Prey (Xbox 360) Reviews

  • SashamorningSashamorning2,026,233
    17 Jun 2010 01 Jul 2010
    65 9 11
    I first read about Prey in Game Informer a bit before it came out, and the premise sounded intriguing. An alien shooter with a Native American protagonist, trying to save the world. The gameplay was what interested me, with its unique wall-walking, portals, and basically-never-die feature. It was a game that I was looking forward to.

    Flash forward a bit, and it finally came out. I didn't get it at launch, but was surprised by how fast the price started dropping (usually, but not always, the sign of a bad game). So I picked it up used, and actually enjoyed it a lot. It's pretty much available for cheapcheapcheap wherever you might look and worth picking up, both for some easy achievements and some unique game mechanics.

    The story is rather trite. Boy has girl, girl gets abducted by alien spacecraft, boy wanders around trying to find girl while haunted by his ancestors, boy gets whiny about not wanting to save the world but just finding abducted girl... etc. And God, is he whiny. "I *JUST* want to save Jen!" I wanted to claw my eyes out every time I heard a variation on that.

    The storyline aside, Prey has some interesting mechanics that make it memorable. First of all, after you reach a certain point early in the game, you can't die. Or rather, if you die, you get transported to the spirit world where you shoot spirits with your spirit bow to replenish your life and spirit meters. The better your aim, the more health you'll have when you get back.

    In other words, even when you're fighting the bosses, you just have to replenish your health and get back in the fight. For hardcore gamers who like challenges, that's pretty much why this game may not be for you.

    Spirit walking also helps you in the game, too. Sometimes you can't go certain places with your corporeal body (like through force fields) but your spirit can, so go through and unlock the barrier. Sometimes there are special paths you can only travel in spirit form. These don't tend to be difficult to find... for some reason on this alien ship, your ancestors have marked these locations with special symbols. Friends in high places, like out of this world! (Ok, sorry about that one.)

    There's also wall-walking. Lit paths on the floor leading up walls and onto ceilings can be walked on and take you to different places. If you jump off a path, gravity will kick in and you'll fall whichever direction is down. That can make for some interesting fights.

    Gravity itself is changeable in certain parts. In some rooms, you'll need to shoot a target, which will shift the gravity to a wall or ceiling (depending on your perspective). This is a pretty interesting innovation as well.

    Portals also make an appearance. When you encounter a portal, you can go through them into other rooms/places. Although you can't control them, these can be fun ways to sneak up on opponents in multiplayer.

    Speaking of multiplayer... well, it's pretty much dead, and has been for a long time. That's not to say it's not fun. The wall-walking and portals really change the dynamics of the maps (depending on which maps you use). The fact that the game never really took off is a shame, because multiplayer here was built pretty well.

    The achievements are very straightforward. Most are mission related, a few are related to minigames, and one is for beating the game on Cherokee difficulty, which is a "harder" version of Prey that unlocks after you beat it the first time. The thing is that since you can't really die, Cherokee difficulty isn't really any harder. At all. In any way. I'm not kidding. So if you like the game enough to run through it a second time, there's some more easy GS.

    As I said before, the multiplayer is pretty much dead, so to round out your 1000 points you're going to need a boosting partner. Other than that, it's easy. Follow the guides, and those points are yours.

    The graphics aren't great, but they're not terrible either, especially for a game intended as an original Xbox launch.

    All in all, Prey is an innovative, fun game, if a little clichéd, and if you can ignore the whiny dialogue. The mechanics are interesting and fun, and it just seems like there's a lot of unrealized potential in this game. Should 2K ever want to make a sequel, Prey 2 could turn out to be a serious contender after a little tightening, and one that I'd really look forward to playing. As cheap as it is, easily worth picking up.
    4.0
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    SashamorningThanks for the positive feedback. I truly appreciate it! :-)
    Posted by Sashamorning on 22 Jun 11 at 23:54
    Killerfox UruWell, you wrote a solid review, congratulatios!
    Posted by Killerfox Uru on 27 Aug 11 at 16:41
    SyntrAgreed with you! +1
    I got the collector's edition, still have it infact, for the PC, a week after release. $20 at Best Buy and in Alaska. I loved it so much and found it on "Games On Demand" and without looking at the price, I paid $20 for it again, felt like an idiot afterwards, but whatever.
    Posted by Syntr on 08 Jun 12 at 22:31
  • DavieMarshallDavieMarshall219,585
    14 Feb 2010
    27 2 3
    A game I kept meaning to pick up and give a play through. I never did get round to it until the other day when I popped into my local GAME store and saw a copy for the grand total of £1.99.

    The games premise is slightly weird. You're a chap with a strong native American background who is abducted, along with everyone else who is in the bar with you at the time, into an alien spacecraft.

    It gets weirder as you discover within a few 'missions' that you are able to 'spirit walk', i.e,: leave your body and roam around wielding a bow and arrow. You are also unable to die and are instead transported to another world where you must kill demons of the past to return to your physical body.

    Add to this the ghost/spirit eagle which follows you around and attacks aliens with you and you can forgive me for looking back on a three hour session on Prey and wondering; "Did I just dream all of that? Was I drunk?". No, this is all actually in the game.

    The game itself looks rather dated by today's standards. Indeed I did actually laugh out loud at the start of the game as I realised that the textures were going to 'pop in' as they did in Mass Effect, but that the graphics were just supposed to be that way.

    However, the game itself plays fairly solidly. I ran through the game in two days playing solid for about four to five hours each day (I've a week off work, don't judge me) and picking up achievements left, right and centre.

    Beyond the initial story I described in the beginning of this review there's little else to tell. You've been abducted and you want to save your girlfriend. This story pans out over twenty one levels with very little in the way of sub-plot or much depth. And you will find yourself wandering through corridors blasting away aliens without much care or thought as to why it is you're doing it.

    As the game takes place more or less exclusively in a space ship the environments are fairly dull and repetitive, not to mention dark (the lighter you are equipped with does little to dispel the shadows). By the end of the game your eyes will be fatigued from the RSI they're exposed to throughout.

    There are some brilliant features in the game though. The use of portals and gravity switches mean that to solve some puzzles you are forced into thinking in every dimension possible and sometimes perform the tasks of two people using your spirit self. It's quite mind bending to look through a portal and see yourself within but upside down. It's a great unique feature to the game which is employed well throughout by the use of 'wall walking' and portal transportation.

    The weapons are also very fun. The alien technology is best described as being 'alive' (in the case of their 'grenades' the explosive creatures are literally alive until you pull the pin (or, leg should we say). Assault rifles squirm in your hands and the scope, if not in use, seems to get bored and squirm around. It's quite brilliant how some of these weapons have been designed. What's more the shooting element is solid and more than fit for purpose.

    Unfortunately though this game doesn't feature regenerative health and you'll be made to heal yourself via pockets of 'gas' in the floor. This works well, until you're in a battle and there are none. The mechanics of the game don't lend themselves to a duck and cover method of attack so you'll be forced into head-on battles with enemies who can take some severe punishment as well as finishing you off quite easily. Get used to playing the 'other world' mini game to revive yourself. You'll be doing it a LOT and it can get quite tiresome.

    The music and voice acting in the game is top notch, so there's no chuckling at the wooden acting as in some games such as the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.

    Sadly there are a LOT of on-line achievements and a dead online community so you'll have to settle for around 750GS and dial the remaining points in as a lost cause (unless you can arrange a boosting session via this site).

    In short, this game can be picked up dirt cheap now and it's well worth the few quid most places are asking for it pre-owned these days. It kept me playing for two days solid and I will go back to pick up my 'finish the game on Cherokee' (that's hard to you and me).
  • BantriBantri90,029
    19 Dec 2009
    27 2 2
    Ahhh, prey. One of my favorite games for the 360. When I had bought Prey, I had found it on Amazon.com for about $3.99 and didn't really expect much from it, but thought it would be a neat game to add to my game collection. I started playing it, and I was blown away, there are so many cool features in the game that are completely amazing! One of witch is the gravity. One moment you may be standing on the ground, the next you switch it to be standing on the wall. And then next thing you know, you have to kill some monsters which are shooting at you from the ground, when you are either upside down or sideways. It messes with your head but is so cool. Portals in the game are amazing too. Those mess with you too.

    The story line is pretty good. It is one of the few where it can get emotional, despite the gory monster killing. Not to spoil anything, but it made me sad. I worked all those levels to get there and then that happened.

    The graphics are pretty average, since it was an earlier game and all, and the story line is rather short, especially the last levels.

    I would definitely recommend buying Prey. It's not that expensive, like maybe $5, and just to say how much I liked it, I can compare to Halo. I prefer playing Prey, than any of the Halo games. I have played Prey through probably at least 6 times through and still could do it again.

    So If you have ever pretended you were a Native American, being sucked up by alien monsters to save the world, then you will love this game. Haha And if not, you may still love it too. So I really suggest this game.
    5.0
  • Vermin360Vermin360539,806
    28 Apr 2011
    19 0 1
    Prey places you in the shoes of Tommy, a Native American with a deep connection to the spiritual world who along with his girlfriend Jen, is abducted by aliens. What follows is a bizarre journey through a labyrinth of gravity-flipping alien architecture rife with portals, tapping into a spirit form that shoots phantasmal arrows and can access areas that Tommy's physical form is prohibited from reaching.

    Released in2006, I was fully expecting this game to look and feel very outdated, and for the most part I was correct. On the positive side, the level designers and environment artists created some unique looking pieces and had some interesting animations particularly toward the later stages of the game. But I can't help but feel like the days of abstract alien environments are behind us, and it is easier to immerse oneself in a world that is more familiar.

    Unfortunately, that (intentionally) alien feeling when traversing the environments often led to me scratching my head when confronted with one of the many puzzle elements that felt wholly unintuitive, or at best slightly misleading in the manner in which to execute the solution. Fortunately, living in the information age allows one to quickly call up a walkthrough video on YouTube in order to progress. Such moments are often followed by the phrase "I never would have seen that" or "I tried that!"

    I do applaud the creativity behind the multiple uses of portals and altering the direction of gravity. It allows the level designers to reuse and revisit areas with different results and create a unique perspective. One can only imagine some of the challenges that arose while trying to visualize the 3D space from multiple viewpoints.

    Weapon design in Prey is among some of the best that I have seen. The creepy organic ambient animations breathe a great deal of life into objects typically seen only as a tool in most games of the first-person-shooter genre. My personal favourite has to be their equivalent of the grenade, in which the player character pulls legs off a critter in order to agitate into an explosive state. Brilliant!

    One of the stranger design choices in Prey revolves around its death mechanic. Unlike most FPS games, when the player dies, he is not sent back to a checkpoint or forced to reload a saved game. Instead, he passes into a spirit realm where phantoms representing spiritual and physical energies circle about, waiting to be pierced by the player's arrow so that they can bestow their energy back into Tommy when he respawns moments later. This allows the player to put emphasis on returning with higher health or spirit (used to power the spirit bow while in spirit form), but also serves little more than as an annoyance that occurs if the player character dies - not too unlike the oft-maligned Valkyrie sequence in Silicon Knights' https://www.trueachievements.com/Too-Human-xbox-360.htm. Unfortunately, this also becomes somewhat of an exploit as enemy characters (including bosses) retain their current wounded health levels when the player character returns, so nothing is sacrificed apart from about 15 seconds of time whenever the player character is killed.

    Overall I'm sure I would have enjoyed the game far more if I had played it closer to the time of its release. It's a pretty solid single-player campaign, with 22 chapters that span somewhere around 15 hours of play time. Completing the game on the Normal skill level unlocks a harder "Cherokee" difficulty that must also be completed in order to unlock the full complement of single-player Achievements. The downside is that the chapter-by-chapter Achievements that helped pull the player through the lengthy grind of a campaign will have already been unlocked by this point, with only a single reward to earn upon your second full playthrough.

    The multiplayer component is pretty straightforward. Between deathmatch and team deathmatch, you'll still be challenged to find anybody playing online these days. Achievement hunters can power through all seventeen multiplayer goals in under three hours with a dedicated group of three or four boosters and a simple gameplan. Most of the deathmatch Achievements are earned through amassing a particular number of kills with each weapon type, and respawns are fast enough that a steady food chain can be set up to knock off kills quickly and efficiently.

    I guess that's one of the benefits of playing games years after they are released. You don't get blinded by fancy visuals and new revelations in technology and can see clear through to the gameplay underneath the surface. If you like what you see even after the visuals are outdated, you've got yourself a solid title. If not, you're left peeking behind the green curtain to see that the Wizard isn't as spectacular as he was made out to be.
    3.0
  • SISYPH7SSISYPH7S37,759
    22 Jun 2011
    15 1 2
    This game is only $3 used at Gamestop right now and for that price it's a steal. I'd be pretty pissed off if I'd paid $50 for it but I didn't, so I enjoyed it quite a bit.

    The reason that this game got a bad rap early on, I'm convinced is that people expected a pure shooter, which this isn't. Once I realized it was really more of a puzzle game with some cool shooting, I was hooked. The combat itself won't keep you coming back but once you figure out how to get through a certain section, you want to see what's next.

    This game won't spoonfeed you, though, and if you like games to always tell you which direction to go and which button to push, you'll likely hate this. The fact that sometimes you end up confused in this game works with it's concept. YOU'RE TRAPPED ON AN ALIEN SPACESHIP, YOU'VE NEVER SEEN ANY OF THIS TECH BEFORE, YOUR CHARACTER SHOULD BE CONFUSED. Don't worry though, it's not too hard. After a level or two, you start to figure things out and if you remember this simple piece of advice, you'll be fine. WHEN IN DOUBT, SPIRIT WALK!

    The other reviews pretty much cover the story, which there isn't much of, you get abducted by aliens with your grandfather and girlfriend, then spend the rest of the game trying to find them on the ship. Your grandpa is hung up on Cherokee traditions, which you think are stupid, even after grandpa shows you how to step outside your body as a spirit and gives you a ghost bird to guide you around. Tommy, your character, is basically a moron. Yes, your main character is annoying but he's the only one you get so deal with it.

    In any case, this is worth picking up for the $3. Some easy achievements, old school, an achievement a level along with some side game achievements thrown in. And more importantly, a fun play. The 4 stars is based on getting it for $3. Would be rated much lover if I'd paid full price.
    4.0
  • Spiderman NoireSpiderman Noire914,070
    04 Mar 2013
    9 3 3
    What can I say about this game...This was my first game i ever played on the Xbox 360 and at the time, this was amazing but putting this game back in 7 years later is well lack luster. I'm making this review for anyone that is walking around their local came store and see it under the value bin or being sold by a guy in a dark alley way with a long trench coat. the aspects that I will include in this review are Story, Graphics, and because this is a achievement website i will include the achievement list in the review so lets get started!

    Story - 8/10

    With the first person shooter industry being full of generic stories full of explosions and the expendables like moments (i am looking at you Call of Duty modern warfare 3...and 2 and 1). this story is different and interesting. The story follows and first nations man on a native reserve when aliens come out of nowhere and scoop up members of his family and his girlfriend. He proceeds to go all Duke Nukem up in that alien piece! to try to save his girlfriend and family. I believe the story is refreshing and still holds up to this day.

    Graphics - 3/10

    I know I know...everyone will say: "what do you expect?!? this game was released in 2006 dont expect a masterpiece gawd!". The texture popping is terrible, enemies are varied but ugly, levels are just shiny coats over them and the faces on the characters look like hannibal with a face on top of a face...kinda creepy. I have played games from 2006 such as Call of Duty 2 and blazing angels and they still look good and are playable to this day. I think the game looked bad back in 2006 and still look bad today

    Achievement list - 7/10

    This is pretty easy to achieve all around. Even the game on the hardest difficulty is ease and the multiplayer achievements can be achieved in 3 hours (i did this yesterday with 3 people and it was boring but simple).
    This should be an easy completion if you can power through the grind session and the long campaign but you can do it!

    Overall the game is pretty good with a load of achievements that can be achieved very quickly. If your looking for an easy completion without much of a headache this is probably the game for you. All together i give it a 6 LeBron James out of 10...why? because i can!
    3.0
  • Sonic SleuthSonic Sleuth279,178
    18 Apr 2011
    11 9 1
    In the good old days, before the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 were fun... or even existing, Two Buck Chuck played a lot of computer games... specifically first person shooters. As the next generation consoles grew in popularity, I put down the mouse in favor of the wireless controller. I recall exactly when the change came... the game "Prey" had been released, and Chuck found it on sale, super-cheap (as always). It looked like a Native American Duke Nukem, so I was enthralled. That is, until I put it in my computer. It instantly felt forgettable, and without even making it to out space (the very beginning of the game, mind you), I'd moved on to other things. Two years later, Chuck was doing his taxes (gotta pinch those pennies), and what was sitting on top of the PC tower? Prey... now dusty and bedraggled, never used again. These things happen to even the cheapest gamer.

    A short time ago, on one of my many cheap gaming sojourns, I found a copy of Prey for the Xbox 360. They were having a "Buy one, get one free" sale, so I grabbed it and another game for $4.99 total. (I'm not cheating, you can get this game for under three bucks on Half.com right now!) Why not? It looked fun in 2006, why not try it again four years later? That's sound gamer logic at work. So, I played it... and I'll be darned if it isn't a Native American Duke Nukem... minus the humor... and the cool weapons... and the strippers.

    Prey follows a young Cherokee tribesman with an attitude, an immature brawler who doesn't embrace his cultural heritage, as he's forced to battle alien hordes to save his girlfriend, a saucy barmaid. Yow! The story is fairly engaging, as Tommy (whose native name is Domasi) loses faith, then regains it as he gains spiritual powers by asking for assistance from the gods, or Mother Earth, or something like that. Chuck isn't much of a Native American cultural historian, but just about any representation of the natives of this country is welcome, considering how ancestrally culture-poor the United States is. Getting back to the game itself - Tommy nee Domasi gains a (very effective) spiritual bow and arrow, as well as the ability to "spirit-walk." While spirit-walking, Tommy follows his "spirit guide", represented by his boyhood eagle Talon. These powers really open up the game's puzzles, which are the key to the relatively compelling gameplay.

    Fans of Valve's critically-acclaimed Portal will easily transition to taking on the portal-hopping, spirit-walking puzzles that are common as the game progresses. There are switches that modify the gravity on the ship, and portals that help you reach them, so an astute gamer will easily find the solution, and the Two Buck Chucks of the world will whine and throw controllers until the Internet saves the day. Thankfully, Domasi never actually dies - he simply fades into a spirit world before returning to the game, so tough battles never result in reloading game files. Although Prey looks like a four-year old game, and plays like a retread, it's got enough of its own personality to be fun. You know, two bucks worth of fun.

    Achievement fans will find that 250 of the possible 1000 Gamerscore are unlockable online achievements, but the remaining 750 aren't tough to get... 22 achievements are triggered by beating each level of the game. Three others, including Retro Gamer, are earned by playing mini-games in the bar-cade from the beginning of the game, and the Cherokee difficulty achievement, Galactic Hero, is easy to grab if you have the time for a second playthrough (once you know the lay of the land)... but you can't unlock Cherokee difficulty until you beat the game on the normal mode. Tsk tsk, development jerks.

    Games like Prey are a godsend to Two Buck Chuck... forgotten titles that still got a full development cycle and offer some fun for a limited budget. I wouldn't recommend anybody put down the hot new titles in favor of this oldie, but if you see it for a couple dollars, you might want to give it a try. Note that the game is not intended for kids - there is extreme violence and adult language from the opening sequence, and a killer ending that might scar Junior if he played through it. Toughen up, kid... you never know when an alien invasion is going to crash the reservation.

    Check out our other reviews at www.gamedebateclub.com!
    3.0
  • borandiborandi228,628
    02 Dec 2008
    25 44 12
    I originally bought Prey when it was first released on the PC. It looked fun and entertaining - using portals, variable wall gravity, aliens etc. I played it for a couple of hours and it felt like any other First Person Shooter - fairly linear, not too hard (on the easiest setting). It also had one special feature - after less than 30 minutes, you get infinite lives. Every time you die, you get half your life force back and respawn at the same point. This one fact, makes this an easy game.

    The premise of the story (for PC and 360, I'll continue from here purely from the 360) is that you, are Tommy. A cherokee on the reservation, who desperately wants to leave with his girlfriend, Jen. But Jen is cherokee through and through, and wont leave her family, her home, or her bar.

    One evening, late at night, Tommy is still trying to convince Jen to join him, and leave the reservation. The night is pitch black, with rain thundering down very hard. In the distance, wild dogs start to bark, followed by the noise of car alarms. The TV switches to the test card, and then into emergency transmission mode. Green lights start to appear through the windows of the bar. One glance skyward shows a UFO through the windows, seemingly desintegrating the roof around them. Tractor beam style, Tommy, Jen, and Tommy's grandfather are tractored into the UFO above.

    The story continues from there, along the lines of saving girlfriends, and Tommy finding out about his heritage. During your course of Tommy, you'll be shooting, flying, and battling with which way is up, with variable direction gravity.

    Single player story line takes around 8 hours when you play the first time. After this, you can play on the harder, Cherokee setting. With infinite lives, the only bit that is hard is when you dont have the infinite lives.

    Multiplayer can be fun, if you can find anyone online. Usually around 8pm-12pm UK time (GMT, UTC) you'll find maybe a gorup of 2 or 3 on normal deathmatch. Once there was 8 online when I was playing.

    Achievements: 750 Gamerscore from completing the main story mode, twice. Second time shouldnt take more than 5 hours. 250 GS from multiplayer - For the team deathmatch, it might be worth getting a buddy. Overall, probably 15 hours for the full 1000.

    Conclusion: An OK game. Very innovative, just needed more storyline, and to add something else to the genre. New ideas are great, but if they dont capture the public's attention like Gears of War, nothing much will come of it.

    borandi

    (c) Author retains all rights and copyright.
    1.0