6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Let Us Prey,
This review is from: Prey (PC DVD) (Video Game)
This excellent game sees you playing the part of a modern day Native American who gets kidnapped by disgusting aliens. You have to rescue your girlfriend whilst destroying the Death Star (again). Been here before!
In many senses Prey is an old style, traditional shoot 'em up, with cardboard cut out bad guys ever ready to impale themselves helpfully on your weaponry. But in several important aspects the game play is innovative and fresh.
First there are the gravity tricks. The game is set in space, right? So, gravity is optional to begin with. Developing this idea leads to glowing magnetic walkways that take you spiralling overhead into the ceiling. Jump off the walkway and you flip back to the floor. All the while getting shot at and shooting back.
Or the switches that flip the gravity centre of entire rooms, allowing you to send baddies plunging to their doom.
As well as effectively quadrupling the available game play space, these mechanisms set up some wonderful puzzles. How do I get that box over to that ledge whilst that force field is in the way? Flip the room, push the box, and flip the room back. That kinda thing.
Then there are the portals - an innovation closely related to Valve's recent Orange Box puzzler Portal, with which it shares a common development heritage. In Prey the portals are pre-set, but mind-bendingly fun nevertheless.
As if that wasn't enough, your character can become a spirit and pass invisibly through certain obstacles (such as laser surveillance and force fields), allowing you to get access to otherwise unreachable goals. You replenish your spirit energy by sucking up the glowing souls of your dead enemies, and when you die it isn't "game over". You get sooked through to a swirling spirit realm where you take pot shots at your disgraced ancestors to get your health back.
Sounds confusing, don't it? But it all makes perfect sense in a game that is paced to lead you through the various mechanisms.
The game looks great, being based on an updated version of the Doom 3 engine which allows much greater scope for rendering extremely large play areas. Metallic textures and organic alien sliminess are delivered with equal fidelity. Perhaps the only minor quibble would be the occasionally unconvincing character animation.
With a soundtrack by Jeremy Soule who composed the music for the likes of Oblivion and some convincing voice acting, there is hardly a weak element in the game.
The scope is breathtaking, matching the likes of Half Life 2.
It's closest relatives are Doom 3 and Bioshock, with a nod in the direction of the aforementioned Half Life 2. If Doom 3 disappointed you, then you may well love Prey. It's everything that game should have been, and more.