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Every couple of years, a game really gets me. It digs its teeth in deep and refuses to let go. It’s like the game was made for me and will not let my attention wane until I have seen all it’s had to offer. Prey is that game for me. Most recently, it was the Witcher 3 and before that Bioshock: Infinite. Prey is a game that begs to explored and explore it I did.

People will bemoan the cancellation of the original Prey 2, but I believe that we got the Prey we did for a reason. Yes, the bounty hunter aspect looked cool but Arkane Austin’s new Prey is something different and something shockingly fresh. The game takes place aboard a spaceship, Talos I, and much of the plot is laid out within the first hour: ♥♥♥♥ went sideways on a space station involving aliens. The basic premise is given to you and any more that you get is solely up to you to discover. Much like the Bioshock games, Prey awards the player with extra knowledge and lore as a reward for scouring every nook and cranny of the derelict Talos I. From finding auidologs to peeping at employees’ computers and reading their emails, Prey is more than willing to give you all the backstory and setting, assuming you want to find it. I hate saying that there is a “right” and “wrong” way to play a game, but I do feel it’s a great disservice not to search as much as you can while you play Prey. There is no downside and you are only rewarded with new knowledge, missions and items that you would not otherwise be able to get.

If one pillar of Prey is the world-building then the other is the level design. Arkane eschews traditional “levels” for a more free flowing design approach. After a couple of hours in Prey, you are free to roam wherever you please. Yes, you can follow the critical path and pursue the main story, but you can also go to areas that wouldn’t normally be seen until the end of the game. The exceedingly smart level design of Prey truly lends to its masterful sense of place and really gets you immersed in the game. Each area to explore is intricately woven on top of the one before it, and I had numerous “Ah ha!” moments as I navigated my way through the station. I honestly believe that Talos I will go down and be remembered as one of the best designed worlds in all of gaming, it’s that good (special shout out to former GFW Radio host Shawn Elliot, who is a level designer on the game).

Gameplay wise, Prey is perfectly competent. The gunplay feels good enough but there is a noticeable lack of weapon variety, but I believe this was done on purpose. The relative lack of firepower lends to the sense of dread and vulnerability that the game lends to itself, especially early on. The Typhon powers, if you so choose to use them, definitely make combat easier and can make you a venerable bringer of death by mid to late game. The one exceptional standout in the gameplay department is the GLOO gun most. Without hyperbole, it might be the most innovative weapon since gravity gun in Half-Life 2. Not only is it able to incapacitate enemies, but it can also be used to traverse the environment and be used to solve puzzles. The design is so simple yet so brilliant at the same time. Just imagining having to design around a weapon that would essentially break most level design lends even more admiration towards the impeccable level design.

I had high hopes going in to Prey and it surpassed all of them. Not only is it a GOTY contender in my eyes, it’s one of the best games of this generation. If you’re willing to invest time and effort into it, Prey can be one of the most rewarding gaming experiences you’ve felt in a long time.
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HostraX Feb 23 @ 6:12am 
Have a great weekend! :acccfire:
Mystery Mouse Sep 12, 2023 @ 10:11pm 
+++REP Great Trader! :spongebob:
HostraX Aug 4, 2023 @ 11:34am 
ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴀ ɢʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴡᴇᴇᴋᴇɴᴅ :acccfire:
HostraX Jul 28, 2023 @ 10:21am 
ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴀ ɢʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴡᴇᴇᴋᴇɴᴅ :acccfire:
HostraX Jul 21, 2023 @ 11:22am 
ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴀ ɢʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴡᴇᴇᴋᴇɴᴅ :acccfire:
HostraX Jun 29, 2023 @ 3:21pm 
ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴀ ɢʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴡᴇᴇᴋᴇɴᴅ :acccfire: