First introduced in 1995, Prey is an alien shooter with space bending mechanics, spirits, and some puzzle-solving thrown in. You play as Tommy, a Cherokee living in the Reservation who’s not quite happy about it, in fact, he pretty much hates it. Tommy’s plan is to leave the Reservation and start a new life alongside his girlfriend Jen. The catch is Tommy doesn’t have the courage to tell Jen he loves her and Jen doesn’t want to leave the Reservation as she feels at home with her Tribe. Just as things start to get spicy, your conversion gets interrupted by an emergency broadcast and shortly you, Jen and Tommy’s grandfather Enisi get abducted by aliens and transported onto their ship.
Once onboard the alien ship called The Sphere you get rescued by a group called Hiders. Next, you proceed to fight through 23 levels of aliens, bosses, learn about your ancestors, their powers and continuously refuse to save the world and learn new skills because you JUST want to save Jen and go home. Hearing Tommy constantly whine about Jen made me cringe a little.
Some choices feel very meaningless. At one point in the game, you get the choice of keeping the human harvester turned off or turning it back on. As far as I am aware there’s no difference. The story is OKAY at best, if they put as much effort into the story as they did into gunplay and game mechanics this game would be a masterpiece.Tip:
Listen to news broadcasts while onboard The Sphere as they reveal interesting facts and theories. Story - Continued (Contains heavy spoilers, feel free to skip)
Let’s start with what I think is the worst feature in this game, the dying mechanics. When you die, you are transported into the spirit world to regain your health and mana by shooting some spirits. You then respawn back to where you were before, not only you keep your progress but the damage you dealt to enemies also stays, even for bosses. What’s the point of having difficulty settings when you can’t die? If you fail to shoot a single spirit, you still get respawned with half your health, what’s the point of checkpoints?
At times I was feeling a little lost, out of ideas as to what to do next. This will probably come down to personal preference but I'd love to see a mission pointer or a mission log I could open to check my objective. At one point in the game, I had to destroy this electricity shooting tower. I got to what felt like stage 2 only to get stuck, the tower wasn't going down, no health bar, no indicator as to what to shoot next, no glowing part. Turns out I failed to destroy one little part at the bottom of the tower.
Everything else about this game is a masterpiece. The guns feel, sound, and look amazing. Every gun has 2 fire modes, one powerful and one standard. For example, the assault rifle has a sniper mode you can toggle, shotgun shoots grenades, etc. In total there are 5 guns available for you to pick from, those unlock as you progress through the story.
Wall walk will allow you to walk on walls and ceilings, fighting aliens which will often run upside down or sideways is always great fun.
Portals will allow you to seamlessly teleport to different parts of the ship, enemies will use them to appear out of thin air, more powerful enemies will use it to escape your line of fire and teleport behind you. Such powerful mechanics and yet it feels well balanced.
Gravity flippers, when shot will change the gravity for you and you only. Enemies stay on the walls they were before.
Spirit form will allow you to cross obstacles your body can’t, like force fields, fires, and bursts of energy. There are “webs” you can cross while in Spirit form left behind by your ancestors. These spots are marked and easy to spot. You are told you’re invisible while in Spirit form which is partially true. Most stronger enemies will still see you and shoot you. If your body gets damaged while in spirit form, you will lose control of your spirit form, make sure to hide your body somewhere safe. All these features make up for fun, interesting gameplay.
Fun and interesting game mechanics combined with even better gunplay make up for the average story. Prey will keep you on your toes while throwing enemies at you left, right and center. Somewhat controversial death walk will ensure you never lose progress making harder difficulties, well, not difficult. If the game mechanics and story are improved upon, Prey 2 could possibly be one of the best game of this century. 7/10