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

Nonlethal weapons are a Looking Glass classic, like 0451. Useful for buttons, but also knocking things like mines around.

Slow burn, but high System Shock vibes so far.

Only managed to get a few hours in, but enjoying the atmosphere.

I never carried/used the nerf crossbow but I did come across things where I could imagine its use.

Overall though it is kind of niche and takes too much inventory space. I think this is just a goofy thing Arkane wanted to include.

There are some secret areas that require the use of the nerf crossbow.

It’s particularly useful if you are doing a no-mods run, there are areas where the darts can hit door overrides or tap computer screens that would otherwise be unreachable

I did it! Prey has been defeated. I really liked this game, it did something interesting with the System Shock/Bioshock formula, and even fit in a twist ending (I’ll get to that in spoiler space below). I liked just about everything about the game except the combat, which seemed uninteresting to me. Unless I missed something, I really only had three weapons - a pistol, a shotgun, and the zapper laser thing. I stopped using the wrench after a while, but I think that might have been the only melee weapon? And sure, the gloo gun came in handy (especially when the military operators showed up late in the game) but I’m not sure I would call it a weapon. Just didn’t seem like a ton of variety and options there.

The tension definitely decreased as I gained more powers and chips for my suit - I had some that helped me locate ‘hidden’ mimics, so I no longer felt like I had to side-eye everything around me. Plugging in weapon upgrades helped a ton too, I feel like the shotgun was definitely my go-to weapon. Maybe the game needed a sniper type weapon? None of my stuff seemed to work at long range, but maybe that’s by design.

As for some non-spoilery story bits, there was a lot of interesting stuff going on here. I didn’t pick up on the fact that this was all an alternate history universe until I saw a portrait of John Kennedy on the wall showing his date of death well into the 21st century. And the world we play in has known about the typhon for decades, early space flights encountered them and the U.S. and Russia have kind of ‘teamed up’ to get a handle on them. All right, on to spoilers:

I don’t totally get the after credits bit though. It’s interesting, and I like the idea that you think you’re human, dealing with the effects of adding typhon neuromods (and removing them) and how that alters your perception and relations with others - then finding out you’re a typhon, who is actually being tested with human implants! That’s interesting. And they did kind of lay out this idea along the way, with Alex mentioning that the typhon lack mirror neurons and therefore empathy. But then - all the game was a test? None of that actually happened? But Alex mentions that it was a recording of Morgan’s memory, so maybe it did happen, and we were just running through events that had taken place? I guess it doesn’t matter too much, I’m just a bit fuzzy on the details.

But overall, pretty big thumbs up, an interesting world and story with interesting stuff to do. As with most of these games, I end up kind of resenting how much combat developers seem to feel they have to stuff these games with, but I’ve long understood I am an outlier in these regards. Still, a minor quibble overall.

Looks like you missed the Q-beam. It can be hard to find, I think it’s only in 4 or 5 places on the station. It’s slow but can make taking down the bigger bads much easier.

I just finished my 5th playthrough (“no needles” run on PC). And I still found things I missed, and learned techniques I hadn’t used before. Hell of a game.

No, that’s what I meant by the zapper laser thing. But you probably thought I was talking about the stun gun, which I did find, but had limited utility as best I could tell. I just used it to take out possessed crew members.

Stun gun is also good against machines. IIRC the EMP grenade fucked up possessors severing their ties to all their captives / controlled turrets.

Did not mean to disrespect. :)
I just like talking about Prey.

No I get it, you busted me on my imprecise language. I forgot there was more than one zappy thing. Still feels like there should be more weapons, but it’s not exactly a Doom clone so maybe I shouldn’t think about it that way.

About the spoilers at the end, it’s the second thing. it all happened, but happened in the past, from their perspective. It seems they uploaded themselves to machines to save themselves when the typhoon got out of control.

On giving it more thought yeah, that seems like the only option that really makes sense. I was a bit thrown seeing Dr Igwe and the others appearing as operators, yet Alex was still looking the same as earlier in the game. But I guess neuromods can extend life, as seen in some of the health upgrades.

Seems like there are a lot of stories they could yet tell in this universe, I hope Arkane gets the chance to revisit it someday.

I just saw a two-pack of Prey and Dishonored 2 for 9 bucks. That is freakin’ nuts. You see that on games that have failed or have been written off. Is Arkane going under or something?

Does Mooncrash count?

They’re in internal studio for Bethesda, and they’ve got a pretty high profile game coming up, don’t they? Isn’t Deathloop the Prey team? I doubt they’re going under just because they’re selling super old* games at a discount.

-Tom

* in videogame years

Yeah, I know. It just seems weird seeing RDR2 and even Skyrim still selling at semi-premium prices, and seeing a discount of this magnitude on these titles.

That said, I’ll probably grab this if only to replay Prey on the XSX and to give D2 another shot. It didn’t grab my attention when I tried it on the ps4.

I don’t know much about Mooncrash actually. It’s a rogue-like add-on to the main game I think?

Correct, but it’s also more stories about the Prey universe! Arkane definitely used it for narrative purposes, and not just to make a rogue-like add-on.

-Tom

Well, I can’t argue with that. Might as well give it a shot!

Mooncrash is good fun. If you like Prey, get Mooncrash for sure.