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Aspyr Media
Release Date

January 11, 2007 | Michael Miller

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Prey is one of those games with an interesting history - originally demoed nine years ago, a near eternity in the world of video games, it got shelved by the developer after they realized that what they were attempting to do was not possible with the technology at the time.

Most games that get shelved stay shelved, if not trashed. But Prey is one of those rare concepts that someone picks up off the furnishings and gives a new life.

In this case, that someone is a development group by the name if Human Head, based out of Madison, Wisconsin, a spot where iD Software was based briefly. I mention ths because Prey uses the Doom 3 engine - which, apparently, Human Head feels is up to the task of doing what was not possible nine years ago.

But before I get to what that is, I should probably start with introductions.

This game is a representative of that much ignored game genre - the FPS. All sarcasm aside, the market is really so saturated with different shooters that any new major title attempting to make a name itself better have some pretty interesting things to say about itself.

It starts making its case with the story - you are an ex-army Native american who gets spirited away from the bar with his grandfather and girlfriend. Armed with, well, not much, you aren't out to save the world; you just want to get you and yours back home. The story is meant to figure prominently throughout the game, and be intertwined with everything you do - little is going to be revealed to the player at the beginning, and you are supposed to go on the same journey of discovery that the character of Tommy does. There is more going on than meets the eye, even though this is more than enough, considering what is already meeting his eyes. Set in the present day, Tommy goes from sharing a drink with his grandfather, whom he considers annoying and outdated, to the night being shattered by an emergency broadcast alert, and then, being sucked into oblivion. You wake up to the staggering vista of the planet beneath as you, your girlfriend, and your grandfather are taken on a conveyer belt into the bowls of an alien ship, like so much cattle.

The story is all told from Tommy's perspective, and there aren't really any cut scenes at all - there are moments when you are immobilized, but for the most part, noticing things, how you react to any given situation, communicating with individuals, is all left up to you. As is figuring out what to do when you find yourself alone in the middle of an oozing biological hallway with nothing but a wrench for a weapon.


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