Hey everyone! I'm back with my latest review - Prey for XBox One. Hope you like it and thanks for reading!
“Through the looking glass”
In Prey - a first-person shooter developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks - players find themselves in the shoes of Morgan Yu - a scientist and one of the last sole survivors trapped aboard the Talos 1 space station. As Morgan, you’ll set out to discover your past by unraveling the mysterious clues you’ve left for yourself, stop the devastation caused by the alien presence infesting the space station, and get the hell out of there!
In Prey, you will explore the entirety of Talos 1, inside and out (zero gravity baby!), as you seek to find out what happened to the crew, to you, and also what exactly the alien presence aboard the ship really is. The aliens, know as Typhon come in a variety of forms, the most basic of them being the mimic. The Typhon are best described as a shiny, shimmering grey-black substance that seems to display the characteristics of both solids, liquids and gases at once. The Typhon can change form quickly, and use their appendages as weapons to attack you. They have varying shapes and sizes, ranging from small arachnid-like creatures to large humanoids and floating orbs. The arachnid-like creatures are called mimics and are the first of the alien types you encounter on your journey. They have the ability to mimic small objects in the environment, such as towels, toilet paper, lamps, waste baskets, etc. It’s rather unnerving to walk into the bathroom and slowly look around to see if something seems out of place. Often times, you’ll walk past objects and nothing happens, only to have a mimic lash out from behind you. It’s pretty damn cool to see a roll of toilet paper burst into an arachnid shape and start attacking you. At least you have a wrench to defend yourself with. No worries, there are more weapons and even abilities, but more on that later. Rather early on, you’ll encounter larger, faster, smarter versions of the Typhon and it’s a challenge for sure - even on low difficulty settings. There are Phantoms, which are humanoid in appearance and come in several elemental variations, such as fire, electrical, poisonous. There are even ones with telekinetic abilities. And the list of enemies doesn’t stop there. No, not at all. There are more Typhon, such as the radioactive cluster found in zero gravity called Cystoids, and the incredibly intimidating Nightmare that comes about every so often and chases you around for 3 minutes. In those 180 seconds you either run away or kill the Nightmare. There are more than this, but I think you get the point.
Previously, I mentioned that you have a wrench to defend yourself with. Yep, we’re all fans of Half-Life here, so thanks for the inclusion of the trusty wrench. But we need more, and more we get! Another great tool/weapon you get to use if the GLOO Cannon which shoots out quick drying glue ammo that expands into large balls of foam. This weapon is great for stopping enemies right in their tracks and allowing you to beat, or shoot the ever-living tar out of them . It’s fun, and at times it can be quite exhilarating to be up close and personal to a Phantom taking shots to its head and knowing that in mere seconds it will burst out of the GLOO encasement. You also have access to guns with traditional bullet ammo, as well as emp’s, disruptor guns, and more. Plus, you can use a nifty little tool called the Neuromod to implant yourself with new abilities. At first, you only have access to human abilities, but further on in your journey, once you have a new piece of hardware that allows you to scan the Typhon, you will unlock the option to give yourself alien abilities, such as the ability to mimic small objects that you touch. Once you scan enough of a certain Typhon, and also new Typhon, you’ll unlock more and more of their abilities which you can use neuromods to install. One of my favorite is a physic blast of energy which knocks back and damages the enemy. There are several abilities, both human and Typhon broken down into different categories, which give you many options on how to proceed.
Along the way you will collect waste, junk, and small miscellaneous items which can be recycled and then those pieces used to craft items for your use. Items such as medkits, ammo, weapons and more. This is a crucial part of your journey and I highly suggest you gather all the crap you can find and recycle it as often as possible. You’ll thank me later .
In terms of graphics, the Talos 1 is set in a 1960’s style/decor and looks fantastic. The impression of isolation in terms of being on board Talos 1 and out in space in quite effective. My only complaint is when outside of Talos 1, space is so dark that I found myself getting turned around and it was hard to judge distances when navigating the exterior of the station. That’s just a negative for me and I don’t think it will be even a slight issue for most players. The audio is quite immersive too and does an excellent job of cranking up your anxiety as you navigate every nook and cranny of the Talos 1.
Overall, Prey is an excellent sci-fi, first-person shooter that does a remarkable job of making you feel isolated, on edge, distrustful of your environment, and even of yourself. Just what are the Typhon, who are you, and what the hell happened aboard Talos 1? I recommend you give Prey a shot, or neuromod and find out for yourself.