Prey is the opposite of American lives

(This review was written for one of my Patreon review requests. Since Prey has been out for a while, I wrote specifically for people who have finished the game. It contains spoilers. Lots of spoilers.)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

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Ha ha, Tom’s an achievement whore! Anyway, I haven’t played Prey, just kind of kept an interested eye cocked in its direction. But the review does make me more interested in trying it out somewhere down the line.

I was waiting until I had more time and finished a few games in my backlog first. It will be tempting to get it on Black Friday though. It will be $19 at Walmart. That alone is maybe not tempting enough, because $19 is irrelevant if I don’t have time to get to the game yet. But if they offer that kind of price through the digital Store on Xbox Live? That might be too tempting to skip.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised you came away with two of your favorite complaints: no score multiplier for playing on hard and no reason to engage with the systems. It sounds like you had an overall positive experience, though, so I’m pleased about that.

I agree that the third act all happens pretty abruptly and largely without consequence. After watching your stream the other day, I was surprised that you didn’t complain more about the introduction of the new enemy toward the end. I found them to be a huge pain.

Bizarrely, my first and only playthrough was using no Typhon powers (just for, like, roleplaying reasons, I guess?). You mentioned several times that you did not feel compelled to even spend all your neuromods, which I find surprising.

Anyway, those guys at Arkane have been doing some interesting things. Thanks for taking a look at this.

I’m not reading Tom’s review yet because I’m still only halfway through this, but I’m disappointed this game apparently didn’t do better business. It feels like System Shock 3 without the IP or SHODAN. That’s both positive (it’s SS3!) and negative (inferior motivation / protagonist) but overall I’m impressed with what Arkane have achieved. For something that Bethesda originally marketed as an FPS where you can turn into a mug, I was pleasantly surprised at what it turned out to be. It’s also nicely tense, because you can never take any enemy for granted especially for the first half of the game. I’m finally at the stage where I feel moderately confident taking on a standard Phantom, but that’s about it. I like this sense of disempowerment.

I thought it was a pretty fair setup. Especially the discussions during the Psychotropic section are about as blatant a Chekhov’s Gun as they come.

Prey seem to not have been a huge success, and that’s the greatest injustice in gaming this year. But might still be Bethesda’s biggest hit for the year :-( Wolfenstein looks like it’ll end up selling half what Prey did, Evil Within 2 another half of that, and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider even less despite being a half-price title.

It’s too bad hearing about Prey’s third act. I’d have trouble investing that much time in a game only to find there isn’t much of a payoff.

“the second act develops how you’re [g]oing to confront those challenges”
“humans and typhon’s [sic] fighting each other”
“It certainly felt more meaningful tha[n] anything I decided during the game.”

Hey Tom,

This was an awesome review thank you. Your several months later take on a game seems an idea that has some merit actually.

Wait till it’s been patched and there’s no stress to complete under a time barrier.

Yes, well said. I’d also like to add that this was a very well-written review.