‘Prey’ Review: Great Storytelling that’s Hidden by Side Content and Fetch Quests

Jeremy Ray
of 5
Review Essentials
  • Excellently tense atmosphere
  • Aliens have strong personalities and you really have to play to their weaknesses
  • Gameplay really grows on you
  • Can feel quite repetitive
  • Nothing new here that hasn't been done before
  • Main storyline takes a long time to emerge
Reviewed on PS4

Despite opening with one of the strongest gaming sequences of all time, there’s definitely something missing from Prey. The promise of revealing the secrets of the Yu family and the alien-infested Talos I might keep you going to begin with, but it’s not long until the game bombards you with so much side content it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.

Thankfully the side missions are varied enough that you don’t mind being a little distracted. Whether you’re searching for missing crew members still showing some vital signs, catching a murderer or avenging dead lovers, there’s so much to get stuck into.

But there’s no getting away from the fact the quests are very much “go there, get this and come back”. Yes, Prey is a little bit obsessed with fetch quests, keycodes, security passes and checking your emails.

When you actually get back to the main story, delving into the mystery of Morgan Yu and co is utterly gripping. It just takes a little too long to get there.

In terms of gameplay, Prey definitely bears the DNA of Arkane’s other title Dishonored, but there are strong resemblances to those big names in games like System Shock, BioShock, Half-Life and Dead Space. The real difference here though is your ability to harness alien powers. Just like all the trailers have promised, turning yourself into a mug or a roll of toilet paper is incredible fun, but so is mind-control, wielding fire and dishing out kinectic blasts.

It’s just a shame that the game seems to punish you for messing around with the Typhon powers. The more you gain, the more enemies you’ll have to face and the more likely you are to be hunted by the behemoth that is the Nightmare.

But despite our quibbles with the gameplay, the atmosphere that Arkane has created with Prey is applaudable. Mimics never cease to surprise you, all the aliens have great personalities – if you can say that about something that terrifies you – and the sense of tension and paranoia is always palpable.

And it’s also a game that we can still recommend. It might not feature the best story structure and can feel repetitive at times, but this a slow burn that anyone interested in horror games should experience.

Jeremy Ray
Managing Editor at FANDOM. Decade-long games critic and esports aficionado. Started in competitive Counter-Strike, then moved into broadcast, online, print and interpretative pantomime. You merely adopted the lag. I was born in it.
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