suggest you liked Dishonored in spite of its immersive sim elements and not because of them.

          Particularly if you preferred the Daud missions, which threw out some of the main game’s IS elements to more tightly focus on the action gameplay.

          • KenTWOu says:

            Wait, what? Could you elaborate a little bit on that, please? Because Daud’s missions pretty much fixed the first Dishonored adding more stealth focused elements to it, making the overall game way more balanced as a stealth-action.

          • Premium User Badge

            subdog says:

            That’s exactly what I mean. The Daud missions are great stealth-action, but threw out IS elements like the home base hub (straight of DX) or the less action-forward levels like the masquerade ball.

      • RichUncleSkeleton says:

        What I find baffling is how defensive some people are getting over a silly video game. It is perfectly reasonable to simultaneously like a genre and not like a particular example of that genre.

        • Premium User Badge

          subdog says:

          It’s not defensive so much as disappointed. So many people talked about wanting a game like this for so long, and those same people are acting like it’s just another 7/10 to throw on the wishlist for the next holiday sale.

          This is why we can’t have nice things.

          • RichUncleSkeleton says:

            A better explanation for why we can’t have nice things is that review scores, sales expectations and development and marketing budgets have become so absurdly bloated that if a game doesn’t get a Metacritic rating of 90+ and sell at least a million copies its first week it’s written off as a failure. That’s the bigger problem for a naturally mid-tier game like Prey than some people not treating it like the second coming of System Shock 2.

        • dethtoll says:

          It’s no more baffling than your pathological need to respond to every thread here complaining about the game.

    • Thants says:

      It does dramatically improve. That beginning area is a fun little twist but it’s not the real game, it’s just an intro. Soon after that the game opens up and you have a whole huge space station to explore and immersive-sim your way around.

      And if “Prey is the closest we’ve had to that revered immersive sim/System Shock model since the glory days.” doesn’t excite you as an old school immersive sim fanatic I don’t know what to tell you.

  38. RichUncleSkeleton says:

    Prey is 2 incredible hours followed by another 15 or 20 (depending on how much side content you want to pursue) pretty-okay hours, followed by (for me, anyway) a final “is it over yet?” 3-5 hour stretch. The pacing is nonexistent, the story, setting and characters are not memorable, and the art design is mismatched to a sci-fi horror (or “horror”) game. The whole thing would feel very middling in an alternate universe where the original Deus Ex and System Shock 2 had spawned a genre of open-ended, legitimately smart (and not just video game “smart”) FPS/RPG hybrids instead of being total aberrations whose greatness has never come close to being replicated. Unfortunately we don’t live in that universe and Prey wins by default when the competition is dreck like the Deus Ex reboots and Bioshock Infinite.

    • Zaraf says:

      Well I would conversely say that it has a very sluggish start, but become better after a couple of hours, when we get access to the hub area and can start to play with the game mechanics. Can’t tell for the ending yet though.

  39. Doomlord says:

    Dishonored bored me to tears – everything about it was uber-generic and I fear that Prey would simply end up the same way for me.

    • Buuurr says:

      Dishonored was okay. Dishonored 2 was an absolute bore. I agree. This looks just like Dishonored with shapes (shapes that don’t interest me) and spooky. No, thanks. It just doesn’t appeal to me. I was really hoping for a remake or something of the original. I adored that one.

  40. zulnam says:

    Thanks but i’ll wait for a 50% off. Zenimax has enough money, but you probably knew that already.

  41. Sunjammer says:

    I adored this game. Instant replay too. For my money the best immersive sim in a very long time. I was particularly impressed with how early it unshackles you; I felt like I was following my own intuition from the very moment i entered the lobby, and on replay that was reinforced: You can really go your own way pretty much constantly throughout this game, and almost none of the alternatives paths to places feel contrived like in the Deus Ex games.

    Heartily recommended, a modern classic I think.

  42. Viral Frog says:

    New game, way too expensive for the time you get out of it, and I’m pretty much done buying more story driven games for the foreseeable future. Maybe in a few years and during a heavily discounted sale.

    • Thants says:

      I got 30 hours out of a $60 game. That seems like a good deal compared to most media.

  43. Qibbish says:

    Funny you would bring up not waiting for a sale. I pulled the trigger on Prey just yesterday for full retail, and half admonished myself for not waiting. Mind you, I haven’t started the game yet. Seeing your article actually makes me feel better about the decision.

    Think person’s games are too few and far between. As an old school lover of Thief, System Shock and Deus Ex, I expect to be pleasantly surprised.

  44. that_guy_strife says:

    ”Familair” my new favorite word.

    I tried an unlegitimate version (like I do with most expensive games that have them due to very limited free income).

    I played that for only 3 hours before uninstalling it and wishlisting the game. I will be one happy sonofagun once I get to purchase it !

  45. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Playing Prey right now, actually.
    After the other previous big, well-received immersive sims, the Dishonoured and NuDeusEx series, hadn’t grabbed me at all, I didn’t have much hope, but yeah, this one’s the real deal. Arkane finally got their groove back. I plays great, feels great to control, creates exciting emergent situations, gives you some neat choices.. And I truly am interested in seeing how the whole cataclysm plays out.

    As an aside, I really love how they subtly build up Morgan as this super-competent, no-nonsense character with unclear motivations. Silent protagonist somehow manages to come off as the baddest motherfucker since Shepard.

  46. Korolev787 says:

    I have played it – and I really did like it for the most part. The ending did sour things for me a little, but that’s subjective. My brother actually enjoyed the ending quite a bit. It is an immersive sim – it has a lot of lore, a lot of hidden things to find, a lot of audio logs and it’s all well written as well. The folks at Arkane have created a truly wonderful environment, and their art design resonates with me so much that I badly wish I could live in a world that looked like that (without the typhon, of course).

    It’s such a shame that it sold rather poorly. I know it’s unwise to trust VGChartz, but apparently total sales are approximately 350,000 – of course, that’s shipped physical copies and it doesn’t include digital sales, but even with digital sales, I don’t think it broke a million or made any profit. The head of Arkane’s gone – he says it’s nothing to do with poor sales, but I’d hazard a guess that it might be. Dishonored 2, which I also adored (after they patched it), sold better but still sold less than Dishonored 1, which is, again, a damn shame.

  47. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    I just finished playing it. It’s pretty great. I was initially a little skeptical of the setting – I don’t know that I really need another experiment-gone-wrong in a space/underground lab story in my life – and this feeling persists through the opening moments of the game, but once the level design opens up (Talos Lobby onwards) and you get a sense of the possibilities of your various gameplay tools (from wrench to GLOO gun) it becomes increasingly compelling. One of my favourite moments [minor mechanical spoilers] was when I realized I could get through a locked door that required a keycard by breaking a window and firing a foam bolt at the unlock button, or using that same ostensibly (but not actually) useless weapon to trigger and destroy Cystoid nests, or using the Recycle grenade to destroy obstacles too heavy to lift. Everything interacts in ways that make sense.[/mechanical spoilers]

    I also like that in addition to the audio logs (which are maybe a bit played out now but it’s a genre staple, so alright) it actually has characters that you meet in person who are not all trying to kill you. The critical path is straight-forward enough and the game will guide you through the essentials but you’re soon free to go wherever and explore the various corners of the station as you like. The Zero G bits are also pretty cool. I enjoyed the combat too, unlike some, by alternating weapons and making good use of the bullet time ability it remained tense and interesting to the end. I chose to forego any magical Typhon powers (might try those in a future playthrough). The only ones I didn’t like fighting so much are the Technopaths because they keep disabling half your weapons and they fly away when you try to get close, so unless you catch them on the ground or have plenty long range ammo you’re kinda hosed.

    I will note that you absolutely NEED to get the Mimic Detection chipset for your Psychoscope (which will mark any disguised mimics when equipped). This thing is essential because as long as you remember to briefly scan new places (or old ones on return) before proceeding you will be able to get the drop on them instead of vica versa. Whenever I did get pounced by a Mimic it felt like my own mistake instead of the game being unfair. Without this chipset I could imagine the Mimics getting frustrating.

  48. jeremyalexander says:

    I absolutely love this game, but let’s be honest about why it isn’t selling. It’s another victim of the vapid internet hipster hater crowd. The ones that will tell you Star Wars 7 is terrible, but the prequels were good. The ones that will tell you Bethesda sucks while they pour thousands of hours into their games. And most recently the historical revisionists that pretend the original Prey was a good game instead of the absolute shit fest it was and pretend the canceled sequel was somehow going to be a masterpiece but Bethesda decided they would throw it away and start over, with the tens of millions of dollars that entails, for no good reason. That’s correct, the level of irrational net thought has risen to the level of inventing a fanbase for a game nobody played or liked, released many years before some of them were even old enough to play it. Mankinds greatest invention my backside.

    • RichUncleSkeleton says:

      The ones that will tell you Star Wars 7 is terrible, but the prequels were good.

      This is an absurd strawman. Nobody in any galaxy, near or far, far away, likes the prequels whatsoever.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      I don’t know. I just watched this video (link to youtube.com) comparing the two and while I’m not a fan of body horror or corridor shooters particularly, the original Prey seems kind of interesting. I also would have really liked to see the cancelled Human Head game but very much enjoyed this one all the same. I agree though, anyone boycotting the new game because of all that nonsense are being very silly indeed. Not like any of that was Arkane’s fault anyway…

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        The original Prey is a very decent idtech 4 shooter. But the other poster is correct that it had essentially no fanbase until this Prey got announced. The backlash was definitely a case of people looking for an excuse to be dicks about something.

        And yeah, the ludicrous narrative that Bethesda flushed Prey 2 down the toilet in some hostile takeover conspiracy is embarrassing — and I say that as someone who really, really does not like Zenimax one bit.

  49. Caiman says:

    Well it still costs 80 US dollars for me, so no thanks I will not be buying it until it goes on sale for something sensible.