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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice visuals, but action is overly straightforward
Prey opens with the main character yelling at himself in a bathroom mirror. Tommy, a Cherokee Indian, doesn't really care about his heritage and wants to take his girlfriend, Jen, and leave the reservation. But before he can muster up the courage to convince her to leave, an alien invasion sucks Tommy, his grandfather, and Jen up into some sort of spacecraft. With the...
Published 9 months ago by Pyke Bishop

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feels dated
Although I wasn't expecting an amazing game, I was still disappointed by Prey, as I'd heard it was an underrated game. Looking at the score on Metacritic, I'd actually call it overrated. It's a derivative FPS, which looks and feels a lot like DOOM 3 and Quake 4, with very basic story and irritating, two-dimensional, characters. It has some innovative moments, but they are...
Published 18 months ago by cunningmunki


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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice visuals, but action is overly straightforward, 26 Aug. 2014
By 
Pyke Bishop (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Prey (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Prey opens with the main character yelling at himself in a bathroom mirror. Tommy, a Cherokee Indian, doesn't really care about his heritage and wants to take his girlfriend, Jen, and leave the reservation. But before he can muster up the courage to convince her to leave, an alien invasion sucks Tommy, his grandfather, and Jen up into some sort of spacecraft. With the help of some unknown benefactors, Tommy manages to get free and you set out on your quest to rescue your girlfriend and, of course, save Earth in the process.

The two things that seem meant to separate Prey from other FPS's are the game's liberal use of portals that bring you from place to place and a bag of gravity tricks that are meant to keep you wondering which way is up. The portals are open and let you see and fire weapons through to the other side. They lend themselves to a couple of neat tricks, including one where you see yourself entering a portal on the other side of the portal. Just try to resist the urge to shoot yourself in the back of the head. The portals are a neat idea, and their potential is revealed early on when you walk through one that shrinks you down and puts you inside a small glass case with a sphere inside. But for the rest of the game, the portals might as well be doors, because the linear level design rarely leaves you wondering if the portal that just appeared in front of you is indeed the right way to go.

Playing around with gravity is a much more interesting part of Prey. You'll encounter powered walkways that let you walk up walls and onto ceilings. Also, some portals will drop you into a room you've already been in, but you'll be walking on what you previously thought was a wall. And in a few other cases, you'll be able to shoot objects to change gravity, which forces your view to rotate as you fall to another surface. These segments of the game serve as the majority of its puzzles, but they aren't too difficult to figure out.

The straightforward level design means that you'll spend the bulk of your time in combat. The game throws enemies at you pretty consistently, though their numbers are never overwhelming. And since the crazy aliens invented this portal business in the first place, they can teleport in rather than run around trying to find you. However, unlike the imps in Doom 3, Prey's hunters don't consistently teleport in behind you and attempt to catch you off guard. That said, the game's artificial intelligence isn't particularly advanced. The hunters, armed with the same machine gun/sniper rifle combo that serves as your first real weapon, will occasionally take cover or toss a grenade in your direction if you're not in their line of sight, and they'll pick you off at a distance if you stand still in the open. But the rest of the enemies, a somewhat small menagerie of alien beasts and the occasional flying robot, stay out in the open and either rush right at you for a melee attack or attempt to circle around you and fire weapons, if they're armed.

You are, of course, always armed. While you've got a pipe wrench at your disposal for melee attacks, it's useful only for the first couple of minutes. Then you take out your first hunter and get a rifle that fires like a machine gun but also has a scope that can be used for a more powerful sniper shot. All of the weapons are of alien origin, so many of them look kind of goofy and keep up the organic-merged-with-metal motif that the rest of the game is going for. For example, rather than having hand grenades, you pick up tiny crawling creatures that explode when you rip off one of their legs and toss them at an enemy. If you flip them over with the alternate fire button, you can plant them as mines or use them as Halo-like sticky grenades. You'll also get a rapid-fire nailgun-like weapon that works as a grenade launcher, an acid gun, and a rocket launcher that also fires a misty cloud that blocks weapon fire. While there are multiple weapons of varying power in the game, their alien look doesn't fit with their mostly conventional usage. On top of that, most of the game's enemies aren't tough enough to warrant that type of firepower. You could very easily cruise through the majority of the game using only the default rifle, since it has a recharging ammo supply.

Because Tommy's a mystical Cherokee warrior, he eventually gains another ability, even if he doesn't believe in mysticism. Early on in the game, you, as Tommy, gain the ability to leave your body and "spirit walk." In spirit form, you're armed with a bow that can be used to kill many enemies in one shot, but the real benefit of spirit walking is puzzle-oriented. To put it simply, you can walk through force fields when in spirit form. So anytime you see a force field, just punch the spirit walk button and walk on through. You can collect ammo and interact with switches and touch screens while in spirit form, so you'll usually use this form to turn off force fields, electric eyes, and other objects that get in your way. Some paths and walkways appear (and function) only when you're in spirit walk mode, so there will be some gaps that you can cross when you're outside of your body. Much like the game's other unique mechanics.

Gaining the spirit walk power has one other benefit: When you die, you'll be sent directly to the spirit realm instead of to a game-over screen. This is essentially a basic mini-game where you must fire the spirit bow at red and blue wraiths to recharge your health and spirit energy, respectively. After doing that for 15 to 20 seconds, you're sent back into the world of the living, right where you left off. This makes death trivial and removes any remaining difficulty you might encounter.

A harder difficulty setting unlocks after you complete the main single-player game. It's sort of a shame that this isn't available right from the start, since it makes the combat a little more challenging.

One of the selling points of Doom 3 and, later, Quake 4 was the strength of their visuals. The Doom 3 engine is also being used to power Prey, and the game maintains that standard of quality. The engine is capable of some interesting feats, but these feats are used only in limited circumstances. There are a few spots where you'll be in very large, open areas that give you an interesting sense of scale, but the majority of the game is a corridor crawl. There are a couple of cases where you'll see objects and even entire rooms being built right before your eyes, which looks cool, but you can count the number of times it happens on one hand. So while the majority of the effects are pretty understated, the game does get by on decent artistic design. Sure, it's mining the same organic-creatures-fused-with-machines territory that's been drawn from time and time again, but the environments are visually pleasing.

The weapons sound appropriate but lack punch. The game's soundtrack is also fine, though it rarely stands out. Strangely enough, the game's designers went out and licensed a whole bunch of real-world music for the jukebox in the bar that opens the game. You can click around and listen to great songs like "Barracuda" from Heart or Judas Priest's "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," but aside from a chance encounter later in the single-player and in some of the multiplayer, you never encounter these songs again. It seems like a waste. The game has plenty of voice work in it, and most of it is just fine. After you gain the ability to spirit walk, you can also understand the alien hunters, as they essentially start to speak English.

Prey's 10- to 12-hour single-player campaign won't take too long, and it's rarely difficult. Fans of the genre have probably played games better than Prey in the past, but the action and the environments you move through are interesting enough to make playing through the game worthwhile.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful to look at, fun to play and accessible for any player, 17 May 2009
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Prey (PC DVD) (Video Game)
This game is beautiful to look at. After a quick and easy installation I was really impressed by the look of the world. Although I admit I hadn't played many games in the past few years, but the level designs and environment really creates a fantastic experience.

Although essentially a first person shooter, it has an involving story and isn't too difficult, so anyone could enjoy this game and have a challenge but due to the nature of your characters ability to recover in spirit form, most players will not take too long to progress to the next level.

The variety of weapons available are not that many, but they all have practical use. But of course being in an alien environment they look strange and are great fun to handle.

Although Prey on the PC is not a very difficult game to play through, I think its game world is really fun to get involved in, especially given that so many first person shooters use scenarios that we are more familiar with (world wars for example). So anyone who wants a fun experience with beautiful visuals should find Prey good fun.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun, aesthetically pleasing game, 20 Sept. 2010
By 
Luke A. G. Palmer "Luke Palmer" (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Prey (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I enjoyed this game thoroughly.

The levels were not repetitive, the alien monsters were interesting, and the variety of weapons was sufficiently creative that they weren't just alien-themed variants of generic FPS weapons.

My only quibble was the ham-acting on the part of the protagonist and his family, but that isn't too much of an issue.

The game is beautiful, and runs really well on my computer, which is on the low end of middle-range. As of one of the official patches, it even runs without the DVD, so once you install it you can pack the DVD away and not let it get scuffed and so on with use.

The story is fairly compelling, the game physics is wonderfully well done (including some wonderful physics which would later be employed triumphantly in Portal), especially the variable gravity system, and the spirit-walking mechanic makes the puzzle element to the game very interesting indeed (as well as adding a stealth element to the game).

Well worth getting.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portal...WITH GUNS!, 30 July 2011
By 
Rafe Zetter "Space Pirate" (Usually here, sometimes elsewhere.) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Prey (PC DVD) (Video Game)
This was the first game to utilise the idea of portals to "other places not necessarily in the same area, plane of perspective, or even on the same scale". I've been gaming since the bbc micro and I've seen my fair share of so called "gaming innovations" but this one truly had it as it came out years before portal, and gave me one of only a very few "no way, just.... no way *scratches head*" moments I've had in my gaming history in the events surrounding what looks like a moon in a box.... (portal players won't be blown away, but anyone else should be nicely confused).

This game also makes great use of the fact that there are more than two dimensions, so finding yourself fighting bad guys on the ceiling..or am I on the ceiling and they are on the floor .... or is it this wall..or...*I give up*..

This game messes with your head a bit and more, you also get shuttles to fly, gravity wells to muck about with and all manner of other very nice game enhancing goodies.

To summarise; if you've played portal it's like that but with guns n stuff, if not; still buy it, it's fun, looks great, endboss isn't about having the biggest gun (think strategy) and has a nice second element to it in the spirit world.

Do your face a favor, buy this game and give it a smile.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Game. Activated on Steam, 8 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Prey (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Fast Delivery to Germany. Nice Game. Activated on Steam. TOP!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feels dated, 6 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Prey (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Although I wasn't expecting an amazing game, I was still disappointed by Prey, as I'd heard it was an underrated game. Looking at the score on Metacritic, I'd actually call it overrated. It's a derivative FPS, which looks and feels a lot like DOOM 3 and Quake 4, with very basic story and irritating, two-dimensional, characters. It has some innovative moments, but they are too few, and the pace of the game means that most of the best parts are in its final quarter.

Not bad for £3.00, though, so I shouldn't really complain!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nice, 12 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Prey (PC DVD) (Video Game)
awesome game registered the key with steam without any issues even when the game was not available in steam.

thumbs up
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Prey (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Good
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars should be called BUGS not PREY, 15 May 2009
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Prey (PC DVD) (Video Game)
A complete waste of money, BUGS from instalation, when you eventually
manage to install it & start playing it the next time you try it does
not load,THIS HAS NOW HAPPENED 5 TIMES. DO NOT BUY IT, THE PRICE ALONE
WARNS US OF THE PROBLEMS, THIS IS THE THIRD GAME I HAVE PURCHASED THIS YEAR THAT HAS HAD SIMILAR PROBLEMS. NOT WORTH 1 STAR
JON
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