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Prey (Microsoft Xbox 360, 2006)
(9 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
Earth’s Savior doesn’t want the Job!
Aug 31, 2006
Review by blwessels
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Fun, great story and you never die!
Cons:Because you never die the story feels too easy and quick!
The Bottom Line: Yes, better human graphics and a longer campaign would have made this a top notch game! I had a blast playing and was thoroughly engrossed in the story!
Prey is the story of an American Indian who is not proud of his heritage and wants nothing to do with it. He would love to leave and go out into the world but his girlfriend, Jen, does not feel the same way. The game starts off in the bar that Jen works at and Tommy is trying to convince her to leave with him. His grandfather tries to warn him that something will soon happen but Tommy wants nothing to do with his grandfather's hints and ancestors talk.
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While talking to his girlfriend they are suddenly interrupted by bright, flashing lights and the ceiling disappearing. Tommy watches in horror as both his grandfather and girlfriend are sucked up into the air and disappear. Before this can register, Tommy soon finds himself following quickly behind them.
They find themselves on an alien ship trapped and scared and Tommy must find a way to save them all! And so Tommy's adventure begins.
Prey is an innovative FPS but not as innovative as it could have been. Made on the same engine that Doom 3 and Quake 4 were made on it has a similar look and feel to it with some of the aliens and weapons being too similar. At first, I was disappointed that it looked and felt like these two other games but I quickly got over that and began to appreciate all the greatness that Prey had to offer.
Starting off in the bar you are given the opportunity to explore the area and check out a jukebox, casino machines like Black Jack and poker and even a Pac man type game. But, before you do any of that you'll want to check out the flushable toilets and sinks that fill and empty with water! Yes, a silly thing to get excited about but it's the first time I've seen that in a game!!
Prey's game play offers us the experience of going through portals and climbing gravity walls. You can see through the portals into another room but walk behind it and see nothing. When you climb through the portal, what was up may not be anymore. As you fall through the portal you are quickly spun around so that you land on your feet! And the gravity walls will have you constantly trying to align your eyes so you don't get dizzy! There are also gravity type targets that you'll need to shoot at to "spin" the room around to be able to get to where you need to go. If you mess up and don't get it quite right the first few times Tommy will feel sick and sometimes vomit (and some people playing the game have said they've felt a bit sick during these parts too)!
All these are interesting and fun to experience! It's great shooting an alien that is hanging on a gravity walkway above you and then to see him fall to the ground as he dies! There are other parts of the game where you will be on small, moon like planets with their own gravity. You shoot someone there and they float off the moon once they die!
As for dying, well, Tommy just doesn't die! Tommy's ancestors bestowed upon him the power to visit the spirit world and replenish his health any time he gets close to dying. Tommy visits this realm for a few seconds before being back in the game, ready to fight off more aliens and rescue his loved ones. This feature helps to keep the game running smoothly without any of the frustration of having to repeat an area over and over again because you keep getting killed. But, this also shortens the length of the game and people need to realize that. And because you know you won't die and that you won't have to repeat an area or re-kill an enemy you might not be as cautious as you would be in another game because you know you'll just come back.
As the game progresses and Tommy experiences many horrors he comes to count on his heritage to get him through this and to try and get home.
This game has some very unsettling events happen in it. I would strongly recommend taking heed of the "M" rating because it is there for a reason! If you like horror and aren't freaked out easily then this is a great game for that.
The pace of the game and story moves along nicely but has way too many load screens as some of the levels are quite short! But, you are so engrossed in the story that you don't really mind this. One of the alien's interacts with Tommy telepathically and that really helps flesh out the story as he expresses his anger and feelings towards those who have taken his loved ones.
There are lots of puzzles in the game to help you move along. Some are pretty simple and others will require some thinking and effort put in. One of the neat innovative parts of this game is that Tommy can use his spirit to help him progress in the game. He can send his spirit self ahead to scout out an area and potentially take out a couple of enemies. His spirit self will also come in handy with some of the puzzles that Tommy will need to solve.
The voice acting is pretty well done. The only voice acting that I didn't care for was that of Jen. She sounded whiny and almost childlike. The alien that communicates with Tommy, however, was wonderfully done and really helped make the atmosphere of the game that much creepier.
The graphics in this game are a bit hit and miss. The human models just don't look that great for a 360 game. Jen, Tommy's girlfriend, was particularly disappointing and the other human models weren't that much better. But, the alien models and the surround environment were awesomely done and looked fantastic!
The ship had a definite organic look to it with some rather graphic looking details that some may find shocking. Let's just say some resemble some female body parts!
The sound was extremely well done and helped to set the atmosphere needed for each scene and every level. The soundtrack was excellent!
I said earlier that the weapons seemed similar to what was offered in Doom 3 and Quake 4 but I still loved what made them unique to this game. Tommy's weapons are partly organic and made up of living creatures. One gun will kind of peak an eye out at you if you stand around too long! Your grenades are a living crab like creature and you even end up with a grenade launcher that contains them inside and you can see one of them moving around before you launch him.
As I said earlier the fact that you don't die and, therefore, don't need to replay areas moves the game along quickly and makes the game feel rather short. I'm the type of player that loves to explore the environment and look around and still I finished it in about 13 hours. But I feel that I got my money's worth because it was a great story with great game play. As for the rent or buy debate depends on the type of gamer you are. I enjoy playing a game more than once so for me it was worth the buy.
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