It has been a long time coming, quite a long time if my memory serves me correctly (10 or so years). It’s shifted focus several times and after many delays, Prey is finally amongst us. Prey joins the line of FPS and adds a couple of interesting innovations and gimmicks that sets it above the usual run-of-the-mill crowd.
The Xbox 360 version of Prey landed on my table so I was interested to see how it performed.Story
You play the part of Tommy, a young Cherokee that is bored of his life on the Reservation, he’s a mechanic and very much in the mould of a certain guy armed with a crowbar has no Special Operations training or leanings towards the army. Tommy is trying to convince his girl to leave the Reservation with him, ignore his grandfather’s strange spiritual mumblings and advice when all hell breaks loose and the whole bar is abducted by aliens.
But these aren’t the ET-style aliens, these are mean and ruthless extraterrestrials that would be at home in a David Cronenberg
movie. You very quickly realise that things are going from bad to worse when you wake up on the ship and are strapped to a big metal mobile gurney.Gameplay
Without spoiling the game’s story for anyone it plays like a regular FPS. The transition to the Xbox 360 is fairly smooth and there are the usual options that you can toggle on and off, much like the PC version of the game. After that it’s a straight run and gun shooter with some innovations and quirky gameplay techniques that add to the fun.
Movement is on the left stick, crouching can be toggled, aim with the right stick.
The game unfolds with Tommy trying desperately to understand what’s going on around him, the alien ship is a nightmare of insane design and there are hordes of enemies at every turn. Tommy is armed with his trusty wrench and later on gets his hands on some weird alien-tech weapons that are bio-engineered.
The weapons aren’t all that interesting and for such an advanced technology only a couple of them actually appear advanced. The bio-acid spray gun being a firm favourite as well as a freeze gun that brought back memories of Duke
The biggest innovation in Prey are the portals that pop up through which Tommy can access new and secret areas, or the enemies can arrive. Some of these will lead you further on in the sprawling alien mothership and some are there to showcase what portal-tech can do.
I particularly liked one portal that lead from a room onto a small planetoid in a glass cabinet, Tommy had been shrunk by the journey and there was a very ‘Land of the Giants’ moment as he looked up and saw the giant alien monster, before it used a portal of its own and joined me on the rock.
There’s also the whole ‘walking on walls’ shtick that Prey introduces, this is a really weird experience the first time it happens and via the use of special walkways, the aliens can get around their ship to other areas. You have to stop and wonder why the hell they’d build a ship like this in the first place, but they are aliens so that kind of answers that.