You play Tommy, a moody Cherokee Indian that wants to leave the reservation and take his girlfriend Jen with him. The game begins in a restroom, not the nicest of places but right off the bat you’ll notice that you can basically interact with everything. You walk out to the bar and your grandfather gives you a bit of a lecture and tells you that he senses a “great change.” You tell him to go home but he tells you that you will need him tonight by your side. Upon entering the bar you’ll notice two guys drinking at the counter as your Jen is serving them drinks. She tells you to get your tools off her clean bar so conveniently you pick up a wrench which you will use later to clobber the men that are harassing your girlfriend.
Things start getting interesting when you get beamed up into an alien spacecraft with your grandfather and girlfriend. The next section shows the elaborate network of alien technology as you are whisked away with the other captives. Luckily, someone decides to set you free, so you are able to wander the twisted alien world of Prey. Besides your trusty wrench, you will be able to pick up some alien weapons to make things easier.
The environment is what makes this game intriguing and fun in a gross sort of way. The goo, the slime, and the odd noises create a truly horrific atmosphere for you to traverse through. Listening to screams and pleas for help is disturbing, but it all adds to the mood of the game and the atmosphere is one of Prey’s strongest features. You can walk along lighted walkways that are similar to riding a rollercoaster since you are basically walking up and upside down but you won’t fall unless you jump off. Gravity is completely messed up, and not only do you get to walk all over the place but there are portals that you can go through, sometimes showing up on the other side of a box.
You will eventually learn the ability to “spirit walk” that will help you solve puzzles by allowing yourself to leave your mortal body behind and walk through force fields. You also have a bow while in spirit form which you can use to take out any aliens along the way. If you happen to die, rather than loading your game from a previous save point, you can actually bring yourself back to life through a mini-game. In spirit form you have a limited amount of time to try and replenish as much health and spirit power as you can. The red Death Wraiths will replenish your health and the blue ones will let you regain spirit energy. This allows you to start right where you left off so there is no need to re-load.
The gameplay and graphics are very smooth and feel as realistic as it possible for an alien spacecraft. Even with the steady movements, I still find myself feeling a bit dizzy after awhile since you are jumping around through portals and walking all over the place, there is no sense of up or down. However, for those that don’t get motion sickness, this will play like any other first person shooter. There is a huge amount of detail in your surroundings and along with the great soundtrack by Jeremy Soule creates a vivid nightmare for you to fight your way through. Voice acting is also well done, not overly cheesy but enough to give you the creeps. The game is fairly linear so it is not very difficult to figure out where to go. For those who aren’t that good at shooting, the AI isn’t the greatest either, the alien might try to dodge once in awhile but that’s it. You can even get away with clubbing a few of those dinosaur looking aliens with your wrench if you so desire.
If this hasn’t been made obvious, there is a lot of violence, gore, and foul language in this game. Even though you definitely won’t be handing this to your children, for those who don’t like violence and gore, why are you looking at first person shooters? Prey is a must-try for any FPS fan even though it’s using an old formula of fighting aliens. The environment, sound and overall mood have been greatly improved since the original FPS days. You might find that this game will have a few features worth checking out. I’m not a huge FPS fan, mainly because I need to take frequent breaks, but in between my periods of motion sickness, the game is still quite enjoyable.