- First-Person Shooter
Demo’s are a thing of the past. Now days open and closed beta’s are more common because they benefit the developer. They are used to not only gauge how many people are interested in your game but they offer data, allowing developers to improve on their game before releasing it. Demo’s are different. Instead they benefit the player, allowing us to try out a game before giving away our hard earned money.
I was curious about Prey. The trailers and gameplay videos looked enticing but they didn’t convince me to buy their game. So naturally when the demo became available I downloaded it.
You control Morgan Yu who is trapped on a space station called Talos 1. The space station has been taken over by aliens and it’s up to you to stop this threat. The space station is beautiful and is essentially an open world. You are free to go where you want but certain areas are locked and require access cards or codes to open. I was worried that Prey would look too much like Dishonoured and luckily it doesn’t. The environments were gorgeous and diverse with lots of items lying around and things to read or use.
During my playthrough I fought 3 types of enemies. The first enemy I encountered was the Mimic, which seems to be the most common enemy. Mimic’s look similar to Half-Life’s Headcrap except for the fact that they are black and that they can transform into any item in the environment. This makes them a little more challenging to kill as they usually run into another room before transforming.
The other enemies were the Phantom and the Thermal Phantom. These enemies take on a disfigured human form but have the same look and texture as the Mimic. The Thermal Phantom on the other hand looks like it’s on fire and it has a fire attack that killed me way too many times.
Fighting these unique enemies was enjoyable to some extent. Prey has a combat system that is very similar to Bioshock. The right trigger is for shooting while the left trigger is for your Psi Ability. I only managed to unlock one of these abilities called Combat Focus. This ability slows down time around me and causes all my actions to cost 50% stamina, which made the combat a little easier.
I played with a couple of weapons during the demo. There were normal weapons such as the Shotgun, Silenced Pistol and the Wrench. However, there is a weapon called the GLOO Cannon which essentially sprays a type of foam. This foam has a bunch of uses such as putting out flames and freezing certain types of enemies, allowing you to damage them while they are vulnerable. This made the combat a little more challenging.
There is also an RPG element to the game. You can upgrade your character with Neuromods which gives you new abilities and strengthen your character. Weapons can be upgraded with weapon upgrade kits and throughout the game there are items which can be recycled. Recycling items gives you resources which can be used to build weapons and ammo once you have found the specific items plan.
Prey seemed to have a rather steep learning curve when it comes to the combat. I found it rather difficult to hit Mimics with my Wrench in the opening moments of the demo. They jump around a lot and even once I had guns it was difficult to be accurate. Once I got the GLOO Cannon I learned the hard way that I should use it to freeze the enemy before attempting to do any damage.
My only other complaint for this demo is about the music. The music was often too overpowering and loud. This made some of the intense combat moments almost unbearable and I was forced to turn it down in the settings menu.
Prey’s demo offered a lot more than what I was expecting. It introduced the story, showed off some of the enemies and weapons as well letting you dip your toes into it’s RPG element. While there does seem to be a lot of similarities to Bioshock and Half-Life in various ways, Prey still felt rather unique. It took me 2 and a half hours to complete the demo and overall, Prey’s Demo did exactly what it needed to do. It offered just enough for me to decide whether I want Prey or not.
I want Prey not just because the story and world looks super interesting, but because the combat was challenging and I want to master it. However, I won’t be buying Prey at launch due to my rather large backlog of games. It was a tough decision but it looks like Prey could take a good month and a bit to finish. That being said, if you are a Bioshock fan who loves sci-fi stories with a bit of horror in them then this game is perfect for you.