Prey Demo

I have just finished playing through the Prey demo and I must say that I am highly impressed. It takes alot for a game to impress me to the point where I fell that I need to express so, and I am really keen to see what other people thought!

If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend it!

skunx's picture

I agree, it was really impressive, one of the coolest abduction scenes in a game! And the whole portal thing going on is really cool

souri's picture

Very cool game, and very polished looking graphics. It never ceases to amaze me how good looking the doom 3 engine is for metal + interior scenes, but I do hope they have other levels with different settings though! I love how a lot of things are interactive at the pub (you can even play the games at the arcade machines), and the effects when everything gets sucked to the spaceship is pretty cool.

Carlin's picture

The demo was awesome, I was sucked in right from the start and I loved every minute of it.

Grover's picture

Hrm. I musta missed something. Lets see... tunnels.. indian.. spirits.. lots more tunnels.. alien bad dudes.. door key puzzles.. more tunnels (and some crates)... more alien bad dudes.. oh.. spirit door key puzzles..

Is it just me.. but I am so sick of tunnels. And so very sick of door key puzzles (its really quite stupid to be calling them puzzles even - sorry). Oh.. I forgot.. the grav and portal thing.. sigh..

I hate to say it.. imho, its so much more of the same, with different camera angles... woop.

So many horrible cliche moments too.. maybe have played too many FPS's.. getting old and grumpy, but Id love something that gets me thinking, and exploring. I _HATE_ 'fps on rails' games (Ie linear paths for everything, no thinking required). Gimme some Oblivion.. or similar anyday.. 5/10 for me.. even the gfx I thought were a little too monotonous and classic dark/doom styled. I know it makes all the lighting effects stand out more.. but geez.. theres only so much of dark tunnels that I can take..

CynicalFan's picture

Bitter... bitter old man.

Actually I think Grover is kinda right, but... I think they have well used the portal technology and the "localised" physics - even if it is nothing more than sticky walls, not really localised physics.

It is interesting that portal technology has been in use since Quake 2, if not the original Quake - if I recall correctly - but never been used this way. I suppose it has taken the hardware some time to develop to a point where it can be effectively achieved - something I've most certainly wanted to see since I first read about what the technology could potentially achieve.

I haven't played the demo, no way in hell it will work to any satisfaction on my notebook - and I would probably get more quickly bored at it than Grover - but I have seen vids, and some of those door "puzzles" are kind of cool Grover ;). But yeah, looks linear with heavily scripted and generic AI. Heavy with the indoor surreal, sci-fi horror atmosphere, with no real depth of scenario.

But hey, who says it has to be Oblivion - maybe pure FPS is enough with pretty graphics and original use of tech is enough.

Bitter... bitter old man. :P

skunx's picture

Well what Grover and Cynical are saying is quite true now that i think about it more, a week after I played it. The novelty did wear off abit, however i'm still pleasently impressed. Having played many recent fps games it was kinda original and they seem like they have a good thing going, i'm curious to see if the rest of the game will keep up the pace of the demo, it could get repetitive.

The problem isnt with prey, the problem is with fps games in general, they dont tend to think out of the box too much. With presy they did slightly, but at its core its pretty similar to Doom/quake etc. I'm not really a fan of the genre so i really dont care either way. One game that has caught my attention however is Bioshock. It seems like it will be more than you standard corridor crawler, but who knows.

Grover's picture

Skunx - yeah what you say is quite true. Its more to do with the genre I guess, than this particular game (and of course my 'old bitter man' tastes too :) ).

I'll say what I did like, and that was the begining. I like immersion, where you have a tangible feel for a universe that can be associated with some sort of reference point (not sure that makes alot of sense.. but hey). But what breaks these games for me (and has done since early FPS, although there were a few amazing ones that didnt) is the suspension of belief. If I am in a pub and I cant open a door, and am forced into a particular position, location and action (with pretty much no other option), I am less playing a game, and more watching a movie.

If I want to watch a movie I'll put on the Madagascar DVD and have a laugh, when I play a game, Id like a challenge and an experience that doesnt bind me to dotted line gameplay. Prey is actually more like a dotted line game play, because you cant go back to other areas (nice for design, bad for gameplay). Even Doom allowed simple things like this. Sure, I may be picky, but to me its a hampering restriction of gameplay.

This is a bit of a long rant again, but I'd like to show a couple of examples of old (very old games) that showed you could have fun and thinking in the one game. Terminator Future Shock, was a brilliant example imho: Sure there was a tun of door key solves, but there was also a huge amount of different areas to explore and detour through. Outcast: While not really a fps at all.. its the open gameplay and the ability for the player to choose their path through the game, and in the same manner more recently GTA, which is why I beleive GTA is so utterly popular like the Sims. The gameplay is much more left to the user for the decision making, than the designer.

We have had FPS's for over a decade now, and the fact a modern FPS cant jump of the rails and give an interactive and explorative experience says something about how 'locked-in' game design for fps's are these days. Far Cry is probably the most recent example of open FPS play, however it was still very contrived. I think games like Battlefield have gone a long way to help open up the genre, or maybe create a new genre, but I sure would love to see a FPS break the mould for once - and actually do it. Imho Prey does nothing for the FPS world, is just another one like the other ones with some gimmiks to make people think they are getting something new. Imho, a bit of a shame for this genre... theres so much scope left in this genre.. if only people would make that step, theyd have a GTA sized hit on their hands.

I should note, there are some that have tried to tackle this idea, and with good/interesting results. I think Mafia was a pretty decent effort, albeit a little 'un-fun' in many places, but that was more to do with the missions than the game env (which was amazing).

Id love to see a re-focus of many genres back on gameplay now, because tech wise there are little differences between games nowadays (to the average user), and we have had games rely on tech for so long as the core reason to play/buy them.. its about time gameplay became prevalent again. Wouldnt it be great to see bullet points on a box talking about gameplay features rather than "lastest DX shaders" or "advanced physics system"... mah.. bitter bitter old man.. sorry.

CynicalFan's picture

Future Shock (or Skynet) was great, though, breaking your ankle trying to walk up steep ground and dying instantly, was a major down point to the whole game IMHO - you could also see further into the distance from the corners of your view point among other things, but I was too young to care :). Never played Outcast but wish I had, might see if I can get a copy from somewhere. Meet the guy behind the voxel terrain engine, Yves Grolet is a really nice and funny guy - he consulted on a project I worked on.

Found Far Cry to be kind of boring though :/

Grover's picture

Yves Grolet made a truly interesting engine - Appeal was even kind enough to go in quite detail about it 'back in the day'. Oddly.. I think with the processing power we have now it could really make an utterly spendid scene.. ahh the good ol days. :)
http://www.appeal.be/products/page1/Outcast_GDC/outcast_gdc_1.htm%20 (sadly dead now - was a very good, detailed doc on voxel rendering, animation and all sorts).

Probably the best score for a game I have ever heard too - Moscow symphony with brilliant emotive slides during the game.
http://www.outcast-thegame.com/gallery/audio.htm

skunx's picture

Holy crap that soundtrack kicks ass!! Nice one grover [8D]

Grover's picture

Hehe.. if you can find a copy of the game (almost impossible - even an abandonwarez one) the whole score comes on a seperate CD - its just one of those awesome symphony's that really do great justice to the game itself ( The game movie intro is amazing on its own! ). One of my all time fave games, especially the forest level where you can climb trees an look out across such a huge expanse.. ahh.. voxels.. the good ol days.. man Im feeling old.. :) .. soz.. back to Prey... dont like it. :)