Time on Talos 1: Playing Prey

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

Time on Talos 1: Playing Prey

I admit, I haven't had a lot of luck with Bethesda titles that don't involve the words "Game Studios" somewhere in the title. However, I did have a much better time with Prey, which still had some issues but generated plenty of fun.

Prey follows the Wu family--more specifically brothers Alex and Morgan--who have been hard at work running a corporation on an old Soviet Union space ship that's been fixed up six ways from Sunday. Naturally, something has gone profoundly wrong on board the station, Talos 1, and now Morgan's going to be in the middle of a far-reaching conspiracy that includes his own brother, artificial intelligence, and potentially even himself as he's stalked by an alien race whose primary distinguishing features include shapeshifting powers, psionic powers, energy manipulation and a complete lack of empathy for any living being.

No, seriously; this was actually a plot point. The beings in question, the Typhon, are stated to have no "mirror neurons", which prevents empathy.

I took a much more active interest in Prey when I heard that it was extremely similar in nature to the Bioshock series, a point that got my interest as I'm fond of that series. Indeed, there were quite a few similarities, and not just cosmetic ones, but gameplay mechanics often worked similarly.

What was particularly noteworthy about this game was its sheer variety. Different weapons, different gameplay styles, and even different gameplay mechanics--I really enjoyed the microgravity segments, effectively flying around the screen--all contributed to the vast variety contained herein.

However, I took issue at a couple points. The game seems to want you to engage in a lot of sneaking around, and anyone hoping for a stand-up fight will be graphically disappointed for two reasons: one, difficulty seems to have been ratcheted up. Normal difficulty seemed unusually potent, and even playing on easy got me routinely beaten, as Judd Winick put it in his Barry Ween comics, like a CPA in county lock-up. Worse, a cleared room doesn't stay cleared on Talos 1; you can kill everything in the room, but even leaving for a second seems to be an open invitation for the place to fill up again, and sometimes with even worse monsters. Tangentially related to these is the lack of ammo, particularly in the early stages, as well as the lack of materials to keep up with the flow of enemies around.

So, all told, I had a good time with Prey, though a frustrating time as well. My play style seemed contraindicated for a game that seemed to want me to do more sneaking around and less blasting, but that's not how I want to play a game. So it leaves me to look forward to Bethesda Game Studios' latest game, where there's generally plenty of ammunition to go around and enemies stay dead, at least for a while.

Featured Events