Arkane Austin's System Shock-Inspired Prey (2017) Reboot


#569

It’s something that you won’t be able to do if your net neutrality law goes wrong. Only slow google search for you, mister.


#570

Slow Google? Don’t you mean search.charter.com (for me) or search.whateverISPyouuse.com?

Most ISP’s already have the “search” stuff built-in, and the monetization is just waiting in the wings. I can’t wait for my janky-but-“fast” fourth-rate search engines.


#571

Picked it up. Only a few hours in, but loving it.

Early game spoilers to follow.

Picking up weapons a little quicker than expected. Just finished fixing the looking glass server and have the shotgun, gloo gun, pistol, and Lazer (as well as a handful of charges). This along with neuromods has made the Typhons a lot more manageable (but when I get caught by surprise it can get ugly). I’m on normal, so might boost the difficulty to hard.

The first space walk was a truly awe inspiring experience.

A real master class in storytelling. Fantastic use of environment to provide glimpses into the plot and build the world/plot. I loved Dishonored and Prey takes a lot of the best aspects.


#572

And I just finished it.

26 hours. I blew up the station. Not that it mattered.

It has been a very good game, overall. Not perfect. Some quick pros and cons:

Pros:

-Great space station. From the variety of ‘decks’, to the all the sub-areas that are in a level, to how it was all connected internally or externally, and all having a degree of verisimilitude. You could believe it worked.

-Very good use of zero gravity environments. It isn’t nothing original at this point in videogames, but here it’s well exploited.

-Good environmental puzzles. From platform moments where you have to use the verticality with the help of boxes, to having to search someone with the help of a security station, to hidden maintenance tunnels, to having to use a computer special features for a quest, etc. They never are hard, this isn’t a puzzle or a platform game, but they are involved enough. They don’t feel like the designer put the solution just in front of you like in Bioshock or the last Deus Ex, you have to look a bit for yourself. It felt as it the game respected the player’s intelligence, there was no minimap, in some quests you had to read the instructions and decide what to do instead of following the quests marker, etc.

-Good character progression. No xp for killing, but killing enemies give you resources to craft neuromods, that are like skill points. The pace where you unlock neuromods and improve your weapons feel right.

-Good sense of tension, of isolation, during most of the game.

-Great little crafting system. Easy to use, helps recollection by minimizing crap in your inventory while at the same time gives some value to that ‘crap’ so it still makes sense to collect it.

-Of course, good mix of a bit of action, and adventure, where I include exploration, stealth, quests, resource management & crafting, etc. It may look like a FPS but the shooty parts are reined back in this game.

-There is a decent amount of backtracking, but with the great design of the station it makes sense to use it, and very intelligently a good amount of all the back tracking (say, 2/3 of it) is optional because it’s related to the secondary quests.

-Related to the last point, the respawn system is also good. There is enemy respawn because there has to be in game with backtracking and interconnected levels, but it isn’t overwhelming, the amount of enemies is inferior than the original level, and it only activates when some main quests advance (I think there are a pair of secondary quests that also triggers it). So sometimes I could return back to a previous level to finish a secondary quest and it was empty. It would be a bother if every time you switch levels the enemies reappear.

Cons:

-The story never really grabbed me. I had interest on it on an intellectual level because the mystery part on it, but I wasn’t really emotionally invested on it. It felt very in the background, it’s more a gameplay-first experience.

-The game lacks a bit in difficulty. If you have a bit of patience, if you are the exploration fan type, the type who likes to be efficient with the resources and make smart choices (in other words, the type of player who would like this game in the first place!), the game isn’t particularly hard once you ‘get it’. At the 16th hour mark I switched from Hard to Nightmare difficulty in the game options and I still could have played in an even more difficult setting. And I don’t like super difficult games!
For example, it didn’t really felt like it had a survival horror flair like System Shock 2 because it wasn’t hard enough for that. Meanwhile, in this game I finished with 70-75 medkits in my inventory (And with +30 grenades of every type and etc etc) because usually with the medical operators and the foods/drinks I had enough. I used maybe 3 medkits in all the game. And I didn’t get any power that would heal me or regen me.

-At 26 hours (and that’s not counting loading times and retries with the quickload) the game overstays its welcome. The solution wouldn’t be to shorten its length, it’s a good duration for a single player game. What the game needs is a bit more of content, like a pair more of enemy types and a pair more of different weapons. I was disappointed when I saw the invasion forces where operations painted in black, and not real human soldiers which could have opened up another venue of gameplay. The game could also have used the trick of SS2 and use possessed laboratory animals as another type of enemy (monkeys!). Same with the weapons: pistol, gloo gun, shotgun, emp gun, energy cannon, and the grenades. That’s it? And not even ammo types? Weak.


#573

The fact that the damn corporate invasion goons are just floating boxes that look like they came from iBuy Power was a huge let down for me. I wanted like ninja super soldiers or even just grunts like in Half Life. Really.


#574

Oh yes, I thought the same. That moment when the spec-ops soldiers appear in HL1. It could have been like that. Hell, they had the same motivation: eliminate all evidence of a failed experiment.


#575

I don’t think more enemy types or guns help; the joy of the game is in exploring the space and snooping in the private lives of people. The reason the last bit feels like filler is because you’re no longer getting to do that. They would have needed to have Dahl somehow trigger access to a couple of new sections of the station. The action could still be spread out over the station, but at least there would be some periods of exploration to break up the running and gunning.


#576

Well yes, 1 or 2 more sections clearly would help, that would reduce backtracking if you still maintain the same duration of the game. Still, I think gameplay wise the game was too similar in the last 8 hours.


#577

I just finished after 25-28 hours and agree with a lot of what’s been already said.

The environment just felt believable, along with the people that inhabited it. All of the little details about their everyday lives made it feel like a once living and breathing place. That was the highlight for me.

The variety of skills in the skill tree allowed for a lot of options which was nice.

I was disappointed by the enemies, not so much their abilities but by their look. I would have liked more differentiation - like enemies in Doom. They just weren’t memorable to me, to the point where I would forget which enemy did what (except for things that obviously crackled with electricity or fire).

Climbing the blobs I would shoot at the walls was pretty fun - making my own paths.

I agree with TurinTur that it overstayed its welcome. For me it was probably around the 20 hour mark. I went from carefully trying to explore as much as I could, reading all the bits of information to trying to get to my objective as fast as possible - running (or floating) past enemies. I almost got careless enough that made it difficult to finish the game because I was chugging healing items.

Despite getting weary of the game, I’m glad I finished it because I’m glad to have experienced the end of the story. It felt kinda personal. Prey was a solid game that for me was just hampered by some relatively minor things.


#578

I just got to the arboretum after starting over. My reflexes are garbage at age 52 and the early hours of the game saw me burning through way too much ammo and supplies. So switching over to Easy didn’t really help that much at that point (just prior to entering GUTS). I’m still playing on Easy with this 2nd go at it, but I’ve put my neuro mods into necrosy, more materials, more inventory, and health than hacking, lifting, and repairs like the first time.


#579

You know I may play System Shock 2 again here soon, but if I recall that game changed up difficulty as you traveled. I have Prey and saw the above but I wonder if it was as balanced. Anyways as soon as I am done being addicted to total war I’m moving to prey. And btw John Reynolds I agree, at 51 we move slower. God help us in old Half Life 2.


#580

Finally laid hands on the Q-beam. Did it in the cargo bay, after spending 4 neuromods to have Repair II to be able to get into the Q-beam labs, only to discover the airlock back into the hardware labs is locked at this point of the game. Now to find ammo fabrication plans for it.

What are generally thought to be the best Typhoon powers to spend the mods on? I tend to play defensively so thus far I’ve purchased the one that absorbs attacks and one that slows time. Tempted by mimic, but psychoblast sounds good since it negates the psi powers of enemies for a short bit.


#581

Not sure if it is the best, but I did get psychoblast. It was useful against some of the enemies.


#582

Psychoblast is one of the best. It damages all enemy types and shuts down their powers for a short duration. You can rear nightmares apart with it. The next best power IMHO is the healing / regen one.

Some others are note are the basic mimic power. Just put a coffee cup on a ledge that has a little hole in it (or any other small space) and then mimic the cup and go through the hole.

Finally there is the large aoe that does physical damage. I used this against operators or any machine enemies.


#583

Took psychoblast.

Finally did the reactor reboot so I’m not so restricted in my movement. That was a bit more tedious and involved than I cared for it to be, working across the cargo bay area, life support, and then the power plant itself. More enemies in this game than I’d prefer too, but still really enjoying it.


#584

Patch news!

For PS4 players, this update is supposed to fix a lot of the performance issues on that platform.


#585

I just remembered I had a dream I was playing this last night as I haven’t played it in a long time. So cool! Much better than the nightmares I usually have lol.


#586

I really liked this 85 minute deep dive into Prey. It’s got spoilers for basically every story beat and game mechanic, so don’t watch this before finishing the game.

(Playing through the game three times + finishing System Shock 2 just for one video is some real dedication).


#587

So this has a 1 hour trial on PC now. Progress carries over if you buy it. Also 29.99 on Steam.


#588

… and it’s awesome! Why did none of you say?