Prey is a strange game, a very strange game published by 3D Realms and developed by Human Head Studios. You take the role of Domasi “Tommy” Tawodi a Native American living on a reserve in a modern day. I am a big Turok fan so this made me interested from the start. He wants to leave the reserve and seems as if he is done believing in the old stories and tales from his tribe. He doesn’t believe in the spirits and also doesn’t want to hear about it either from his grandfather Enisi. Enisi is a very important part of the game as you go through. There is also female character named Jen on this reserve she owns a bar and inside that bar is where the game begins. Tommy loves her but hasn’t told her yet. The game starts off with him talking to himself while practicing how he is going to try and convince the girl to leave the reserve with him and confess to her his love. Once he works the guts up to ask her she tells him no because she does not want to leave the reserve. She wants to stay with her family and among her people but you can tell she has feelings for him also.
Before you know it the action begins, there is a terrifying atmosphere at this point. There is screaming, blood all over the place, and you have no idea where your at yet but there are aliens. You eventually find out that you are located in the “Sphere”. Shortly after that, you learn that Enisi will be your ancient spirit guide through the rest of the game. When you reach certain points in the Sphere you go to visit the spirit world where Enisi teaches you new magic which normally helps for the tasks ahead. The main magic you learn is how to go into spirit mode. The spirit mode can’t be stopped by the aliens force fields and it also helps you reach places your physical form couldn’t. You can only use one weapon while in this mode and that is your spirit bow. When you first get to the spirit world you are also greeted by your old pet hawk named Talon. Talon helps guide your way and can transform alien language into English for you also. You will come to love that bird it even goes after enemies some for you causing distractions for you to take them out.
Gameplay switches throughout the game as your welcomed by new enemies, weapons, tricks, and puzzles. This game was made in the same engine as Doom 3 so it feels similar to that game in a way. Which is packed with very nicely detailed rooms, colored yet dark environments, fully modeled weapons, and monsters ready to take you out. There is a quite haunting section and then you will be really reminded of the Doom 3 engine but Prey utilizes it really well I must say. Something fun to point out is this game really brings out a lot of Duke Nukem Forever’s roots. If you have played that game you will right away notice the similarities to Prey. The level Hive in the single player of Duke Nukem Forever is highly similar to Prey. The weird alien doors that split open are a direct reference from Prey. There are other things similar to it also.
The gameplay is truly widespread yet fitting because this game also in my opinion shows you where the concepts of the game Portal come from. I mean the portals in this game are outrageous there is no other way to describe them to me, maybe amazing. It is very similar to how Portal is but Portal came out a year later. Not only are the Portals crazy but anything can be a portal from a crate to one of the most spectacular portals you have ever seen. The craziness really first hits when levels start going upside down and sideways. It seems the gravity is on every single floor no matter what direction your facing. So sometimes it appears there are enemies on the ceiling but there not actually on the ceiling its just the controlled gravity tricking us. Sometimes there are targets you can shoot that flip the room your in upside down and side ways. This is also used as part of the puzzles, a simple example of this is when you have to unlock a door by flipping the room upside down and hit the switch on that floor then flip it back to go through the door. I can tell you they can get quite confusing when you got to flip the rooms sideways and upside down its even hard to explain.
The main goal is to get your girl back. This game has a pretty sad part before the ending feeding you the motivation to want to kick every aliens ass you see. I thought it was a good bridge to for the ending sequence but it is a sad yet happy ending. There is a little surprise after the credits to. Last but certainly not least at all is when the player dies there are no check points. When you die you go to a spirit world where you take out as many demons as you can with the Spirit Bow before your sucked back into the vortex. The red demons give you health the blue demons give you spirit ammo for your bow. Once you get sucked into the vortex you will return in the exact position where you died with the enemies still alive/dead. I especially liked this it really kept the pace going.
The level design had very good looks whether its space or an open room this game finds a way to make the levels look and feel good. There also not very restricted either as I jumped to places that didn’t seem like you could go. And the coloring and atmospheric lights all blend well and puzzles made the rooms you were in more then they appeared. You can’t say that about many games or levels. Some of the levels appeared and formed themselves before your eyes as you stepped towards them. I like the use of sharp edges in the levels to give things that final touch. Some of the levels take place out side the sphere on planets, sometimes your in a tech area, and sometimes it feels like you just stepped into haunted area. There was even backtracking in the levels to which surprised me.
A part of the gameplay I didn’t like that much is flying shuttles sometimes to reach different parts of the levels. The handling on these were pretty opened and not so cramped but after a few times it became not so fun to ride in them. Its especially because you have to locate landing areas or your stuck in the ship till it overloads and explodes. Some may enjoy the flying parts but I just wasn’t really into it. But I guess some change ups were good and the flying parts weren’t ever to long. Another thing I didn’t like was how slow Tommy was I mean he isn’t really slow but that’s not running. If he could run just a bit faster the game would have an even faster pace and that I am okay with.
This game is very fun and it has mind games. Mostly its another action FPS involving blasting aliens with unheard of weapons. It is as if Doom 3 was mixed in with Duke Nukem and Turok. But its not just a clone of any of those titles. I think it stands as its own story and the portals and puzzles are something else on its own as well. I don’t like the flying sections very much and at times they felt tedious so did the slow stepping. But those don’t take away the good things about this game. The game is story rich and its actually a decent story. I would totally play this more than once.
Categories: Game Reviews