The world is full of stories, and from time to time they permit themselves to be told.
PlayStation 4 tested version
Perhaps not everyone knows that the first traces of Prey date back to almost twenty years ago. In fact the first chapter of the series with the subtitle A Talon Brave Game was initially announced by the 3D Realms in 1995. The first concepts were developed by Tom Hall (mainly known for Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D and for founding Id Software with colleagues John Romero, John Carmack, and Adrian Carmack), along with his team Developers of Incredible Power, with whom he had recently finished Rise of the Triad; the plot, although barely sketched, involved the kidnapping of the protagonist, called Talon, by an alien race.
After a year and a half of work, the project had now reached a good point, so much so that in some interviews the same Tom Hall declared himself hoping to finish the game by the Christmas holidays of 1996; but in August, things took a different turn as Commander creator Keen left 3D Realms and most of the team submitted their resignation letter. 3D Realms then decided to sign Paul Schuytema, which introduced the idea of a setting on a huge alien spaceship and later, the cornerstone of the game represented by the portals. Several videos were released between 1997 and 1998, showing the advanced state of development of the graphics engine. Unfortunately, as witnessed by the programmer William Scarboro, the enormous technical problems concerning the realization of the portals came to light. This problem led both Paul Schuytema and Scarboro himself to leave the team.
In November 1998 she was hired Corrinne Yu; 3D Realms' intentions were to get her to write a new, modern graphics engine for use in Prey, but the programmer was fired after just over a year. From that moment, the project was practically set aside and forgotten for several years. Only in 2001, 3D Realms, dusted off the project, licensed the graphics engine behind Doom 3 and entrusted the work to Human Head Studios which managed to publish the full game in 2006.
Let's say that the same unfortunate fate befell the current Prey, which was initially conceived as a sequel and which instead found itself blocked during construction and then even canceled in 2014. Only during E3 2016 , Bethesda Softworks in collaboration with Arkane Studios (Dishonored) announced Prey as a reimagining of the original game. Was all this hard work really worth it? Find out in our Prey review!
Something new, something old
Prey's plot is very reminiscent of a sci-fi opera mixed with horror, mysterious and surreal elements. Talos I is a research station orbiting the Moon, about 385000 kilometers from Earth, where human activity attracted the attention of the Typhons decades earlier, an anthropomorphic alien race with special powers. Acquired by TranStar Corporation, technicians and scientists closely study the molecular composition of the Typhon dangerous and hostile alien organisms with the aim of producing the Neuromod, brain grafts that allow you to absorb the powers of the Typhon and improve the abilities of the subjects in which they are implanted.
Inside Talos I, from his brother Alex, the researcher awakens Morgan Yu. During a series of initial tests something goes wrong and one of the scientists is attacked by an out of control Typhon. Morgan will discover that the containment systems of the experimental subjects have failed, and the Typhons have infested all divisions of the facility. Like black metastases of alien material they extend into the cargo hangars and life support rooms. Their fibrous bodies resemble rotting neurons; they move in jerks, and are able to act on the psychoactive ether to change the perception that the human brain has of them, appearing as harmless common objects. The Neuromods have somewhat interfered with Morgan's memory. The protagonist must grope, try to reconstruct what happened, figure out whether to trust his brother Alex or artificial intelligences, to guide him towards the truth will be the robotic operator January, programmed by Morgan himself, while Alex will try to provide his own version. facts.
After selecting the sex of our protagonist, from the very first moments of the game, especially if you have played one of the most successful series of the last ten years: BioShock, you will have that strange feeling of dejà vu as if you were at home and therefore that you have already explored the various corridors and rooms that make up Talos I. Nothing is left to chance and everything that surrounds us, in addition to the remarkable narrative structure proposed by Arkane Studios will give us a sense of empathy that has been missing for a very long time. The different unlockable endings will be nothing more than the result of our actions and decisions, which in addition to providing us with interesting insights, "forces" us to replay Prey after finishing it. For this reason it is difficult to quantify the duration of the game, because on Talos I there are really so many things to do and you will never tire of doing them, indeed you will always want more, more and even more.
Forget about the various Doom and Wolfenstein: The New Order or Old Blood that they are, who we are really far from the classic and conventional shooters which in the last three years have forcefully returned to the limelight and success with the public as has not been seen for years. Of course, in Prey there is no shortage of shooting sections but they do not represent the backbone of the entire production and in fact it is not even the best one, resulting rather rigid and not very precise when we inevitably have to make our way through the Typhons with bullets. who will try to put a spoke in the wheel.
Exploration will become a very important and indispensable factor regardless of your playing style and approach; thanks to the audio files, to the e-mails that can be read on the various accessible terminals, documents of various kinds and even extracts from books and scientific publications, we will slowly outline a solid and above all fresh and interesting narrative structure leaving each individual player that freedom to interpret things as they see fit. Also, finding ourselves initially armed with a large wrench, in addition to having that feeling of being practically helpless in the face of the looming threat, we will be forced to sharpen our ingenuity and inventiveness to continue on our journey towards the answers we are looking for. Each resource, each component that we will be able to collect will have a specific use and careful management of our inventory represents the fine line between surviving and coming to a bad end.
The accumulated resources can be used to create new ones. In fact, there are scattered around Talos I material recyclers, which allow you to insert apparently useless elements to modify them and instead obtain components of fundamental importance. These in turn will have to be used in the material assembler, which is a machine that Morgan can use to build weapons, ammunition, equipment and a larger inventory. So every time you find yourself in front of a recycler and an assembler, take a few minutes to rearrange your inventory and create what you need.
Furthermore, the presence of Neuromods, recoverable wandering in the intrigued corridor of Talos I, will allow us to improve certain abilities of our "confused" protagonist. The available skill trees are: Science, Engineering and Safety. The first includes: Medical and Hacking; we will have the opportunity to improve our health first of all but also the medical knowledge of the protagonist which will guarantee him a series of useful bonuses. We will be able to improve the hacking skills of the good Morgan, in such a way as to make his life a little easier, opening otherwise inaccessible locks and safes containing precious and very useful resources.
Of course, no one forbids you to go around sifting through the various documents to search for a certain code or a combination that will be required of you. In Engineering we will have: Lifting, Repair, Materials Expert and Calibrated Impact; by enhancing these attributes, it will be easier not only to manage the available resources but to interact with the game environment and with objects of various kinds. Finally in Safety we will have: Firearms, Conditioning, Combative Focus and Stealth. There is no need for particular explanations, as in addition to depending a lot on your game approach and the style chosen, they will improve all the combat component, speed of movements and detection by the enemy.
Although there is a real possibility of improving the available characteristics and skills, there will never be that familiar feeling with movement and gameplay dynamics posted by Arkane Studios. Unfortunately the controls are too woody and although the input lag on console has been improved through a corrective patch, it continues to be frustrating at times and you will also notice small movements even if we are doing practically nothing, so much so that it made me think that there was something wrong with mine Dualshock 4.
Considering that in different situations we will not be able to understand how to deal with enemies in the best way, finding ourselves being caught behind or not being able to hit, if not after several hits, the very fast Typhons, it is understandable as a better management system of such dynamics would have been appreciated more. The whole system suffers enormously in the most agitated game situations, making the approach confusing and disappointing. It happened to me several times to have a bad end without having understood what the dynamics of events were. And this is why Prey cannot be approached like any shooter, but it will require some practice in managing the various commands and analysis of the situations that will arise before us.
The Neuromods if managed in the right way, in addition to forcing us to interpret the gameplay in a certain direction, will prove to be very useful in different situations that would otherwise be rather difficult to deal with. Prey therefore pushes the player to experiment and not be limited to a single approach; on the contrary, the ability to adapt to specific situations is required and to alternate phases more aimed at the real action, but really fluid and satisfying, with stealth dynamics that are never perfectly apt but useful if you want to avoid the head-on collision with the enemies up to situations that require more thought in order to be managed properly. This balance, combined with the crafting system, however, makes us appreciate the work done by Arkane Studios, even if, at the cost of being boring, the commands could have been managed better.
From a purely technical point of view it must be said that the transition from the old graphics engine Void al CryEngine there and it shows. The graphic style is however recognizable and does not differ particularly from that of the last and excellent Dishonored 2. Certain defects persist, with well-made areas, both in terms of extension and level design, alternating elements a little ugly to see and textures in low resolution. However, it must be said that Bethesda has never looked for graphics bordering on photorealism and therefore even in Prey the graphics sector is fine as it is and works really perfectly, offering in some circumstances, even memorable glimpses.
The medium difficulty is really challenging as the artificial intelligence of the enemies is finely crafted, making them most of the time unpredictable in the movements and in the approach they will have when seeing us. The version we tested PlayStation 4 proved to be very stable in practically all situations, managing to handle a large amount of screen elements without any uncertainty. Beautiful soundtrack, created by the composer of Doom, which seems to be almost a hymn to exploration and discovery. Superb dubbing in Spanish which turns out to be practically perfect in every dialogue. Negative note to the management of uploads, not so much following the inevitable game over but in the loading between one Talos I lobby and the other.
- - Deep and convincing storyline
- - Several approaches available
- - High longevity
- - It's not for everyone
- - Excessive loads
- - Controls a little woody