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publisher: 2K Games
developer: Human Head Studios
PIV 2000, 512MB RAM, 2.2GB HDD, 64MB video card
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Jul 10, 06
|» All About Prey on ActionTrip|
Well what do you know; this demo has taken half as long as your average episodic shooter. Human Head delivers a pretty intense and, um, spirited FPS experience with Prey.
Hey kid, you all right? OK, scratch that.
The spirit world - when everything goes blue.
Interestingly enough, the Prey demo offers players a chance to actually play the game from the beginning. The prologue (which is fantastic) presents us with the hero, who has human qualities to him. It sets the stage wonderfully for the main story, which essentially comes down to Tommy, the Indian, rediscovering his Cherokee heritage and saving the woman he loves. Oh yeah, and saving the world as we know it.
This classic setup for a heroic tale - a clash of the natural, Shamanic forces of the Native Americans and a ruthless techno-based alien race is pulled off very well, though quite graphically in terms of violence. This focus on an epic underlining storyline is actually a welcome change in FPS games, and it reminds me a lot (not thematically, but in terms of how it feels) to Rune, another great Human Head game. Tommy is the exact opposite of the 'faceless' hero prototype of the Doom marine, just like the Viking warrior was, and that's definitely a good thing in my book.
Gameplay-wise, in the several single-player levels that we're given, the players get to check out a lot of the game's features, including wall walking, the ability to play in the spirit world, as well as use some very original sci-fi weaponry. My only worry is that this hopefully isn't all that Prey has to offer feature-wise. We've seen the portals, we've seen the bow and arrow, but to be honest, the originality of the weapons that were shown, along with the promise of a massive single-player campaign, give me a fairly good feeling about this one.
Visually, indoor environments are highly reminiscent of Quake and Doom. And seeing how we're talking about Doom 3 technology here, indoor environments work pretty well frame rate-wise, while the situation gets a bit messier in larger indoor and outdoor settings.
The sound effects, voice-overs as well as the use of music are absolutely top-notch. I was very pleasantly surprised with how well the EAX HD sound has been implemented. It truly makes a huge difference in the game. The audio segment of the game does an amazing job of creating a more cinematic feel to Prey.
What we have here is a classic example of a messy situation.
Time for your tetanus shot, little girl.
As far as the multiplayer goes, I've had a chance to play a number of matches at the E3 as well as in the demo. Generally speaking, it seems like pretty standard stuff although the weapons do add some variety to the gameplay. Another thing is that the pacing is reminiscent of Quake and thus, highly addictive and very powerful in the classic deathmatch mode. The portals in MP games are a novelty but not much more than that.
It's still way too early to tell, but judging from the quality of this demo, Human Head seems to have had ample time to finish this one properly. The pacing of the single-player game is very good, so it's now only a matter of being treated to some spectacular scenes in the later stages. I have to admit that Prey has a lot more personality than I originally thought, so I'm hoping the quality of the demo is a good indication of the quality of the final product.
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