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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (446)

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Horizon: Zero Dawn 4.5/5
Oxenfree 4/5
Murdered: Soul Suspect 3/5
Kirby Star Allies 3/5
Celeste 4.5/5
Dark Quest 2 3/5
Just Cause 3 3.5/5
Guacamelee! 2 4/5
The Incredible Adventur... 4/5
Rise of the Tomb Raider 4/5
Dead Rising 3 4/5
Layers of Fear 3.5/5
Prey 3/5
Zero-K 2/5
Tales from the Borderla... 4/5
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 4.5/5
Hammerwatch 3/5
AereA 1/5
Divinity: Original Sin 4.5/5
The Yawhg 4/5
Sword Coast Legends 3.5/5
Spelunky 2.5/5
We Are the Dwarves 1/5
Seiken Densetsu 3 ( Sec... 2.5/5
No Man's Sky 3.5/5

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Prey   PC (Steam) 

In Space, No One Can Hear You Yawn    3/5 stars

Prey is only tangentially related to the original 2006 game of the same name, and shares a log more in common with System Shock. The game runs on the popular CryEngine and gives a wide range of options when it comes to how you can play the game. This freedom, however, can't make up for a generally bland experience. The game performs well enough and has some interesting features but never managed to surprise me - not even the ending - and thus will go in my general pile of serviceable yet unmemorable games.

Presentation: Prey looks fine on the surface - but going a bit deeper, the animation is pretty stiff and the enemies (even the ones who mimic things) quickly become repetitive and more of an annoyance than anything else. The game takes place on a space station and probably the best-looking part of that is when you can float around outside the station, taking it all in. The rest of the environment is a mix of industrial and art deco - depending on what part of the station you find yourself. The voice acting is at least well done, and the music is fine - but it's just one of those games where I can't say anything wowed me. I also had to drop the settings - as on high, nothing would load, but on medium it did just fine. I did suffer through a few crashes, but no game-breaking bugs.

Story: I do enjoy a good ol' alternative reality every now and then, and at least Prey did this well. In this version, JFK was never assassinated and pumped more money into the space program. At the same time, Russia encountered an alien lifeform and with help from the U.S. built a station to study these Typhon. Instead of a Cold War, the two nations worked with each other - but the USSR eventually fell and the space program was given less importance. But as the game is set in 2025, the introduction of Nueromods gives new life to the old spacestation, now dubbed Talos 1 and featuring a high-tech laboratory set-up. Nueromods give people the ability to learn skills - everything from learning a language, to playing the piano to more... dangerous and other-wordly powers. But one drawback - removing these mods also erases the subjects memory. You control Morgan Yu, who at first seems like a regular guy going to work - but it soon turns out his experiment(s) are part of a much bigger picture - and after things go wrong and the Typhon escape (wiping out most of the people on the station in the process), Yu must piece together his past, decide who to trust and figure out a way off the station - or a way to destroy it.

Gameplay: I will say this about Prey - the game does give you a lot of options on how you want to play it. The game is essentially a FPS - though I thought it took way too long to find an actual gun. It's not quite open world, but after playing through a bit you get the freedom to at least go where you want on the station. The game has a lot of good features - starting with the nueromods. These give you a lot of options on where to go - the human side gives you things like health, hacking, strength and the ability to upgrade weapons. Later in the game to gain access to the Typhon mods - which give you more interesting abilities - mimic objects, telekinesis, pyrokinesis and the like. I admit I stuck mainly with the human traits, as it seemed to open up more of the station and also too many Typhon mods make automatic turrets target you (as they think you are too alien). In any case, this gives you a lot of leeway on how you want to play - good or evil. I was the good guy - tried to save all the humans and such, but you can also go the other way and just kill everyone instead.

The game also rewards exploration, and that exploration is made easier with some nifty weapons, from the Gloo Cannon that freezes enemies and essentially lets you make platforms on the go. You also get a nifty Q-Beam that explodes enemies and the useless Huntress Boltcaster that is pretty much a Nerf gun. Oh, and the standard pistol, shotgun and stun gun. You also get the ability to scan enemies (and allies) and can find out what weapons are most effective (hint, the shotgun is almost always the right choice). The game also features a nifty recycling system as you find various junk (orange peels, coils of wire and the like) along with Typhon organs and extra copies of weapons - chuck them in the machine and you get material. This material can be used to create a wide variety of items from ammunition to med kits to even more nueromods. The exploration lets you read emails, magazines and notes that clue you in to how the outbreak happened and the state of the world. Guess what? Talos 1 isn't as hunky dory as it is made out to be. The game leads up to a decent ending(s) - but one I wasn't that surprised about.

Replayability: About the best case for going back is if you're one of those people who like a challenge. The game gives you options to make things more difficult, as well as several achievements that can only be earned by playing the game a certain way. Not to say any of that really makes me want to go back.

Overall: Prey is the definition of average - it's adequate all around, but nothing really sticks out.

Presentation: 3/5
Story: 3.5/5
Gameplay: 3.5/5
Replayability: 3/5
Overall (not an average): 3/5

 

 


Recent Comments
Comment On Review

Nelson Schneider

Nelson Schneider- wrote on 12/02/18 at 02:38 PM CT

 

BTW, I really love the title of your review for this.

Chris Kavan

Chris Kavan- wrote on 11/18/18 at 04:26 PM CT

 

I fixed them just for you.

Nelson Schneider

Nelson Schneider- wrote on 11/18/18 at 03:41 PM CT

 

I think you misspelled "neuromods" every damned time!

 
 
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