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Prey 2017

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1 Prey 2017 on Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:10 pm

After years of doubting, thinking, wondering if I'd buy this game I decided to just do a coin toss. With my birthday behind me a mate asked me what I wanted and I just gave him a list of games, one being this one. And he choose Prey, and it was the right choice.

I'm not going to go super in depth (yet), but this has to be one of the most under the radar gems I've seen in a while. Instead of rambling, here are just some pointers that give a feeling of the game. First, know that it is an First Person title, you explore a space station and it is the type of game that allows for multiple ways to enter areas and sometimes even completely skip them. If you think Deus Ex or System Shock, you're on the right track. Now:


  • You have a Glue gun that fires a foam, and I think I'm in love. The gun allows you to dose fires, make walls and even custom platforms to stand on (allowing you to really climb to places you're 'not supposed to' go to yet. You can throw it at foes to, freezing them. At one point I shot some leaks in a tube that shot fire out of it, enemies avoid this so I put some Glue on it. When the foe walked past it, I shot the Glue into pieces and the enemy died in flames. The gun is as good as you make it.
  • The game really plays on its "you can do what you want when you want" attitude. Only a few cardkeys are based on story progression, if you're smart (and use your skills smartly) you can get some things like the shotgun (which you'd normally get after 5 hours) in the first 10 minutes.
  • The main enemy, the Mimic, is a foe that can copy anything. So you're constantly on the look out for things that look 'off'. See a desk with two chairs? Yeah, that's probably a mimic. Very fun design.
  • The grenade is a vacuum that 'recycles' foes and gives you crafting resources for the kill, but negates all other loot you'd have gotten. Makes grenades a risky affair since you never know what you'll miss out on.
  • It honestly has the most mind-bending and over the top amazing intro's I've played. Really plays with your expectations. 


Really, it is the type of game you can't really explain. When I played the demo (which spoils the intro btw), when I saw the trailers, when I watched the reviews; it just doesn't give that magical feel to you. Honestly, this is that rare type of game you just have to grab the disc for and shove it in. Pun intended.

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2 Re: Prey 2017 on Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:41 pm

Birdman


Moderator
I assumed this game didn't do to well. I haven't read anything on it (only know it's first person) but in every EB Games I visit in my travels, the used bin is overloaded with this game. It looks like the most returned/sold game of the year.

I visit a lot of these stores because I have clients in different areas and EVERY store has like 20+ copies in the used bins. Not saying it's bad, but it did make me wonder why.

After reading your description, I really do know why. It's unique and that doesn't work with gamers today. Like, everything you described sounds fantastic.

How 'shooty' is it though? I generally don't play shooters.

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3 Re: Prey 2017 on Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:42 am

The game is about as shooty as you want. You can sneak past every fight if you like, lure them away, stun them and walk past them, use other ways around a room, transform into an object and just avoid them, hack doors to avoid combat, lure enemies to turrets, set traps using mines or enviromental hazards, lure them into rooms and lock the door... or you can activate bullet time, run up to them with a Shotgun with +5 damage and just laugh while whistling your favorite song from Die Hard.

It really is an oddball game though, but really a great one. I was shocked to see less than 50% of the players making it past the 1 hour mark (thanks to achievements). Really sad. But yeah as noted, amazing title. If you can get it on the cheap, I highly recommend it if only to experience the intro and the tension that the first few hours bring.

Reasons why it flopped though are also a bit of its own fault:


  • it uses the name of an older game which was a flopped shooter, while it is actually a spiritual succesor to System Shock;
  • the demo that released used version 1.0 of the game which was insanely buggy. It would crash, play combat music at max volume when nothing was happening randomly, sound glitches, falling through the floor;
  • these bugs were still present in the released version, with some reviewers even getting corrupted save-data leading to low review scores;


These things were all fixed later on and the game has had decent support, with even more options and modes added later-on for free. But the damage was done. I had played the demo and hated it thanks to the glitches.

Enventually it was this video that had me buy it:

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4 Re: Prey 2017 on Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:59 am

Birdman


Moderator
It looks interesting but I wouldn't rush to play it due to just not being into shooters even though it offers much more than that. I'm just interested in promoting unique mechanics. Sad how anything that deviates from the stale norm flops.

I might rent it at some point just to say I've played it but I still have to deal with Knack 2 (keep finding new TechKnack) and I have barely touched Vampyr.

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5 Re: Prey 2017 on Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:23 am

Just put it on the ever growing list haha! But yeah it really is that type of game that's different enough to be ignored. I'm sure you'll enjoy it when given the chance, but it really is that type of game where you just have to set aside a weekend for it.

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6 Re: Prey 2017 on Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:05 pm

Follow-up; finished Prey. In my mind the game is divided into four parts: beginning, middle, slog and end. The beginning is great, the middle is even better. The slog is one of the most mindbogglingly boring things I've done in my life and the end is great. The slog happens in the most stupid way possible, the game up until then kept 'quests' relegated to a single area. So you could just stay there and finish up. Around the time the slog hits you have access to the whole game and suddenly you have to go to the other side of the station to press one single button, backtrack allllllllllllllllllllll the way back..just to press another button or grab a certain item. This repeats for nearly 4 hours. I make no joke when I say I watched nearly 40 minutes of television on my phone while waiting for the loading screens since sometimes it was only a two minute walk between them, or less. The ending is extremely "flip the script" in a way that would make Mikami blush in embarrassment. But it is in good fun.

Overall, I had high hopes for the game and it squashed them by being even better. The game is rife with combat options, exploration options and has a neat narrative to boot. The story never gets in the way (no cutscenes (except intro and outro), you can shoot people mid sentence to shut them up, no conversations locking doors to make you listen). Lots of hidden things (you can get the shotgun nearly 4 hours earlier by being smart, same with the Q-beam). Really like the upgrade system too, damage increase is high enough that it matters, but without upgrades you can still win by playing smart. Grenades are good non-scaling options that are always strong, as are hazards and the Wrench + GlueGun.
My biggest complaints are that once you get to the mid-way point the game stops giving you new toys to play around with, too many functions given to the pistol (it is basically a silenced AR with a scope and huge range when upgraded), you can get OP crazy fast, mage powers seem underpowered compared to human powers, audio issues, respawning of foes can be a drag, the infamous Slog section and the ending being such a shark jumper.

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7 Re: Prey 2017 on Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:01 am

AKheon


D-Rank
Prey's a very good game, one of my favorites from last year. I didn't even play around with the Typhon powers on my first playthrough... perhaps I'll replay it on PC eventually and use a different playstyle. The story was great too - it stayed on my mind long after finishing the game.

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8 Re: Prey 2017 on Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:00 pm

@AKheon wrote:Prey's a very good game, one of my favorites from last year. I didn't even play around with the Typhon powers on my first playthrough... perhaps I'll replay it on PC eventually and use a different playstyle. The story was great too - it stayed on my mind long after finishing the game.

Really loving the game more on the second run. For one, I actually know all the NPC names now and know what I'm reading. Second, sneaking my way into early areas way too early is a ton of fun. There's parts where I know I shouldn't go yet (like Volunteer Quarters), but by playing smart and using enemy weaknesses I can kill even the hardest foes. Killing a Technomancer in early game is really sweet.

To the others, there's also a bow that shoots plastic rounds that deal 0 damage, but can be used to shoot switches. So there's a door you're not supposed to enter yet, but by playing smart you can sneak around it, smash part of the window open that's unsecured, shoot the doorbutton from the inside, and walk straight in. Insanely satisfying. Almost takes me back to Super Metroid in how open it is.

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