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Prey (Xbox 360)
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- Built on an enhanced Doom 3 engine, the most impressive 3D engine used in a released game
- Portal technology adds a new dimension to gameplay, allowing enemies to appear out of thin air and create new and completely original puzzles and gameplay styles
- Several never-before-seen gameplay elements such as Spirit Walking, Wall Walking, and Deathwalk
- Highly organic, living environment that itself can attack Tommy
- A deep, emotional story of love and sacrifice
- Tommy has a sidekick, a spiritual hawk that can help him fight enemies and decipher the alien language of the living ship
- Multiplayer game support that takes advantage of the unique gameplay styles in Prey
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- Platform: Xbox 360
- BBFC Rating: Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By placing an order for this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age or over.
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
Prey (Xbox 360)
In a nutshell:
Although it was announced more than a decade ago this demonstrates that the best things really do come to those that wait, with the most original and technically advanced first person shoot em-up in years.
Although it was conceived at a time when 3D graphics cards were still optional the basic idea behind the Prey portal technology is still the same as it ever was, allowing you to instantly step from one world to another in the game. You can even create the portals yourself as you battle grotesque enemy bosses in one area and jump back to another to recover. The game casts you as a Cherokee Indian with a number of magical powers such as spirit walking that let you explore the game world as a spirit, and deathwalk which replaces the normal need for intrusive quick saves with an innovative mini-game set between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Most exciting moment:
Not only is the portal technology amazing but the games use of gravity is equally inspired with gravity escalators that run up and across ceilings and some excellent zero gravity sections where you pilot spaceship pods and explore a tiny rotating planetoid.
Since you ask:
Originally intended only for the PC, the Xbox 360 version is being developed by British team Venom Games, who previously created Rocky Legends for Ubisoft, and features an 8 player multiplayer mode.
The bottom line:
Looks like being one of the top predators in the shoot em-up world.
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Top customer reviews
Many reviews so far have compared this to Quake 4, that is fair as both are somewhat set in the same environment with the same characteristics, except that Quake 4 was an average game at best, with poor cutscenes, average game physics, mediocre graphics, and pretty poor gameplay. Prey on the other hand is a first class game. Heres why:
- The graphics, despite other reviews, are actually pretty impressive (admittedly I am playing on an HD capable TV) and are a step up from Doom 3. To give you an idea take the graphics from Oblivion (all shiny and polished), give them a slightly more dirty feel but the same definition and mix in much darker lighting and there you have Prey.
- The sound is very good with brilliant voice acting all around. The music really does add effect where it is used, the sound effects are good and there are enough to keep things interesting but not too many as to confuse you.
- The gameplay is fantastic, this is where Quake 4 came crashing down, it became monotinous and to be honest was just run and gun with no real inteligence required. Prey is very different, it can be run and gun, but the weapons aren't quite poweful enough to allow you to survive long if you do that. As such running taking cover using various weapons functions to eliminate particular enemies is the name of the game.
This is made interesting by the use of portals and 'wall walks'. Portals can be opened up by the enemy more or less anywhere and completely take you by surprise, 'wall walks' basically antigravity walkways that allow you to walk on walls and ceilings, also mix things up a bit and also can give you an advantage over the enemy if used wisely. The games physics are good, they have to be to incorporate these types of Gravity Defying machines, enemies fall down in various ways and can lose their footing on a 'wall walk' if shot and thus fall off.
-Some reviews have criticised the 'Spirit World' side of things. It is true that after about 15 minutes of gameplay (upon learning your new spirit skills) you can in fact Never Actually Die. Let me explain, you can be killed, you can take too many hits and die. However upon this happening you are immediately transported to an almost different dimension where spirits live. Here you have to shoot Wraiths with your spirit bow to cahrge up your health and spirit energy again. You have limited time to do this and upon that running out you are thrown right back into the battle.
This, I find, is NOT annoying, I find it very useful and simply aloows Prey to keep moving where other first person shooters are constantly stop and start. This makes Prey very Fluid and an enjoyable game on all fronts.
I won't say anymore as I don't want to ruin it, rent this game at the very least.
Prey addresses these issues. Its innovative way of dealing with dying is fantastic. It keeps the game and the narrative alive. Not once did I chuck the controller in annoyance or give up. I played it through (it still took me a good month of on/off playing) to the very end.
The graphics are superb, and the production design incredible. So many jaw dropping moments will take you by surprise. The wow factor is second to none. The only flaw is that some of the corridor sections are a little repetitive. But, everything else outweighs this - even the load times won't send you insane.
If you are a games fan and appreciate quality - grab this. Its the best game of its type that I've played since Half Life and leaves Doom 3 and the rest in its wake.
The story isn't overly original. Aliens invade Earth and beam up humans, then commit unspeakable acts upon them and there is only one man who can do anything about it... You.
You play Tommy, a Cherokee who is desperate to escape the trapping of the reservation, but his girlfriend, Jen, is desperate to stay. When the aliens abduct the both of you the race is on to save both Jen and yourself and get yourself back to Earth.
The game plays out like most other FPS games in the way that you have to run around shooting enemies and solving the odd puzzle. There are three ways to do this; in the Physical World, the Spirit World and the Death World.
The Physical World is exactly as it sounds, the physical, albeit alien, reality that surrounds Tommy. This is the world you will spend most time in and is where the various gravity effects come into play. In this game there are certain points where you can walk up the walls and on the ceilings, other points where you will need to completely flip the gravitational pull of the environment. At times this can become a little disorienting but that is all part of the fun. You need to use these gravity effects to progress, so they are not just a gimmick added on, but an essential part of the game.
As Tommy is Cherokee he can allow his Spirit to leave his body. This is the Spirit World. When you press the Y button the screen will take on a light blue hue and your spirit will have the ability to access areas that Tommy's physical body cannot. Enemies can't see Tommy's spirit unless you attacks them so it is very good for stealthily working out where you need to get to next. The spirit body can also activate switches, lowering force fields that are otherwise blocking Tommy's progress through the physical world. To me this is the best part of the game. I like the puzzle solving elements of any game, and although the puzzles in 'Prey' aren't particularly perplexing they add a little more enjoyment for me.
The most controversial element of the game seems to be the Death World. This is only encountered when Tommy looses all of his health. You then enter Death Walk and try to shoot Wraiths to gain back as much health as possible before being thrown back into the action where you fell. Essentially you cannot die. This element is why it is a FPS for people who are not very good at first person shooters. You can 'die' as many times as you need and will always be able to get straight back into the action, without using quick saves. While other people have slated the whole game for this one part, I would say that it has kept the game alive for me. If it wasn't for the idea that I could not 'die' I would have probably given up on the game a lot earlier, as it was I completed it in a couple of weeks.
It is not a huge game but more than adequate for the like of me, for whom games are meant to be fun.
You get the usual mix of weapons and enemies. The guns are all easy to use and the enemies are varied. Boss battles could have been a little bit harder though.
The online element to 'Prey' consists of either Deathmatch or Team Deathmatch. If you've played any sort of multiplayer FPS before you will know what to expect. The gravity effects come into play in a big way in multiplayer as not only do you have to keep an eye on what is giong on behind you, but also above you and below. There may not be all that many people playing 'Prey' online due to games like 'Gears Of War' now being on the market, but you should still be able to get a decent game now and then. It's got a bit of lag if you are playing with more than three other people which can be annoying.
Achievements are half story based and half multiplayer based, with three Secret Achievements. This gives it the balance that is so often absent when it comes to Achievements.
Once you have finished this game you will feel more prepared to take on more conventional FPS games. I enjoyed 'Prey' and will probably spend a good few weeks trying to get all the multiplayer Achievements. I wouldn't say it is worth £49.99 but if you can get it for under 30 notes you'll have a good little game on your hands.
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