I’ll be honest, when I first heard about Prey, I was unaware of the original game. I might have come across it once, but it obviously hadn’t made an impression for whatever reason. The main hook for this new game, however, was that you could turn into a coffee mug! Oh, and something about space monsters?
Well, Prey sees you in the shoes of Morgan Yu, and after a pretty awesome opening it sets you aboard Talos I, a scientific research station in orbit of the Moon, in the year 2035. And things have gone wrong. The alien research subjects, Typhon, have gotten free and are wreaking havoc throughout the station. With nothing but a wrench to your name, you have to find out what’s going on and what you can do about it, with the voice of January giving you support in your ear.
I won’t talk about the plot too much, because it’s a really good one. The main enemies you’ll encounter are Mimics, which can turn into pretty much anything as a disguise. Did that chair just move? Were there three coffee cups a minute ago? Just like a Mimic, the story of Prey can be anything. Anything that involves jump scares…
Back when I played Half-Life, and later Half-Life 2, I remember pushing through the scary bits and soldiering on because they were fun, and had good stories - I’m not good with scary games. Well, Prey is pretty much entirely “the scary bits” - all of the Typhon have some kind of power, and they all really want to kill you with jump scares. Luckily, the game gives you some tools to help avoid fights.
The first thing you come across is the GLOO Gun, which fires a fast-hardening substance that can put out fires, plug leaks and let you walk up walls. Of course, it all depends on how you fire it, as I often had trouble making an arc suitable to walk up, it was usually a load of blobs that I had to jump up. It helps you find the many maintenance hatches scattered around the place.
You can also upgrade yourself by using Neuromods, these injections that give you abilities - such as more health, hacking and turning into the flying robots called Operators. Despite having the same ability to disguise themselves, the Typhon don’t realise that lamps shouldn’t be able to move…
As you unlock more areas of the station (bloody key cards…), you’ll start finding side missions. According to the game, I spent less than five hours on the campaign. Steam says I logged 25 hours! It’s easy to get distracted - at one point I was headed to one location when I spotted a door leading somewhere else, and never wound up going back to where I was originally heading…
Prey really is a Bethesda game (yes, it’s developed by Arkane Studios), because like Skyrim and Fallout before it, there are a ton of untold stories. What was that guy doing in this ventilation shaft? Why’s this guy stuck out in space? Most things are explained through the audio logs, emails and sticky notes you find around Talos I, but some aren’t.
I was honestly hooked on this game, and for one with such a “horror” vibe, that surprised me. I couldn’t play the majority of it at night time, but I spent a few hours each day over the course of a week just absolutely obsessed. In my 25 hours, I still wound up failing some optional objectives, and missing out more that I probably didn’t even find.
If Prey is on your wishlist, then you should definitely get it at your ideal price point. I may have finished in 25 hours, but you can bet I’m going back in to play some more, if only to find out what happens if I do things differently.