Prey - a game out of time

MilesQ

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,333
So I decided to pick this up from Amazon recently (£10) and figured at the very least I'd get a pretty decent narrative driven FPS, but that's literally the last thing I was thinking about after a few hours.

Now don't get me wrong, the story seems solid enough and I'm interested to learn more, but everything else about this game feels like it's lost in time.

You have inventory management, resource management, skill trees and some light RPG elements. All of which aren't features you don't really see in high budget AAA FPS any more.

Then there's no health regeneration, resources are scarce to the point where I'm legit concerned about making it to my next objective and I'm creeping around areas hoping I don't encounter any enemies.

There's no handholding here either, you get some very simple tutorial messages and then you're left to your own devices.


The game genuinely feels like a remnant of a the mid 2000s where FPS games were more than linear shooters and trusted the player was capable enough to figure things out and work their way through a game.

In some ways, it has a very strong System Shock vibe to it, which is probably the craziest thing about the game. A System Shock-esque title in 2017 with good production values and tight controls? Who saw that coming...


Anyway, buy this game if you haven't already. In a year of average FPS titles, Arkane have shown there's still at one developer who wants to try something different.
 

soqquatto

Member
Nov 17, 2017
405
I hated the demo and told myself I'd never play it. I ended up buying because my word means nothing even to myself and I've really loved it. It's really a game out of time, in a very good way!
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,082
I like the general premise but stopped after 3 hours because the moment to moment gameplay was boring me. Felt cumbersome to control.

I did finish Wolfenstein TNO just before it so maybe the two don’t pair well lol.

I will revisit it but as is, it’s slow beginning and ho-hum combat are very off putting for me
 
Oct 27, 2017
985
Yup its a great game that sold poorly and had bad glitches near launch. I can describe it best as being a fusion of System/Bioshock and Deus Ex.

Had a great time with the game.
 

StarPhlox

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,715
Texas
Easily one of my favorite games of the year and I played pretty much everything. Really disliked it at first (because it was not at all optimized on PS4 Pro, but further patches have mitigated those issues) and while the final few hours aren't so strong from a gameplay perspective and I could do without the constant respawning enemies there's just so much to love about the tension and freedom that the game affords you. Prey rules.
 

GavinUK86

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,727
Woo, another Prey thread! Man, I love that sales are getting people to buy this game. If you've been sleeping on it now's the perfect time to play it.
 

drewfonse

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,525
Made it most of the way through, but then stopped. I just found it really boring. Could t do it.
 

Calibro

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,332
Belarus
Hell yes. Started it right after the release, but finished recently. Simply brilliant game, flawed in some ways, but these flaws are nothing if you think about how System Shock 3 (which it basically is) is out in 2017. No bullshit, no microtransactions, no online, not even a DLC, a huge and complete game right out of the box about shit going down on a massive space station. By the way, this is the most impressive and detailed space station I've witnessed in a video game, it's mindblowing how interconnected and intricate it is.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,594
Austria
I read somewhere that the game really should have been called "Psycho Shock" which would have been a much better name. Definitely one of my favorite games of the year, ba
 

Cort

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,770
The main story was okay but what really kept me going was the world building and the characters. I think that was Chris Avellone's part of the game and it really showed, he is a tremendously talented writer, who has elevated games like Prey and Divinity Original Sin 2.
 

Skulldead

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,313
I love it until endgame... where i had the feeling i was a godlike tier cheesing everything and jumping like i had a jetpack, i was playing on nightmare.
 

Paul

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,360
Prey was pitched as spiritual successor to System Shock and that is exactly what Arkane delivered. It basically takes the concept of "abandoned on space station infested with space scum" and brings it to practical perfection. The station, Talos 1, is one of the most detailed and consistent fictional game environments ever crafted. It is obvious its builders at Arkane were thinking things through while making in. It was build in a way to feel like a real place that could easily exist in the alternative futurehistory the game takes place it. And the best thing is, it is fully possible to explore the whole station, from the uptop gardens right down to its reactor core. Sometimes it requires a bit of wit to reach certain places, which is a good thing. And then there is of course some outer space exploration, where it is possible to view the whole station in all of its futuristic retro beauty.
It is my GOTY for multitude of reasons, chief ones being the consistency of design both in gameplay and structure. I loved it, even the combat, beautifully evolves throughout the game due to the well tuned economy of upgrades and skills.
Everyone who enjoyed "thinking man's action games" like Deus Ex/System Shock owes it to themselves to get Prey.
 

woozey

Member
Nov 3, 2017
197
Easily one of my favorite games of the year and I played pretty much everything. Really disliked it at first (because it was not at all optimized on PS4 Pro, but further patches have mitigated those issues) and while the final few hours aren't so strong from a gameplay perspective and I could do without the constant respawning enemies there's just so much to love about the tension and freedom that the game affords you. Prey rules.
Damn I didn't know they respawned. Guess sitting in the lobby killing everything was pointless (I'm only an hour and ahalf in) since it is costing me too much health.
 

selfnoise

Member
Oct 25, 2017
357
There was this period where System Shock 2 was touted as one of the best PC games ever by major publications. Then time passed and Prey came out, and it was literally System Shock 3, and nobody noticed. Feels bad
 

StarPhlox

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,715
Texas
Damn I didn't know they respawned. Guess sitting in the lobby killing everything was pointless (I'm only an hour and ahalf in) since it is costing me too much health.
But farming their bodies for materials (once you can fully take advantage of that upgrade) is extremely worthwhile so it's not a total wash!
 

Intraxidance

Member
Oct 25, 2017
589
I started playing it recently for several hours, and while I love the atmosphere and am really enjoying experiencing the spacestation, the combat thus far has been really not fun. I just encountered a pack of 5 mimics at once, and combat is either flailing around with my wrench, or randomly shooting all over the place hoping to freeze them in place. I ended up just running past them since the combat was so lame. Also the fact that drinking out of a water fountain gives me 1 hp back is an odd design choice (maybe it's not available on higher difficulties?) as I am using that to regenerate my health since it is limitless.
 

Dreenk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
305
I just picked it up from a sale as well, and wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I'd avoided seeing too much because I knew I wanted to play it eventually (after Dishonored, I'm interested in everything Arkane does). I'm finding it to be more or less System Shock, but also closer to what I wanted the Bioshock games to be. I'm really loving it after about 8 hours.
 

thegrantula21

Member
Oct 27, 2017
30
Bought it on black Friday and absolutely cannot wait to play it now. Just making my way through Wolfenstein first!
 

HyGogg

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
2,495
Immersive sims are sadly a bit of a dying breed, and the commercial underperformance of Prey, Dishonored 2, and Mankind Divided are likely to spell the end of the AAA immersive sim for the near future.

There are some AA projects on the horizon, though, notably two System Shock titles and Underworld Ascendant. The latter has been retooled more times than I can count but seems to be getting somewhere good now.
 

Zukkoyaki

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,635
It's a very good game and I find my views on it actually get warmer over time. Too bed the quality dips significantly in the final third or so, in my opinion. Still, awesome stuff!
 
Oct 30, 2017
3,061
Easily one of the finest games this generation has to offer... the amount of details in the game and the level design and of course the story and the crafting system..... if there is justice in the universe we will see a sequel :-(
 

SunBroDave

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,103
One of the best games of the year, easily. Arkane has put out some of the best games in recent years.
 

Dreenk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
305
Also the fact that drinking out of a water fountain gives me 1 hp back is an odd design choice (maybe it's not available on higher difficulties?) as I am using that to regenerate my health since it is limitless.
I find myself doing this too, especially since I only have one Medkit+ neuromod. I think it's the RPG thing of not wanting to use consumable items for fear of needing them later - I have like 15 Medkits.

If you're near a bathroom as well you can make the circuit of [Water Fountain #1 -> Water Fountain #2 -> Sink #1 -> Sink #2 -> Sink #3 -> repeat] in almost the exact time it takes for the first fountain to become available again, so +5 per round.
 

M1chl

Member
Nov 20, 2017
2,042
Czech Republic
I like Dishonored a lot, but Prey, I prefer the "real old one". Mainly due to some weird choices in enemy encounter and for that sluggish controls (which is probably console thing).
 

Batatina

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,470
Edinburgh, UK
It is a great game, featuring great level design. It picks up the best exploration elements of Dishonored and applies it to a single interconnected environment (which is what I think Dishonored lacks, since it has a level structure).
 
OP
OP
MilesQ

MilesQ

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,333
I forgot to mention how cool it is to fabricate your own ammo and your junk into material for fabrication. Nothing in this game is wasted.

I think I vaguely remember reading on GAF a few years back that this was taking inspiration from SS and me thinking it was going to be a trainwreck, oh how stupid and wrong I was...
 

Unaha-Closp

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,511
Scotland
Can you stealth it up in Prey? It's like 16 quid on PSN at the moment but I'm not a big first person shooter kind of guy. First Person Sneaker no problem. If there is a sneaky avoid fights skill tree I might be tempted.
 

bane833

Member
Nov 3, 2017
3,572
I think it´s a pretty great game with insane highs that also has some pretty nasty flaws (weak start, at times annoying enemies and weak finish). If they worked a bit on the aforementioned parts it would be a clear GOTY contender.
 

Silencerx98

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
661
Currently 8 hours in and I'm loving it. Seems like a good mix of survival horror and immersive sim. Honestly, I think these "outdated" elements in the game design really deliver a AAA experience you rarely get these days. The lack of handholding is great in my opinion
 

Kyo555

Member
Oct 29, 2017
283
I believe there is even a name for what you describe: Shock-like.

Not really a big oddity, but it's nothing I would have expected coming after the original Prey from Human Head Studios. Soma is another recent title that gives you these vibes.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,143
I started playing it recently for several hours, and while I love the atmosphere and am really enjoying experiencing the spacestation, the combat thus far has been really not fun. I just encountered a pack of 5 mimics at once, and combat is either flailing around with my wrench, or randomly shooting all over the place hoping to freeze them in place. I ended up just running past them since the combat was so lame. Also the fact that drinking out of a water fountain gives me 1 hp back is an odd design choice (maybe it's not available on higher difficulties?) as I am using that to regenerate my health since it is limitless.
Hack turrets and lure your enemies towards them. The beauty of Prey is that you can play it in so many ways.

It's a great game.
 

Doomguy Fieri

Member
Nov 3, 2017
1,272
I also bought it during this sale and love it. Can't quite believe just how much I love it. Agree with you, OP. Feels like someone took a game from 2001 and gave it 2016 graphics.
 

Miker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
719
I believe there is even a name for what you describe: Shock-like.

Not really a big oddity, but it's nothing I would have expected coming after the original Prey from Human Head Studios. Soma is another recent title that gives you these vibes.
I don't think I've ever heard that term. People use the (equally shitty) term "immersive sim."
 

Level 9 CPU

Member
Oct 27, 2017
537
I really wish I liked this game, but the cumbersome combat and endlessly respawning enemies broke me. Also hated the way side quests were doled out and often given too early before you could even access them. The plot was potentially really interesting but I felt like it tries to string you along for too long without giving satisfying answers, making the mid to late part of the game feel like a slog.
 

Doomguy Fieri

Member
Nov 3, 2017
1,272
Started on hard, and it's almost perfect. I save scum a little bit because the occasional jump scare encounter can pretty quickly turn into being very dead or using a lot of resources. Otherwise, I appreciate that the cannon fodder enemies are just dangerous enough to take seriously, and the bigger humanoid enemies are legitimate life ending threats that need preparation and strategy to defeat without using all my damn shotgun shells.
 

Pacman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1
I felt like a lot of what you mention gave way to more traditional run and gun play styles later in the game. Eventually I was so flush with health packs, skills, ammo, and materials that I didn't have to conserve and started to move through the game very quickly,
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I loved that though - it made me feel significantly more powerful than I was when I started out.

The enemies are always dangerous though.
 

AlexCampy89

Banned
Nov 16, 2017
956
Bought it super cheap.
One of my personal favourites this gen.

With a better marketing strategy, the game would have sold way more.
 

Couscous

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,270
Tilburg
I am going to buy it when my school break begins. Only two weeks left, but I have to pass 4 exams first. My break will be seven weeks, so I will have plenty of time to finish it. :)
 

JaeCryo

Member
Nov 6, 2017
5,165
Prey was pitched as spiritual successor to System Shock and that is exactly what Arkane delivered. It basically takes the concept of "abandoned on space station infested with space scum" and brings it to practical perfection. The station, Talos 1, is one of the most detailed and consistent fictional game environments ever crafted. It is obvious its builders at Arkane were thinking things through while making in. It was build in a way to feel like a real place that could easily exist in the alternative futurehistory the game takes place it. And the best thing is, it is fully possible to explore the whole station, from the uptop gardens right down to its reactor core. Sometimes it requires a bit of wit to reach certain places, which is a good thing. And then there is of course some outer space exploration, where it is possible to view the whole station in all of its futuristic retro beauty.
It is my GOTY for multitude of reasons, chief ones being the consistency of design both in gameplay and structure. I loved it, even the combat, beautifully evolves throughout the game due to the well tuned economy of upgrades and skills.
Everyone who enjoyed "thinking man's action games" like Deus Ex/System Shock owes it to themselves to get Prey.
This.

I always like to say, it really is a holistic experience. There is a clear vision behind it, and every part of its design contributes to it. There are many legitimate technical complaints that people have with the game (I didn't experience them, or maybe they just weren't significant enough for me to notice) but the game itself and what it offers was enough to keep me glued to it for all of the +30 hours I spent in it. Out of all the fantastic games that have been released this year (and boy were there a lot of great games this year) none of them came together in a way that felt as satisfying and freeing as Prey for me (even other systemically open games like BOTW). It's definitely my GOTY and one of my favorite games of all time, passing even anything the BioShock series has to offer.