Arkane delivers the perfect game with the Space Action Prey: good story, great gameplay, convincing game world. The test shows: If you can only start something with the genre and setting, this title will have a lot of fun.
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1Prey in Test: Introduction
Copy Protection & Protection
Prey in Test: Introduction
With the co-production of BioShock 2 and the main responsibility of the Dishonored series, the developers of the Arkane game forgiveness have shown that they understand their craft. A gripping story, game worlds that go under your skin and a gameplay that does not boredom: Where Arkane draufsteht, so far mostly quality was also in it.
In this respect you could be curious what the developers would conjure with Prey for Publisher Bethesda. The ComputerBase test shows: The result is a title that combines excellent bonds with the previous projects to a new, convincing whole – and its PC version runs smoothly right from the start.
Spoiler warning: Since a play is not always possible without the reproduction of individual important elements of the story, we ask all those who do not want to know anything about the action of the game. However, we always try to restrict playback to absolutely necessary narrative elements.
Prey is very demanding on the paper. Arcane and Bethesda recommend a current system to play the title. Ultimately, the hardware hunger is limited, as our benchmarks to Prey show.
If John F. Kennedy had not been murdered in 1963, the US would not only have a great president. They would have also launched an even larger space project, which would eventually lead to the installation of Talos I, a huge space station in the orbit of the moon after all sorts of distortions. At least, the counterfactual narrative of Prey is at the very least the point of departure.
Against this backdrop, in 2032 the player slips into the role of Morgan Yu, a leading scientist who awakens on the Talos I. Yu quickly finds that the things on the station, which is now controlled by a private company, are completely out of control. In the first place, he or she is, obviously, voluntarily the most important protagonist of a great experiment which, among other things, has led to the fact that Yu can hardly remember the past. Secondly, the space station is barely populated by humans, and all the more so by hostile extraterrestrials called Typhon.
From this starting point the great questions of the story of Prey are derived. What role did Yu play in the experiments, which were obviously very unethical? What is the relationship with his brother, who still has to do with Talos I? Who is to be trusted? And, above all, what must be done to save the situation?
It is one of the great strengths of Prey that the story composed of these parts remains long diffuse. It is true that a possible solution for all problems crystallizes very early. However, at the same time, the narrative also deliberately leaves doubts as to whether this path is really the right one. Clever is also that the developers a clear subdivision in good and evil shy. Is it really reprehensible to want to get closer to extraterrestrial life? Understand and want to interact with it? And how does it keep the player with interventions in the consciousness and the optimization of body and mind? Prey does not give any concrete answers to these and similar, very up-to-date questions, but encourages them to think.
But the story also convinces in the test even away from this meta-level. This lies in the smaller, surprising, and beneficial phrases. And the ever-changing content of the neighboring sites, which are no less interesting than the mainstory. The atmosphere thus created is strengthened by all sorts of input: we find books and notes that bring us the surroundings and the events, crawl computers for information and learn from audio and videoologists how the Talos I lived.
All in all, the story of Prey belongs to the best, which was lastly so wasted. This is also due to the fact that some of our decisions influence the further course – and crucial parts of the narrative are directly linked to the gameplay.
The heart of the game mechanics are all kinds of adaptations. These make it possible to tailor the protagonist’s skills bit by bit to his or her own way of playing. Do we want to get through Talos I as silently as possible? Or do we rely on confrontation? We prefer active or passive ability
At the end of this development process, a tough fighter, a perfect creeper, or a hybrid that can chop, repair and / or heal as a by-product is an extreme case. Added to this, some of Typhon’s abilities are also added after some playtime, with which Morgan can, for example, inflict additional damage, turn into objects, or use telepathy. In addition to the health and shield status, the protagonist also receives a Psi bar whose capacity can also be extended via neuromods, and which determines how long Morgan can take the form of a discreet laboratory device for camouflage.
In spite of the many adaptive possibilities, Prey does not work with any of these modifications as arbitrary or simple. By interleaving with story and game world, it is clear that a well thought-out concept is used here. This also includes details such as the fact that the defense of the station in the form of a stand guard can quickly change from friend to foe if you miss Morgan too many alien addons.
Lots of equipment
In order to unlock the alien abilities, Morgan has to scan with the so-called psychoscope the different species of the Typhon. At the same time, this helmet-like object protects against the opponent’s Psi abilities and allows him to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. This would address a point that further differentiates the gameplay: the equipment, which in the form of neurochips, extensions for the suit and the inventory brings other abilities and advantages for Morgan.
We do not just carry this equipment around, it also wants to be applied. This is particularly true of the battles, which are increasingly demanding thanks to increasingly strong opponents and in which a wise combination of the weapons is required. Against small and big Typhon the Gloo-Gun in particular helps to paralyze the opponents at short notice – and can also be used as a way to get to really inaccessible places.
Small criticism of the really good fighting system
A typical fight against a strong typhon looks like this: Thanks to the appropriate addons, we sneak up almost silently, cause a first damage with a wrench, then the opponent with a load glue, then with the sound-dampened pistol Or a shotgun from a distance. However, this is only one of several possibilities. For example, traps can also be placed where a grenade is combined with a so-called “night light” that attracts the typhon.
From this it follows that the battles with the Typhon are hardly ever boring. The only minor criticism of the system is the visual design of the aliens as well as the balancing of abilities. Firstly, the typhons seem strangely synthetic, and so not at all scary, so that Prey rarely puts the player under stress – at some moments in the psychotronics department of the Talos I, for example. Secondly, the opponent’s real good AI is severely restricted by a character-oriented character development: While the Typhons are still very attentive, and Morgan can be spotted and tracked, you can move around with them almost instantly react.
In quiet moments Morgan can finally devote himself to an extremely rudimentary crafting. In so-called recyclers, we convert scrap to different raw materials, which in turn can be processed into useful objects such as medicines or neuromods in a 3D printer. At this point, it would not have hurt if the players were more demanding. Instead of having to think about the composition of the raw materials, they are automatically placed in the selection of the desired object.
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