Prey Demo Review: Impressions of Prey’s First Hour

prey 2017

I finally sat down and started the first-hour-of-the-game Prey demo, and my initial reactions are mostly positive.

But first, here’s a quick rundown if you are unfamiliar with Prey (or if you’re thinking, “Wait, they finally made another one?”)

Prey is a first-person action thriller set in a defunct space station. You play as Morgan Yu (male or female, although this appears to be merely an aesthetic choice), who must dispatch shape-shifting aliens that look like pieces of Venom that are looking to reconnect with Daddy. Familiar combat, stealth, and looting elements are all present, but what sets this game apart is the level of choice you have in these areas.

prey gloo cannon

The GLOO Cannon will more than likely be your go-to apparatus for puzzle solving, environment traversal, and enemy control. I used it briefly upon acquiring it and was nonplussed, finding it a bit disappointing that, at least in my experience, it wasn’t able to stick gloo-to-gloo — only gloo-to-surface. My time handling it was uninspiring enough that I didn’t bother to get too familiar with it before moving on.

Another unique feature is the ability to replicate objects in the world. Using this ability adds some strategic depth to the game, but things get really interesting when your enemies use the same ability. It’s a bit unnerving when you don’t know if that trash can down the hallway is an actual trash can or a deadly enemy. It’s a novel effect that will no doubt wear off, but thus far, it’s an effective way to keep the tension levels high.

prey 2017 game

While this tasty little demo managed to sell me on Prey for the most part, it does have a few issues.

Prey was developed by Arkane Studios, makers of the Dishonored series. You can really see that when you look at the character models in Prey; some of them look like they stepped straight out of Dishonored. This can be pretty jarring, especially if you’ve spent a lot of time with Dishonored. At times, the demo looked more like a Dishonored spin-off game than a new Prey title. Those models worked just fine in Dunwall, but here, they feel dated and out of place.

prey ps4

Another minus: there appear to be no ironsights for aiming your weapons. If ironsights are available, I couldn’t find them, which is almost as annoying as them not being there at all. This is traditional Half-Life style gunplay, which is fine, but it’s definitely going to take some getting used to.

prey snowman

My last complaint has to do with my earlier question. Did they finally make a new Prey title? Technically yes, but this may not be the Prey game die-hard fans have been dreaming of. This is a new entry in the series, but it’s not really a sequel, and it’s not a remake either. You could call it a soft reboot, but in many ways, it feels like Prey in name only. It’s hard to understand why Arkane and Bethesda decided to use the Prey name instead of just launching a fresh new IP. Prey isn’t exactly a blockbuster series with universal recognition. They could have called this BioShock: GLOO and gotten the same results.

In spite of these complaints, there’s a lot to like about the new Prey. If you’re into games like Dishonored, Wolfenstein: The New Order, BioShock or even F.E.A.R. , then Prey should be right up your alley. Since there are no early review copies going out, you should download the demo and check the game out for yourself. If you’re not into demos, check out the hour of gameplay in the video below:

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