Welcome to Prey. Do you see how the sun shines this morning? If you want you can take advantage to have a good breakfast, sit on the sofa and play a game on the console, or check your e-mails. You never know how things are going to be tomorrow, or in a few hours … Because in Prey not everything is what it seems. As in life, I suppose. But in reality sometimes things turn out to be what we expect from them. Or even better. How good is that feeling. I invite you to become comfortable in that reality, because I want to tell you the reasons why Prey is one of those pleasant surprises that happen from time to time. Welcome to our analysis of Prey on Xbox One . Welcome aboard the Talos I.
Deep in outer space
It said in the impressions after having tried the demo of Prey, that of that game of the last generation had the name and little more. Now I can confirm that it is, and that in any case keeps some small winks to the license. But what does this reboot, if it is worth calling it, is a little bit of many other games, not just shooters. With the demo, many have commented that it has a lot of BioShock. And for me, it does not have as much of this as of other Bethesda games. Yes that gathers the witness of a dark and rather oppressive atmosphere, and with an artistic style with reminiscences. But in general it is a rather different game, which gives more weight to other things. And that, as for argument, does not get to take itself so seriously. Or at least that’s the feeling, because his black humor is sometimes so subtle that it’s hard to figure it out.
And although the background to the whole plot issue, which could be identified as tanshumanismo and the different ethical (and practical) problems that it poses , can be a transcendental problem, it never gets to bear the weight of the work of Ken Levine , Who on the other hand also could play quite well with those ironic touch. But the game of Arkane Studios feels much more comfortable in the concrete. In the e-mails of the computers of each member of the Talos I, all with their names, histories and interests. In the anecdote of when we came across other survivors and how we decided to interact with them. Or in the character cards, some documents of a role-play with which all the crew seems to entertain in their day to day.
Those little moments would not be the same without the great atmosphere that surrounds us during the whole adventure. And in that, yes that Prey fulfills as well as in his moment did it BioShock.
Of course, those little moments would not be the same without the great atmosphere that surrounds us during the whole adventure. And in that, yes that Prey fulfills as well as in his moment did it BioShock. The sensation of immersion is very great . And just like in that, little by little we are going to realize how a place that at first was strange to us, like the one that goes the first day to the new course, is becoming a part of us, and in the most important of the adventure. We will travel the Talos I with great freedom most of the time, and exploring each one of its corners, because in each walk we will realize that another detail that had escaped us in our previous visit.
But not only the Talos I and its spaces we know little by little, but also ourselves and our enemies. Another thing that has in common with BioShock is the possibility of improving Morgan Yu with the neuromods. So, if at first we are a kind of rasa board, we will gradually shape ourselves depending on how we prefer to face the fighting, the exploration and, in general, how we want it to be our departure. We also have the option of implementing the powers we acquire by studying the aliens. How much we decide to put of them in us is, once more, only our decision.
The imprint of darkness
I have already told you a bit about the importance of the little stories in Prey, even above the main mission sometimes. And that’s where we can also find influence from one of Bethesda’s referents: Fallout . When I played the demo it made me feel a bit that at a certain moment when I stepped out into the lobby of the Talos I, a message jumps that warns us of the secondary tasks that we can accomplish during the adventure. That warn us from the beginning of the existence of secondary things to do is usually a bad sign. And it leaves some sense that the secondary is not going to be as worked up as the main thing.
So it was also a surprise to realize how little by little, as I was reviewing e-mails or listening to lost audio files, I was getting some of the names of the members of the space station. And what had become of them became something that I was interested in discovering. This is no coincidence, as almost nothing of what takes place in Prey.From Arkane wanted to arouse this interest, and a sample of it is that in each security post we can access a list with each of the characters that live in the Talos I. And thanks to a bracelets tracking “for security reasons “They must carry each one, we will be able to follow them by the station until they find them. Those confusing lists are taking form from the moment we are listening to talk or reading about these characters.
In this way we achieve a wonderful balance between main story and secondary stories , which invites us to take the adventure calmly. In about 15 or 20 hours, without too much haste, it is possible to finish Prey. But that time may well be twice as little as we neglected a little exploring and rummaging through the ruins of the station.Obviously Fallout presents a rather broader map, but Prey also has that touch of wanting to take the progress calmly. From exploring every bedside table and cabinet to collecting scrap that later will be useful to us to make other objects (blessed shotgun loaders). The reward of exploration is important. Not only because of the resources we get, but because the possibilities are broadened in each path thanks to, for example, the improvements offered by the neuromods or the weapon improvement kits that we are encountering. Hacker, Vigor and Repair are the main abilities related to the possibilities of opening roads, and they join other related health or alien powers. So with time and patience, as in Fallout, we end up becoming a fairly powerful rival who can afford to move with ease in every corner.
But in the end the way to get those little stories comes from the fixity in the small details. That of being able to get our attention enough to remember that moment and then stay eager to discuss it with a friend.
But in the end the way to get those little stories comes from the fixity in the small details. That of being able to get our attention enough to remember that moment and then stay eager to discuss it with a friend. And it is difficult to talk about that, because although they are very clear most of the time, it is not worth telling some of them to lose the surprise. There are quite funny moments, and although sometimes it is more necessary to have been a little attentive to what we have been told or read in e-mails, other times the situations are explicit. And almost always have that ironic touch or black humor so proper also in the Fallout.
Shotguns from Hell
I have spoken of the exploration, and of the importance that Prey gives to the game with calm, rewarding the player who is fixed in the details. But the action also occupies a prominent place in the new Arkane proposal. The fighting is more abundant than I expected at first. More than anything because during the first hours the atmosphere is more similar to that of a survival horror. We have few weapons, a character without skills and with little life for the “smacks” that the aliens give us; And the game also worries about sticking to some fright that invites us to advance with caution. Caution thus becomes the main tool, among other things because any object on the stage can be a camouflaged mimetic. Not to mention the ghosts, the most humanoid enemies, as fast as they are slippery.
Luckily, although the mechanics at the beginning are very basic, little by little we will have a very large arsenal at our disposal. The more torches we will not get until we advance a lot, but the shotgun will make us the attack for much of the game, if not all.In the meantime, another of the key pieces was that the gunplay worked correctly. And so it is. Without reaching the flow of the great DOOM , Arkane has been able to leave feelings that are very reminiscent of the game of id Software published last year. Thing that, being DOOM one of the best action games of 2016, that is to say a lot in favor of Prey.
Without reaching the flow of the great DOOM, Arkane has been able to leave feelings that are very reminiscent of the game of id Software published last year.
I remembered DOOM for details like the moments in which we find the new weapons, in which jumps a kind of animation in which Morgan examines the weapon in his hands. Moment in which also a little music jumps that warns us of the prize that we have just received. Also by the variety of weapons, the way to change between them, and what we are invited to try everything. The combination of different weapons and tools during combat to create our own strategies depending on the enemy is very satisfactory.
And as we improve our favorites thanks to development kits, and combining these also with the powers that Morgan can acquire, we will become a kind of superman. As I say the confrontations are far from being like those of DOOM: they are not so precise, it matters more the strategy and we do not necessarily have to focus them towards the most direct action, but there is a component quite clear that when we dominate is very amusing.
Or from the shadows
Something more uncomfortable may be dealing with combat from stealth. Either by ambushing enemies with traps, or by trying to attack them from behind. But in any case the options are there. And back to the resemblances, I can not forget about Dishonored , also developed by Arkane and a “brand” of the house. In which perhaps Prey is more likely to reproduce the moments of secrecy, and we see things such as leaning behind the corners, or even in the way of moving us crouched on the stage, or do a little plataformeo. Nor is this Prey as good as Dishonored, clearly more focused title to the clashes. But do not be short, and devising a way to corner each enemy, with practice, also becomes an interesting option in the event that we decide to create a Morgan smarter than strong.
From Arkane we were told many times that every game in Prey would be almost unique because of the abundant possibilities that would offer its gameplay. It’s hard to keep up with something like that. But the truth is that personalization of the experience according to what we prefer to do in each moment is really great. And if on Dishonored the studio offered multiple possibilities when it comes to moving around the scenes and attacking the enemies, in Prey goes even a step further. As I have told you, it is not only about exploration and fighting, that we can deal with a thousand ways, but about the way in which we want to face what is being told to us. For example, we can be a very powerful Morgan Yu physically, who hardly needs to resort to tools or weapons at all, and face everything for the brave over any other secondary story that we are told.We can be a scientific Morgan, capable of hacking anything, sneak through each site without arousing the attention of enemies and almost the rest of the characters of the Talos I. Or we can become a powerful soldier who wants to save the world And end each alien threat in its wake. Anything goes.
It’s hard to keep up with something like that. But the truth is that personalization of the experience according to what we prefer to do in each moment is really great.
Where it lacks something more is in terms of graphics, with textures and modeling that do not look at the level of other great productions. However, the enormous artistic and ambient work makes it very easy to forget those small shortcomings and to be fully immersed in the Talos I. It is an intelligent game in this aspect, because it knows how to take advantage of its resources very well and camouflage with some effects and Filter those details. It is something that also did very well Arkane in Dishonored 2, in which we also run into occasionally with the postal moments that leave us with the mouth open. Or with the faces of some characters that without being very expressive, do not get to dissonar much for its design type acuerela. The enemies, those diffused shadows half, fit perfectly in the set. But what finishes to give consistency is the amount of details that we find in each stay. On the other hand, although they are very few, the moments of load become something long, and in very concrete situations there are some falls of frames. But it happens in very unique rooms.
This is when I apologize for giving you this rather disorderly structure to the analysis.But in a way I think it’s also a way of representing what Prey is. A set of many ideas, which we do not contemplate in all its splendor until we have tried a little of everything. And although all that content is there, in the end you have to look for life to play and understand. You are free to choose paths, styles of struggle and make decisions in the plot . I think I have given four reasons why Prey might like you. Four great games of which collects ideas, pieces, and without any obsession to make it clear or otherwise, hide it. And I’m sure that some of these four games, or more, have marked you. And in Prey you will find a pinch of the best of each of them, but with enough differences to be something atypical. It’s also true that I’ve talked about four specifically, but there are a lot more bits, like influences from movies or music, or other games. But that’s up to you to find out, like almost everything in Prey.
The truth is that rarely does a pitch fit the promise. Especially when you say so many things. And Prey is not a perfect game, sometimes there are some inaccuracies in control, either in gunplay or in brief moments of plataformeo, for example. The pace at the beginning is quite slow although it is part of the experience, something that may not like some. We could have expected more at the graphic level, although it is compensated with a magnificent soundtrack and dubbing to the Castilian. And someone may come to miss a more transcendental plot, or take more seriously to herself. But as a whole Prey is a very big game . Hard to catalog despite all its influences. Full of possibilities, with a setting of sublime science fiction and, above all, with a lot of personality. If you want an excellent adventure there are many reasons why you should not lose, like the ones I left a little higher.
Or this one:
+ Incredible artwork in all sections
+ Possibilities, possibilities everywhere
+ Great charisma despite the huge amount of influences
- Some inaccuracies in the control
- Graphically demeaned, although camouflaged very well
- Its slow start may not please everyone (but can be understood as necessary)