View Full Version : Game Review: Prey (Demo)

10th July 2006, 05:07 PM
The game has been hyped and in E3 FPS fans from around the world got a glimpse at what this Doom 3 mod can really do. Screenshots can only do so much until you get into the meat of the game itself. And oh, is there a lot of meat, pieces of it in fact.

Graphics: 9/10
Can anything else be said? Doom 3 rocked the standards of graphics in gameplay and this game doesn't just meet those standards, but exceeds it. The one complaint that Doom 3 had in terms of graphics was that it was rediculously dark. Prey has fixed that in three different ways. First the game has been lightened overall, and I barely found myself in pitch dark places throughout the demo. Secondly you have the option of using a gas lighter your character has without being unarmed, the only limit is that it could overhead but not for a good bit of time. Thirdly, although most of the demo is placed in a dark alien ship, there are places where it is bright and you can see that the Doom 3 crew wasn't just boasting its graphics and covering it with darkness, but this engine can really pump out great things. Prey doesn't hide what the Doom 3 engine can do, and they show it to the best of their abilities. To say the game is visually stunning would be an understatement. My only criticism is that this demo is doing what Doom 3 did, and its basically taking that same art style and shading inherent in the engine and making a really put together game with it. Also the character sprites on some of the human characters were well...not human looking. At least it's not like doom 3 where you only have a handful of different human skins to play with.

Sound: 9/10
Along with the graphics the music plays a key role in bringing about the mood of the game. Especially in one area where you are in a dark room and everything starts to light up, the music track that plays just throws you right into it. The sound effects are pretty good I suppose. You use alien weapons after all, there's nothing you can say about realism without impeding on their artistic license. :p The voice acting, on the other hand, was quite well done. The actors were into it and you could really feel some of the drama in it. You could really tell the actors were into it.

Gameplay: 8.5/10
Throughout the demo you are subjected visual effects. That's just the demo though, and I'm sure they wanted to show off what they've been working on all these years. When you do get to start fighting it is much like another FPS except they throw in variations. The way that you move can be changed by walking on ceilings, or using the various devices available to you to your advantages. The gameplay consists of two areas, one in the spirtual and in the real. In the spiritual you can see and go through various obstacles that you can't regularily do. This introduces an aspect of gameplay that requires you to use puzzle solving methods and battle tactics at the same time. Also the gameplay is combined with the plot. You learn things as you go along, with narration from various characters, and you discover more about the character and plot as you go along. That was the interesting aspects of the gameplay but it has its disadvantages. The physics could use a little working sadly. You can move an equivilant of the "explosive barrels" found in the old doom franchise to blow stuff up, except the way you move it defies physics at certain points. I don't ask, I just do. :p I don't know why but I didn't really have fun with the demo in terms of gameplay. Maybe it was my adaption to the level of puzzle solving allowed in the game, or that the demo was far too short. I am amped to see how it plays out though.

Multiplayer: 7/10
What can I say? It consists of two levels, pretty boring I know. But I kept myself entertained with it, and it was still fun using the whole defying physics aspect of the game (walking along walls and ceilings, jumping through portals, etc.) It certainetly took some time to get use to, and I still can't be the first to 20 kills on a server...yet. They introduce a variety of weapons in multi that are more than interesting to say the least. Each with its own unique functions and aspects that you can use to your advantage. I haven't fully explored the whole single player demo yet, I'm not sure if there are secret areas where you can find all the weapons found in multiplayer. But I found it difficult adapting to what each weapon would do when you fired it while diving off of platforms avoiding enemy fire. I eventually got the hang of it, and I can't wait for more levels to open up so I can frag some more.

Tid bits:
The game wasn't like Doom 3 to scare the crap out of you, but they certainly can do that when the time comes. I got freaked out on a couple of occassions with the stuff they throw at you. You can never be fully prepared, and after all the engine was practically designed to create scary environments.

I can't say much on this, after all I've only touched the demo. I am certainately intrigued at what I've seen though. I don't think its fair for me to put a rank or score on this game because I've only experienced the demo. But I can say this is definately recommended by my standards, and I'd suggest you go pick it up, or at least try the demo, to see for yourself. I know I wasn't disappointed.