Prey Reviews

The reviews for Arkane Studios' Prey are finally leaving their 'in-progress' state, so we offer you a new batch. This time, including some widely-known outlets. Have a look:

PC Gamer - 79/100:

Unfortunately, some sidequests don't quite land, and for a variety of reasons. One—a pretty lengthy revenge tale—just sort of ends, and in some potentially silly ways. Another—this time based around a difficult moral choice, with fairly heavy emotional stakes for both Yu and another survivor—was entirely undercut by having a separate character call in about a critical objective. Repositioning to hear what the caller was saying, I accidentally triggered yet another character's dialogue. In the end, four people were talking over each other about different missions and I was forced to reload and try again.

Many of Prey's issues are a consequence of its broad range of options. Attempting to cater to a variety of play styles is laudable, but also means that Prey isn't as good a stealth game as Dishonored, nor as good a combat game as BioShock. But while the individual parts have problems, Prey is nonetheless greater than the sum of them. Prey is worth playing, mostly thanks to the strength of Talos-I as a setting, and the excellent environment design. It's fun to explore, full of interesting stories, and also looks and sounds great. Frequently, Prey's strengths build to create a tense and compelling atmosphere. And then it usually undermines it all with yet another goddamn Mimic.

Polygon - 8.5/10:

Arkane has the confidence to let Prey end on its own terms, even if it occasionally leans too heavily on its least interesting aspects. When it looks most like a shooter, Prey is merely competent. But as a mystery, a deep space haunted house with dozens of stories of tragedy and humanity to tell, Prey is a remarkably successful archaeological expedition — and it manages to compellingly ruminate on what it means to be.

IGN - 4/10:

If the PC version of Prey hadn’t become completely unplayable from crashes and save-game corruption just as it was hitting its stride, I’d have called it a very good or perhaps even great game. Its strange alternate-history universe, sidequests, hidden threats, and detailed environmental storytelling make Talos I a joy to explore, one that’s well worth slogging through combat that doesn’t feel fresh enough to sustain it throughout a long game. But there’s little so frustrating in a game in which you’ve invested dozens of hours as having your progress wiped out or blocked before the end, and my time with Prey concluded so poorly that I can’t in good conscience recommend you risk hitting the same game-breaking bug I did.

The Sixth Axis - 8/10:

Writing over our memories of the Prey that preceded it, Arkane Studios’ game is something new and yet strikingly familiar. There’s a great deal of kinship to the likes of Bioshock, Half-Life and other classic games, but it’s also broader and more expansive in what it tries to do. Regardless of its flaws and similarities, Prey manages to be an enthralling science fiction adventure.

PCWorld - 4/5:

With Prey, Arkane cements itself heir to the immersive sim. Dishonored reinvented the genre, particularly the Thief branch. By contrast Prey feels very old—it’s precisely the System Shock 3 successor Arkane pitched it as.

The mastery is no less apparent though. Sure, it doesn’t add much to the ol’ audiolog/email/locked room paradigm pioneered by its predecessors, nor does it reinvent the space station, but Prey and Talos I are so well-constructed I honestly don’t care. You’re given systems, you’re given spaces, you’re given a goal, and how you exploit the former to accomplish the latter is a source of so many surprises in Prey it makes up for the overfamiliar setting and story.

CGMagazine - 6/10:

Rote may be the best word to describe the whole package of Prey, really. I would’ve liked to see more done with the concept and setting, considering I’m a fan of literally everything this game is trying to do. Instead, I came away with a feeling that the developers weren’t confident enough to fully commit to an original idea. Instead, they played it safe by taking elements from other, better games, then not expanding upon them in any meaningful way. Outside of the weird physics, Prey isn’t a particularly broken game, but it is a boring, derivative, and unoriginal one. Through the fifteen-hour slog and between endless sessions of backtracking, I began to question why the game exists at all. After all, it’s doing things that have been done before, done better, and done in titles that can be had for far less than the sixty-dollar price tag.

If talent borrows and genius does indeed steal, then Prey is arguably a masterstroke of genius. But sadly, it is the furthest thing from a demonstration of talent.

TrustedReviews - 4/5:

Arkane has delivered some outstanding gameplay here, but the story is inconsistent. If you read emails and books littered across Talos 1, there's something of intrigue here, but the actual narrative told directly to the player will leave you wanting significantly more.

I thoroughly recommend Prey, particularly to those who even remotely enjoyed Dishonored or BioShock – there's plenty here that will attract attention. It's a great game.

USGamer - 4/5:

Prey is a collection of past influences - a bit of System Shock here, some Bioshock there, a bit of Dead Space - but the whole is something we don't get very much these days. With the twisting halls of Talos I, Prey gives you meaningful choices in your abilities, as the level design challenges you to find interesting ways forward. The game falters in combat, but overall, Prey is a wonderful love letter some older titles that are sorely missed.

PlayStationLIfeStyle - 9/10:

Arkane Studios has another hit on their hands in the form of Prey. Some minor bugs aside, this is a horror fan’s dream come true. Prey may appear to be a first-person shooter on the surface, but there’s an RPG hidden just underneath its shiny graphics. You have the freedom to approach Prey in any way you desire, and it’s unlikely any two players will have the same experience. With an intriguing story, impressive ambiance, and challenging gameplay, Prey is a must-own game that has found a unique take on psychological horror in game form.

DualShockers - 8.5/10:

No matter what weapons you use or powers you inject yourself with, Prey does a brilliant job of letting you access everything it has to offer no matter what. And while this should always be applauded, at this point, this is an expected staple of an Arkane game: the whole “play it your way” mentality is an overruling game design principle. Combine this with choices throughout the game that effect the narrative and you have a final product that not only has a healthy slab of 20-40 hours of content, but decent replayability as well.

Prey often feels like mash-up of some of the best sci-fi survival horror games of yesteryear and Arkane’s previous work. And it is. But it also is a title with some wildly unique ideas, an incredibly thick and unnerving atmosphere, and an exemplary soundtrack.