Prey (PC/PS4/XB1)

  • Banned

    Still think it looks like Dishonored: Space Edition.
    That isn't even really an insult though. Dishonored was fantastic.
    Dunno what it is, but this game just doesn't grab me, which is odd considering how blatantly it apes some of my favorite games ever.

  • Impressions of my first 2 days with the game:

    Day 1

    Started this earlierĀ in a 4 hour session.

    Really impressed with it I have to say, I'm a big fan of Immersive Sim's so I knew this would be in my wheelhouse and I was right. What I wasn't expecting was how much of a survival horror game it is, I wouldn't say I've been 'scared' as such but it is incredibly tense and unnerving at times with each fight against the aliens making you worry about the ammo, resources and health you've got left, every time you see them it feels like an event, you mustn't underestimate them or you'll die very quickly, even on Normal the game's difficulty is rather challenging so far.

    It also has this fantastic sense of isolation that I've not felt in many games, you really do feel alone on this space station and you get the feeling there aren't many other folks out there who wish you well, the enemies create a tangible sense of paranoia with their ability to mould themselves into objects in the scenery. you're always looking behind your shoulder or searching the area ahead of you to see if any bins, coffee mugs etc. are moving about.

    The opening is incredibly Bioshock, you wake up in your Apartment in some faceless city (looks a bit like San Francisco) and make your way to work with Tristar, flying in a Helicopter over the gleaming city below. Of course once you reach the Tristar building and go through some mental/physical experiments things go completely tits up

    when the Aliens turn up and start zombifying the Scientists. You get put back into your Apartment like everything's normal, but of course it isn't, everything is in exactly the same place as it was before but this time around there's a sense of dread in the air, you eventually escape to find out that you'd been living in Space all this time and that Tristar had simulated the whole opening of the game (numerous times) along with your apartment, and you'd been living a Groundhog Day style existence whilst they'd been watching/studying you all this time.

    Incredibly eerie, and a fantastic twist so early in the game, really caught me out of left-field when I realised. It really is a Bioshock Biosphere moment when you first reach Rapture, when you first get into the Lobby of the Talos I, realise where you are and see the endless Space before you it is a truly fantastic moment.

    I love how the game only tells you the bare minimum and there's hardly any hand-holding at all, it puts the objective markers up on your HUD sure (those can be turned off), but everything else is left up to you, the entirety of my 4 hours was spent exploring the opening Lobby area, room-by-room, finding out which doors I could open, which sections I could come back to later when I had a certain skill, I absolutely love all that stuff. Once I had the key-cards for some of the rooms or had unlocked certain skills it was very satisfying to go back and unlock them later on to find out what goodies were behind the door.

    I was just completely engrossed in it, lost all sense of time and space and just wanted to exist in this space station and peel back the layers to see what makes it tick.

    Day 2

    Played another 4 hours earlier, 8 total.

    Really starting to feel that this game isn't just excellent, but something truly special.

    Made it further into the ship today and it keeps surprising me, keeps innovating and does things that other games just haven't thought of like the Recycler that gets rid of the scrap you collect around the station, actually making use of the Eel skins, banana peels, Typhon guts etc. that you pick up along the way, you then use these recycled materials in another machine called the Fabricator to craft weapons, Neuromods, Medkits and other useful items to help you in your journey. It's just such a clever idea, the machines all have a fantastic tactile feel to them too and when your crafting materials or weapon/medkit pops out you feel satisfied, like you collected or this shit over a certain amount of time and actually got something worthwhile for your troubles.

    The Aliens (Typhon) are fantastic enemies too, they look a bit like the Moulded from RE7, but they have a more sinister, organic, less clunky way about them, they remind me of some of the XCOM enemies in some ways, particularly from that cancelled XCOM shooter years back. Every time you run into a 'Phantom' which is one of the huge fucker Aliens it feels meaningful, you can sneak around them if you're lucky but 9 times out of 10 you're going to be fighting the fuckers, and you better have enough shit on you to deal with it, they're almost like a slightly less difficult version of the Big Daddy's from Bioshock I'd say, just not quite as unique aesthetically.

    I got quite a few Fallout vibes from it today too, just the intricately designed rooms, setting/hacking turrets, searching compulsively through every draw in a room to find anything useful, looking through every nook and cranny you can find. What I didn't expect so much was the little stories, one area I was in today had a guy that was so paranoid he put 'Not a mimic!' post it notes on everything in his Lab for his own piece of mind, another story thread had some crew members make up a 'Glooey McGlooeyface' Snowman looking thing as they were bored and another where some crew members were playing a D&D style pen and paper role playing game across their stations, I absolutely love all that stuff.

    There was another where I managed to open up a secret door in a guys lab, made my way down some stairs and discovered a theatre room with a leather chair pushed back against the wall, on the screen in front there was a 'push the green button' prompt, so I pushed it and nothing happened, pushed it again and no response, on my 4th press a Typhon Phantom appears on the screen and smashes against it right in front of you, scared the living shit out of me, jumped right back in my seat!

    I touched on this yesterday too, but the isolation you feel on the ship is really unparalleled in games, the music and sound effects are utterly fantastic, creating a sense of tension, paranoia and dread around every corner. The only game that matches it is possibly Alien: Isolation where you're stranded on another space station (albeit slightly spookier and with a Xenomorph on your tail), you just feel utterly on your own, people come on the radio to you all the time but you have no clue if they're just using you, lying to you, helping you or leading you to your death, Arkane have just nailed that vulnerability someone in this situation would feel.

    I tried one of the Zero-G sections today and that was great, just floating about in Space, similar to Bioshock 2 or SOMA where you're free to roam about the bottom of the Ocean all on your own with no other soul in sight, floating around with space debris, other air-locks and hull-breaches in the distance.

    I got the Psychoscope too, which is a kind-of Batman-style detective mode, but of course this being such a fantastically well designed game they do more with it than that and enable you to 'research' enemies and be able to spot/mark mimics when you enter rooms, just such a neat idea, similar to a detective mode granted but different enough that it adds some innovation and originality to proceedings, this game just has so much depth to it. It also alters fights as you need to keep Typhon enemies alive so you can scan them, which means you either don't bother scanning them or you put your health, weapons and resources on the line to get the research, always making you make snap decisions in combat.

    I knew I'd like this but I'm WAY more impressed with it that I was ever expecting to be, it could be my favourite game of this year if it keeps on like this, and I'm only 8 hours in! Just utterly engrossing, couldn't stop thinking about it after I put the controller down too, the sign of a great game.

    I can comfortably say fans of Alien Isolation, Bioshock and/or Fallout will love this game, it's most definitely worth a try!

    Few pics below:

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  • I finish it couple of days ago.

    its an excellent game but could have been much better. what i like about it is its excellent level design, RPG elements, exploration, space station

    however i hate the combat. its awful and they should have focus on it.

  • Looks like the conversation about this game died out soon after it launched, did anyone play it?

    I finally started it a couple days ago and it's making a very strong first impression. It's Deus Ex meets Dead Space in all the best ways so far. Haven't experienced much combat yet except melee against little mimics and luring stronger enemies towards turrets, so we'll see how that side of things shapes up.

    Excited to explore more!

  • I've had it on my list, but I haven't had the time for it yet. Is it more like Deus Ex or Bioshock? I think I've been turned off on the idea of playing another Bioshock type game because I just didn't like it off of its obtuse pretentious ideologies and stories, but I liked the world and the powers a lot in all fairness. I just don't know what game to trust that is 'like Bioshock'.

  • @happygaming I haven't played Bioshock but so far it feels very close to Deus Ex gameplay-wise. You can invest skills in hacking, guns, melee, engineering, etc and those will affect how you approach every situation, whether you want to be stealthy, fight head-on or use the environment.

    I remember reading reviews and impressions saying it turns more into an action game as it goes on but I can't speak to this yet.

  • @axel I played and finished this near launch and I loved it. I think the horror aspect of it died pretty quickly once you get comfortable enough (having enough weapons, being cautious enough), but the combat is still pretty tense since the enemies can really do some damage. I really enjoy finding out what happened at the station, and navigating the station itself can be quite the challenge at times. Also, the shotgun is pretty great, the feedback feels really good and it's like my main weapon since I'm actively trying to avoid earning the alien powers.

    @HappyGaming The story doesn't go to that direction, so I think you'll be fine with this game. The gameplay's inline with games like Deus Ex and Dishonored where you can do more things when you have more powers, but it's set in one location with interconnected areas (think of metroidvanias), unlike the other two games where you occasionally go to an entirely new location.

  • It's a fantastic game. Mechanically fun, great setting and a cool story too. Would like to replay it going full on the alien powers. Now with the Bethesda acquisition I'm hoping for a next gen remaster, just minor tweaks nothing major. I'll replay it again regardless. One of my favourite games this gen.

  • @phbz
    There was a Arkane collection rated for XsX so you might get your wish.

    Will say Prey was definitely something I wished I played sooner as I didn't get it till it was on sale for like $25-$30 somewhere.

    Also if I remember there's a demo with the first hour or two of the game.

  • @bam541 idk man I never felt like I could really be comfotable even as I got more tools and weapons so for me it managed to keep being pretty tense and scary, though I'm a big wuss, the game actually pulled that off really well, unlike say Bioshock where you really just became OP.

    Also those parts where you are floating in outer space near the end, that was pretty nerve racking.

  • I finished it a few days ago and man, I loved it! It would have made my list for games of the decade if I had played it sooner, I'm sorry Arkane I failed you!

    It's one of the very best immersive sims I've played, with tons of little secrets and hidden details that make you feel clever for figuring them out. The overall story kept me on my toes for most of the game, there's interesting reveals and twists and turns throughout. The character stories you encounter are also well crafted, I genuinely wanted to help or avenge some of them after getting to know them, if only via recorded messages and emails.

    One amazing detail is that every single member of the crew has a name and job, and they can ALL be tracked down. Security terminals have a full list of the crew and their locations, which you can browse and investigate regularly. There are no random dead bodies here, every single one has a story.

    It's definitely not meant to be played as a shooter, you'll get wrecked, except near the end when you've acquired enough combat skills. But if you enjoy sneaking around and picking off enemies one by one, carefully exploring every single room you visit, reading notes and emails to figure out secret safe codes, and so on, you'll be in heaven.

    It's gorgeous too, Talos 1 is one of the most striking and believable videogame environments I've ever visited, and it feels great when by the end you barely need to use the map anymore because you know the place by heart.

    I can't recommend it enough if you're into this genre.