Prey, the companion of Duke Nukem Forever

June 12, 2007

Just finished playing the singleplayer campaign of Prey.

And the screenshot isn’t made by me, but it’s real as I remember this location in the game. It actually comes from the official site.

As the Wikipedia page says, the game is known for its production delays and was originally supposed to be the companion of Duke Nukem Forever that is still yet to be released. And also Prey went through several iterations and finally runs on the Doom3 engine. And it’s also kind of similar to Doom3 in ambience and gameplay. See also my previous posts about Doom3 and other FPS-es.

The theme is fairly straightforward and similar to Doom3 – “kill all bad aliens”. And it kind of feels the same while playing, although Doom3 was much much more boring in its repetitive levels. There is a lot more variety in Prey and levels don’t get boring.

There were two interesting and original ideas in the game. One is gravity alteration through wallwalks and switches. Who said gravity must only go one way? Changing gravity is key to getting through many locations in the game.

The other interesting idea is “spirit walk” that in the game has some relevance for fights, but not too much. You can kill enemies with your spirit bow, but regular weapons are much more powerful. The spirit mode was much more relevant in some puzzles where you must e.g place your character on a lift, and then “spirit walk” to some other place to activate the switch for that lift.

Also, what made this game easy is that you can’t really ever be killed. When you are killed, i.e your health runs out because the bad guys are shooting at you or biting or hitting you, then you go to some sort of “spirit world” where you can gain some extra health and “spirit energy” – or you can simply sit around and do nothing until you are returned to the game with health about halfway up and you can then continue. Also, you can’t really run out of ammo as in many locations there are stashes of ammo that self-replenish. So they didn’t want to make it too difficult.

The hard mode was unlocked after completing it in normal mode, but I don’t think I’ll bother with redoing it just yet. It took me several months to finish it :) of course I only played like half an hour a day and there were many days and weeks where I didn’t touch it and only came back a lot later. People say that they have completed it also in 24 hours straight or so. Even still, if I compare it to some other FPS-es then I’d say that Prey is fairly long and as I said, at the same time it doesn’t get boring and has enough variety to keep you going.