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Just finished Prey - a must-have shooter!


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#1 nagromme

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 03:24 AM

I finished Prey today--about 20 hours total gameplay. (Well, maybe 14 linear, but I re-played many sections that I died or did poorly in.) And yes, I did watch all the credits at the end and got to see the "six months later..." surprise.

I always liked the under-appreciated Prey multiplayer (lots of servers still up--but few players). Now I can say that the single campaign really was excellent--the best of any shooter on the Mac, I would say. (I haven't tried Quake 4--yet--but it sounds far less varied and creative than Prey. And I can't judge WWII shooters since I don't play them.)  People say it's shorter than some other recent games. Maybe. It seemed plenty long to me. But other games have a LOT of repetition.

Prey's visuals and game style kept changing. Lots of variety, awesome detail and effects, and a TON of huge spectacles that some games would reserve for the finale. I kept thinking I must be at the end because something jaw-dropping was happening in front of me. I don't think any game on Mac can touch Prey for being visually amazing and fun to look at.

Music and sound design were outstanding (I love the sound when a sniper targets you, and the sounds made by the robots). Voice acting was as good as I've run across in a game. I like Tommy's running commentary. (Like when you walk into the womens' restroom. This game actually has a sense of humor!)

I counted 20 enemies, 2 vehicles, and 17 weapons (counting the multiple modes that some have). Many enemies weren't that tough--but I can re-play on Cherokee level now for extra challenge :) The weapons are great--my favorite weapon set in any game, I think. And the "gimmicks" (wallwalking, gravity switching, portals, spirit walking, deathwalking) make a real difference. Of course it only scratched the surface of what COULD be done with those aspects.

And it had more story than Doom 3 (which I did enjoy too) for sure. The story seemed to be Donkey Kong all over again at first, but there's more to it than that, and the ending was satisfying, with a couple of twists that surprised me.

So... if you get enjoyment from shooters (like Doom 3 or Quake 4) with linear storylines, buy Prey! (And MultiPrey is worth playing too--even if I mainly play 1v1 against friends.)

I hope Prey 2 makes it to Mac! (Prey 2 on idTech 5 would be pretty awesome!)

EDIT: I see a new Mac patch is expected soon. (PC 1.4 removes the disc check--that would be very nice on the go.)

Here's a video of what you're missing (no significant spoilers):
http://media.pc.ign....id_1474826.html

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#2 Quicksilver

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 03:51 AM

*shakes head*   :blush:
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#3 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 04:59 AM

*Joins in on the headshaking* :blush:

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#4 G-News

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 05:25 AM

It wasn't bad, but it was to short for my tastes and the environment got quite repetitive pretty quickly.
Of course it had some unique aspects to it, which are great, but I think more could have been done.
For me, it still doesn't beat the Marathon series. I enjoyed the Quake series as well. And Undying was an excellent singleplayer experience.
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#5 teflon

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 06:12 AM

i very much enjoyed Prey both time i played through it. Though it was too easy and waaaay too short (though it definitely felt longer than I remembered the second time through, ad i have no idea how you managed to stretch out 5-6 hours for 4 times that length). I enjoyed all the large scale set pieces and the overall feel of the game, so despite its lacks, Id recommend it for sure.

looking forward to the sequel.
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#6 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 06:16 AM

it'll be a bargain bin purchase for me. Im not paying it for 60 bucks for the mac version which is no doubt riddled with those annoying D3 engine issues, when i can pick up a PC copy for 10 bucks.. at my local video store :glare:

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#7 G-News

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 07:36 AM

View PostAussieMacGamer, on January 31st 2008, 01:16 PM, said:

it'll be a bargain bin purchase for me. Im not paying it for 60 bucks for the mac version which is no doubt riddled with those annoying D3 engine issues, when i can pick up a PC copy for 10 bucks.. at my local video store :glare:

What kind of D3 engine issues? That engine has been one of the least problematic, to me anyway.
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#8 Janichsan

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 07:54 AM

View PostG-News, on January 31st 2008, 02:36 PM, said:

What kind of D3 engine issues? That engine has been one of the least problematic, to me anyway.
The only issue that I can think of is this mouse lag when playing on multi-threaded OpenGL enabled systems – which isn't nice but can be avoided.

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#9 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:08 AM

It was worth the $20 I paid on Steam a year ago. Like a lot of shooters, the stupid was thick enough to stir with a stick, but the creative level design made up for it. Now if only the protagonist had shut his pie-hole a little more often...
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#10 jgwdoc

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:13 AM

I thought it was fun albeit pretty short, and the going-to-the-spirit realm-instead-of-dying aspect annoyed me, but I guess it's no worse than magically healing from bullet wounds in CoD2. I agree that the visuals were impressive. Didn't it bother you that aliens seem to be able to invade the Spirit Realm of the Cherokee? I thought that was comical.
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#11 the Battle Cat

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:27 AM

Fun shooter, but the endless Indian stereotypes made it laughable, it stopped just short of making Tommy go "Woo woo woo woo".  I don't get offended for others and I won't in this case either, it's just a game.  What I really liked was the way gravity was fiddled with and used to create unique puzzles and fights.  Leaving your body was another great strategic and puzzle solving technique that opened up how you could approach a fight.  At one point in the game, I was spirit walking in a room with two bad guys who, by shooting at me with no damage to my "ghost", were hitting each other as I scampered between them.  Result?  One dead and the other very very weak for my corporeal body to polish off.  Cool!  Maybe it's time to play this game again, if there is a no-CD patch coming, I'll wait for that.
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#12 QuantaCat

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:55 AM

It might be fun, but I played the demo and I hated the setting. Nothing screams "Rape!" like a bunch of grey aliens sticking their "devices" in peoples "heads/other". And of course the indian/american horror.

What I would very much like on the mac: Portal. Even if it's only 2 hours long or somesuch, I would pay a normal (PC) price for it!
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#13 Janichsan

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:21 PM

View PostQuantaCat, on January 31st 2008, 04:55 PM, said:

…, I would pay a normal (PC) price for it!
Especially when the price is just $20? ;)

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#14 XxtraLarGe

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:22 PM

View Postnagromme, on January 31st 2008, 04:24 AM, said:

I always liked the under-appreciated Prey multiplayer (lots of servers still up--but few players). Now I can say that the single campaign really was excellent--the best of any shooter on the Mac, I would say.

I haven't played Prey, though I might buy it in the future when I get my new iMac. I'm curious though, did you ever play Deus Ex? It's pretty hard to beat Deus Ex's single player story line.

#15 QuantaCat

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:54 PM

no, I meant a normal PC price, for when it's still new. Like 39€ or somesuch.


And it's not that hard to beat DXs storyline, I've done it couple of times for funsies. (and I'm not a hardcore shooter person)
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#16 nagromme

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:07 PM

View PostG-News, on January 31st 2008, 06:25 AM, said:

It wasn't bad, but it was to short for my tastes and the environment got quite repetitive pretty quickly.
Of course it had some unique aspects to it, which are great, but I think more could have been done.
For me, it still doesn't beat the Marathon series. I enjoyed the Quake series as well. And Undying was an excellent singleplayer experience.

All I can say re length: it was long enough to be worth my money ($38) and will have replay value--especially Multiprey. And I'd rather have quality than long and "endless same-old" (like much of Doom 3, Halo, and from what I hear, Quake 4). I wouldn't call it repetitive at all--certainly not compared to those other shooters. (And I am comparing to current Mac shooters--not to some past classics. AvP and Giants would get honorable mention too, if we look back.)

That said, the entire FPS genre--and gaming as a whole--is not living up to the standard I'd like to see. More could have been done with Prey for sure--I just feel that it did a lot more (and more interestingly/better looking) than most other FPS options on the Mac shelf. The storyline would not survive as a movie--not even made for TV--and that includes the native American elements which were often BEYOND absurd. Then again, absurdity is not rare in game stories. So looking at style, polish, quality--and overall FUN (because what else matters in a game?) I have to rate Prey very highly.

Now, I like first-person shooters. Prey won't do much for those who aren't fans of the genre. As much as I put Doom 3 down, I still enjoyed it and am glad I bought it. And may buy Quake 4... unless Quake Wars takes all my time :)

And play styles vary--what's fun for one person won't entertain another. Ditto for themes/visuals: I like organic/mechanical hybrid :) Which has been done a million times--and often in scarier ways--but Prey's look is still its own--and it looks GOOD. Higher-quality textures than Doom 3, more special FX, etc.

But do try the demo--and know that there's a lot more where that came from! Here are the game chapters. I think the demo goes through Second Chances?

Last call
Escape velocity
Downward spiral
Rites of passage
Second chances
All fall down
Crash landing
Sacrifices
There are others
Guiding fires
The old tribes
Hidden agenda
Jen
The dark harvest
Following her
The complex
Ascent
Center of gravity
Resolutions
Oath of vengeance
Facing the enemy
Mother's embrace
Epilogue


PS - Coming back from the spirit realm after dying didn't bother me at all. Yes, it makes the game easier--but SAVING your place (as lots of games can do) does that FAR more severely, so its a moot point. I saved and restored a lot more than I went to the spirit realm. And actually, deathwalking is MORE challenging than save-and-restore: you risk running out of ammo.

My cautious, ammo-hoarding play style is probably a factor in my play time--I cannot IMAGINE how anyone could finish this game in a day. My FPS skill level too--I'm somewhere in the middle. For some hard-core gamers, a battle might be no challenge, when for the rest of the population it might challenge them for many tries.

#17 G-News

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:13 PM

View Postnagromme, on January 31st 2008, 09:07 PM, said:

But do try the demo--and know that there's a lot more where that came from! Here are the game chapters. I think the demo goes through Second Chances?

Oh, I do own the game and have played it in its entirety. Concerning story and setting, Quake 4 just had more to offer (even if that still was little). Prey was far more innovative, though (spiritwalk & gravity & portals). The two combined might have made for a very nice game.
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#18 nagromme

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:25 PM

BTW, re story and Quake 4--it would have been nice if Id hadn't RUINED the big plot twist in their ads!  :wacko:

Halo had a surprise in the middle--and it really DID surprise me. (In fact, I had accidentally skipped the cut scene introducing the "twist" so it scared the living waste out of me.) It would be fun to actually be surprised by Quake 4. Prey's surprises weren't as good as Quake 4's would have been.

You might just push me off the fence into buying Q4 too :) But with Prey's innovation, it would still have to be me "if I could only have one modern shooter." (And if we forget singleplay, my one shooter would always be UT. Mods galore.)

#19 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:26 PM

View PostXxtraLarGe, on January 31st 2008, 02:22 PM, said:

I haven't played Prey, though I might buy it in the future when I get my new iMac. I'm curious though, did you ever play Deus Ex? It's pretty hard to beat Deus Ex's single player story line.

Doesn't even compare. DX is highly story-driven, and well written story at that. Prey's story is about on par with Super Mario Bros.

I'll add a recommendation for Q4 - it's a pretty solid shooter as well.
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#20 the Battle Cat

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:28 PM

Quake 4 was an excellent shooter.  If you like FPS, you should NOT miss out on Quake 4.
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