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Due to Bethesda Softworks' policy when it comes to early review copies, most major outlets still have their Prey reviews listed as in-progress. As such, we have an eclectic bunch of reviews from all over the internet.
From the looks of it, Arkane Studios' attempt at a System Shock-style game is getting mixed reception. Some places praise it to high heaven, while others call it uninspired. Have a look:
Game Informer - 8.25/10:
Prey’s impressive narrative execution makes its shortcomings easier to bear, but it doesn’t erase them. While the combat did improve substantially once I was able to use Typhon powers and gain cool weaponry (like a grenade that creates a small Black Hole), I never escaped the feeling that I was chipping off squares off a health meter when I went up against foes. There’s also a lot of backtracking, especially if you do side missions, and while those occasions aren’t too annoying in themselves, they do hammer home that the space station isn’t as visually diverse as it could be.
In spite of being rough around the edges, Prey still managed to consistently impress and even occasionally hit me with a sense of wonder. Sections that had me floating around the exterior of the Talos-1 in zero-G were tense, as I explored massive hull breaches for supplies like a treasure hunter, and I loved experimenting with the Gloo Gun, using it not only to immobilize enemies but also to plug up holes spewing fire and to build bridges across chasms.
In Morgan Yu, Prey invites us to create a fascinating and complicated protagonist navigating a dangerous world filled with characters worth knowing. Arkane’s fusion of player-driven storytelling and flexible gameplay remains strong throughout its first sci-fi outing, and makes Prey a stellar horror adventure in spite of a handful of flaws.
We Got This Covered - 3.5/5:
Prey burrows beneath your skin and never quite leaves your waking thoughts, but it's also buggy and imbalanced, marrying a first-rate setting to uneven gameplay. Comparisons with Bioshock are inevitable, but with its peaks and troughs, Prey reminds me more of Alien: Isolation.
AusGamers - 9.5/10:
Two days after finishing it, I'm still having Prey dreams. I'm still thinking about the ending, still wondering about the places I went to, the things I did. I'm itching to talk about the things that occurred within it and similarly knowing I can't because nobody I know has yet finished it. It took me 24 and a half hours. I loved every minute of it. I woke up early to play it and went to bed late because I didn't want to stop. Play it now so we can talk about it.
Heavy.com - 8/10:
Arkane Studios had a lot to prove since the cancellation of Prey 2, and they have more than demonstrated that they were up to the task. While Prey is flawed, most of my complaints boil down to wishing that the game was even more brilliant overall than it already is. Though not as groundbreaking as it’s inspirations, Prey’s immersive and clever environments and gameplay grows on you like an alien virus.
MSPoweruser - 10/10:
Overall, Prey is a mind-blowing game. One of the main questions gamers ask nowadays is how a particular title advances the genre. How do you contribute to first-person shooters which mostly push out generic campaigns but stellar multiplayer experiences? Prey is a perfect example of what’s possible when developers incorporate role-playing mechanics into the stale category. While Prey is heavily inspired by games like BioShock and System Shock, it manages to rise above them due to the sheer vastness of the playground it offers. If you own an Xbox One, you owe it to yourself to pick up Prey.
Attack of the Fanboy - 4.5/5:
As far as first person action games go, Arkane Studios is probably the best in the business. Proving that the studio has no shortage of interesting ideas, Prey is the perfect blend of thrilling action and thought provoking story. Who needs a new Bioshock or Half Life game when we’re getting experiences like these?
Stevivor - 8.5/10
Prey also suffers from the failings of another sci-fi epic, Mass Effect, in that a host of choices boil down to considerably less. Talos 1 is bustling with life (or is that corpses?) – while you can go out of your way to track down all 250+ survivors, ultimately deciding their fate at that time, those lives ultimately mean nothing at the end. Prey’s conclusion does live up to the claim of Arkane’s Raphael Colantonio: despite multiple endings, most of them will work as canon should a sequel end up on store shelves.
Despite those rough patches, Prey is wholly engrossing, begging the player to solve Talos 1’s many mysteries. It works well as a shooter, a stealth game and carries an 70s sci-fi vibe that is nothing short of a delight to experience.
The Guardian - 3/5:
Prey might have the wrench in common with BioShock, but it doesn’t have a Big Daddy of its own. Although Prey possesses an exciting arsenal of weaponry and abilities, and an attention-grabbing enemy in the Mimics, nothing ever becomes awe-inspiring or genuinely memorable in its borrowed offerings. What could have been a breakneck race around Talos 1 is hampered by constant plot detours, and an overly harsh kickback for investing in the best abilities in the game. The Arkane studios have an interesting approach to player empowerment: Dishonored provided an array of violent powers, but then asked us not to use them, while Prey dares the player to break the rules, but then punishes them for doing so.
In the latter game, as enjoyable as it is, this counter-intuitive approach has proved less successful.
Gadgets360 - 9/10:
None of Prey’s elements stand out on their own, but they work well in cohesion. Progressing through the story was a treat. Without spoiling much, there are a fair number of plot twists that keep you engaged. This is backed up with slick controls, responsive gunplay, cool neuromods, and stellar level design.
Clocking in at around 20 hours, Prey is well worth checking out even if you’re not a fan of horror or sci-fi. It might not be wholly original, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.
The Slanted - 9/10:
While the game itself may take you a week or so to finish, depending on your play-style, I found it to be a great thriller. Crafting a unique sci-fi thriller with aliens isn’t easy, and the story itself should keep even the most die-hard sci-fi fans interested throughout the entire game.