by Magus, reviewed on
"Prey" it comes out soon
Prey is the eagerly anticipated, canceled-and-then-set-to-be-released-again first person shooter which began development in 1995. It was to be the Quake killer, made by the same people who had pushed the release of Duke Nukem Forever for... well, forever. With things as they were, you could count me as one of the millions of people who were anticipating another canceled title. But, against all odds, eleven years later, Prey, the Quake killer, has been released to compete with the likes of Half Life 2 and Quake 4, and it isn't half bad either.
The first thing I noticed was that the interface is clean, simple and good looking. The options screen is distributed in menus which provide a lot of configuring options, specially the video options where you can select the detail of the game in many different ways. For the less geeky gamers out there you have an automatic detect feature which (at least on my machine) seemed to give a pretty reasonable default setting. For people with a little more time who don't want to get into all the details of video configuration there are the low, medium and high detail settings which let you control a bit more how the game looks. Lastly there are advanced video options where you can select what kind of shadows you will have, the game's resolution, whether double buffering is enabled and lots of sophisticated features that people with high-end video cards are sure to enjoy.
When you are in a bar, do as the Cherokees do
The second thing I noticed is that loading times can be long, damn long. Once you finally begin the game you will be surprised by the storytelling which is told in real time while playing, so instead of cut-scenes you will be playing through most of the game's story. This sounds quite good on paper, and to tell the truth I really liked the idea at first, but the story is so uninteresting that you will be hoping to skip the cinemas later on.
The hero, Tommy, begins the game in the bathroom of his grandfather's bar, saying something about not feeling like a man because he cannot tell a girl that he likes her. Then Tommy leaves the bathroom and goes to the bar, where a couple of drunken thugs are hitting on his girl. This creates a spark deep within your character who takes a wrench and promptly wrenches them to death (I guess killing customers is a Cherokee tradition). Tommy doesn't receive his prize (*wink* *wink*) for saving the damsel in distress because, as soon as you finish dealing with the customers, a huge spaceship appears and, using some green lights, drags everyone in the bar inside it.
Slime and alien rifles
The next thing you know you are inside the ship, strapped to a thing that looks like a rotten meat pie. Then some guy manages to free some of the prisoners and you begin to explore the ship and wrench to death every living thing in your way. After you are freed the game revolves around saving the girl in the bar, a fact you will be constantly reminded of by the obnoxious main character who won't stop whining about not having any time to lose.
The ship itself is organic and so the people at 3D Realms got to use the beautiful textures of green slime they had prepared for Duke Nukem 3D in every single room in the game. Sometimes, in order to make things interesting, they even add some red slime or yellow slime. The weapons are no exception to the rule and so instead of a normal rifle, you get a rifle with lots of green slime and claw-things moving on the sides which fires like a normal rifle and has an aiming control like a normal rifle, but it is alien technology so it's cool. Speaking of the weapons I was really surprised at the different uses of each weapon. You have a gun which fires a very powerful electric ray to destroy slow but powerful enemies, then you have a very fast machine gun to defeat the more mobile ground enemies. You also have a slime shotgun (not a normal shotgun, this one fires slime!) which lets you destroy airborne enemies easily and so you really have to decide which is the best tool for the job at hand.
No Pros and Cons at this time