PCP: Prey .5

Prey: Predator to Predecessors

Prey released a surprisingly open demo of the first hour or so of the game. It’s got a nice, slick intro with flashy titles and studio names as building names as the player character rides a helicopter to work. Before he’s (either sex is selectable, but my first playthrough used a male) launched into space for his new job, Morgan Yu is asked to go through a few routine pre-flight tests by his brother, Dr. Alex Yu. The tests are simple enough, testing the player’s ability to press a button quickly or hide from a camera. After being asked a few morality-based questions, something attacks the testers before Morgan blacks out. He reawakens in his apartment– but something’s not right. A dead maintenance worker and a lack of exits serve as a warning that this isn’t part of the test.

Arming himself with a very classic wrench, he beats his way out into the rest of the lab with the help of a mysterious voice in his headset.

It’s hard to tell what’s homage and what’s trope.

A cheap way to describe it, thematically, would be a mix of System Shock and Bioshock– that is, it’s a game inspired by a game that’s inspired by a game about a technologically advanced society falling to technological and scientific hubris. But gameplay wise, it’s more in line with a slowed down Dishonored with passive abilities rather than active ones. The upgrade system seems to branch apart significantly to enable alternate pathfinding with different abilities (strength to move heavy things in the way, hacking to get past keyless licks, etc.).

The most interesting development is the GLOO Gun- a weapon that sprays a caulk-like substance that can be used to pacify enemies or create climbable platforms. It’s far more interesting than the game’s standard, if not difficult to aim, shotgun and pistol. With the scope attached to the D-Pad, most shots end up coming from the hip. Neither gun feels rewarding enough to mention; the shotgun is serviceable but not satisfying.

It pretty aggressively leads the way in its semi-open world, but the path is littered with nooks and dark crannies dying to be explored. Though this leads to some confusing leaps, it’s the reason I’m going to revisit this PCP once I replay the first hour a few more times. With the game coming out today, it’s worth trying to survive being Prey for the first hour to see if it’s worth buying.

 

 

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