There was a lot of hype behind Prey. And don’t get me wrong; it was good. But after finally finishing the game and getting through most of the side quests, I have to say that I’m a little disappointed.
If you want to see the majority of what I thought was good about this game, you can read my first impressions here. But as I sat down and read my previous article this morning, I was hard pressed to find something good to say that actually differed from my first impressions. The decision making, the open world, the story. They’re all cool, and I could repeat everything I originally said, but…
I’m going to do something a little different in this review. I’m only going to talk about the bad things. That’s right. I’m going negative. I feel like I need to get some things off my chest.
I already shared one very, very, very long story about my first playthrough with you, so why not go at it again with an experience from the end of the game.
(Spoilers? Maybe? I mean you basically know how the game is going to end from the second you boot it up, so I don’t really consider it a spoiler, but I guess if you’re one of those people, you probably shouldn’t be reading this in the first place.)
So I chose to blow everything up in the end. I figured it was for the best. In all honesty, I’d made that decision after December started talking to me. December’s quests were an interesting addition, so was Alex’s whole ‘No don’t do it we can save everything’ plot line, but really? There’s a shapeshifting menace on a satellite orbiting the moon. No, I’m not going to let them live up there (or possibly live) while I run back down to Earth or maybe take them out with a nullwave. I’m going to blow them to bits with everything I’ve got.
When I made my final decision, I was up in the arboretum. I had to go ALL the way down to engineering where the power core was. This took about 8 loading screens. Not to mention ‘gameplay’ disguised as a loading screen like the main lift and the grav-shafts. Then, of course, after that 20 minutes of loading time, I had to go through it all over again to get up to the bridge to blow up the station.
This might seem like a minor detail, but really? With all the computing power we have today, you can’t cut back on loading zones just a little bit? I mean, Uncharted 4 had about 2 minutes of loading when you booted up the game and that was it. And don’t give me the whole ‘Oh well it’s a different kind of game they had so much more to render in Prey and they worked so much harder and it was so much more detailed and pretty.’
No it wasn’t. Go boot up Uncharted 4 again and tell me that Prey was more detailed. Whatever software Arkane used to develop Prey needs a serious update.
I must’ve spent a total of about an hour and a half in loading zones while I played Prey. And when you’re in the final action-packed moments of the game, going through 16 loading zones just to complete the game really sucks. It took away all anticipation, all feeling of action, and made me feel like I was playing a game. Good games don’t do that. Good games make you feel like you’re part of the action, not playing it.
And Prey did that a lot. I had a lot of ‘Oh shit’ moments when I was playing, but those quickly fell away into moments of laughter when the enemy I was just running for my life from got stuck in the terrain. I was going into the cargo bay and one of those technomorphs, the guys with the turrets for arms, whatever they’re called, started following me around the room, blasting me with everything it had. So, like a good little RPG player, I ran into the bathroom, closed the door, and hid.
He lost sight of me, but he wouldn’t leave. He just wouldn’t go away. I peeked around the corner, and sure enough, half of his body was stuck in the wall. So after a few experiments and me trying to see if he could get out (he couldn’t), I just ran off around the corner without even dealing with him.
And the shooting mechanics didn’t do it for me at all. They basically took the mechanics from Fallout 3 and put them into a game from 2017. Guys, people didn’t even like Fallout 3‘s shooting mechanics when Fallout 3 came out. What made you think that they’d like them now? Actually, no, because even Fallout 3 had a slight zoom feature. To zoom and shoot in Prey, you had to put on your little helmet thing, deal with that whole interface, and then shoot
I was basically forced into using powers I didn’t want to just to try to spare myself some of the agony of aiming my pistol or shotgun. Were they trying to make it more ‘realistic’? Were they trying to add a sense of urgency to the game? I’m not sure, but I attribute the crappy shooting mechanics (in large part) to why I had to start over in the first place.
Yeah, that’s right. If you read my first impressions, you’ll know that I faced a… I created a really shitty situation for myself about 1/3 of the way through the game. When I went back to start over from a previous save, I saw that my autosaves only went back about 3o minutes, so I had to start alllllllll the way over at the beginning.
The more I thought about that, the less I liked it. The less I started blaming myself and started wondering if it was the game’s fault for poor level design, poor instruction, or not giving me the tools I needed to succeed.
But, whatever. It had to be done. On my second playthrough, I was much more conservative with my neuromods, ammo, and made sure I didn’t make the same mistakes I did before.
And it turned out… okay. I’m not shitting on Prey. Don’t get me wrong; it was a good game. But now that I’ve finally finished and had some time to think about it (during loading zones), I’m starting to realize that the bad actually outweighed the good. This game is nowhere near the level that the other two games from Arkane, Dishonored and Dishonored II, created, and that really sucks. I wanted Prey to be amazing, and it was okay, but if you’re looking for a revolutionary video game experience, this probably isn’t it.
Reed’s Review Corner
6.7 flying space bananas out of 10.
Recycling and crafting systems were different, new, and interesting.
Neat world building.
Bananas in space.
Too many loading screens.
Outdated mechanics hurt gameplay.
Confusing interface and quests caused some issues (for me).
P.s. Just a little thing I wanted to talk about: space. They did a really cool job with the whole micro gravity thing. That was really neat. It was fun going around, having to shoot things at enemies, flying around in space, whatever. I enjoyed that. But there were a couple of things that really bothered me about it. If they would’ve acknowledged these simple rules of physics, I think it would’ve made space that much more interesting, immersive, and tense.
- Guns wouldn’t shoot in space.
Guns are powered by explosions. Explosions are fueled by oxygen. There’s no oxygen in space. You couldn’t use your guns in space. Plain and simple.
- IF guns shot in space, you’d be screwed.
Every action is met with an equal and opposite reaction. Bullets shoot at about 1200 mph. If you could shoot a gun in space, you’d be propelled backwards at 1200 mph as your bullet traveled forwards at the same speed. That would really suck and you’d be dead.
It’s just me being a stickler. But it was still a really neat addition to the game that not many franchises would’ve taken the time to do. Way to go, guys.
Oh. And watch the credits. All the way. If you think you finished the game, you didn’t. Watch. The. Credits.