PC Game Review: First-Person Shooter - Prey

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Fight aliens…upside down

Prey is a very original first person shooter for Windows PC. I found it for just $4.99 for one of the weekend specials on Steam.com, and couldn’t pass up that deal. If you’re looking for a good shooter that isn’t another military game, then this one is worth checking out.

In this game, you play a member of a Native American tribe and it starts out in a casino somewhere out west. For the first few minutes of this game, you don’t really know what is going on as your character has some arguments with other characters. You can also go to an arcade and play games, which is a neat addition to the game. I think this little bit of downtime is to let you familiarize yourself with the controls, because you won’t have much time to do otherwise once the action begins.

Eventually, the entire building will start shaking as bright lights flood the building. You watch in horror as people are sucked up into something, then you get pulled in yourself. You soon find yourself inside a spaceship that is harvesting human beings from the Earth. Luckily, you manage to break free of your reigns thanks to a device malfunction, and it is up to you to fight your way out of the spaceship and save everyone on board.

What makes this game unique is that it is set in space and the gravity is not stable. You can be running along a corridor, then next thing you know you’re running up the side of a wall. You may even enter a room and be walking on the ceiling while aliens on the floor are shooting back at you. If you jump up, you’ll land feet first on the floor with them. Even though it sounds really weird, it’s actually pretty easy to keep track of where you are going.

I found this game to be pretty challenging for a FPS. It starts off rather easy, but once you get into it the difficulty increases. I think there was an overabundance of health and ammo just lying around, and that made it perhaps too easy in some parts. What I didn’t like was that the levels were so linear. Even with the weird gravity stuff, you still are pretty limited to running down one tunnel after another, so you can’t freely roam the ship. Even so, it’s still a fun setting.

The graphics and sound in this game are pretty cool, and there’s stuff I haven’t seen in other games. Much of it plays out like a cinematic experience, especially the opening in the casino. A lot of the game takes place inside giant set pieces with lots of moving parts and detail, and I was impressed with the architecture and level design. It’s very colorful inside the ship, and the aliens looked pretty cool.

In the end, I really enjoyed Prey. It had enough originality in gameplay and setting to make me overlook the linear level design. I would like to see the gravity stuff explored further in a game that gave you more freedom to move around.