Prey — Game Review

This 2017 action-horror science-fiction takes place on a research station in the Solar System somewhere near the vicinity of Jupiter. Experiments go awry and a violent contact with extraterrestrial organisms are established.

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Prey — PS4 Edition

Story

Morgan Yu wakes up from his apartment in an effort to get ready for interstellar transportation towards the research station, known as Talos. However, it is quickly evident that this ‘wake-up’ sequence was in reality a simulation from the very research station he was supposedly heading to.

After waking up, everybody is massacred. For no discernible reason, a lot of the scientists and other members of the research state appeared to have died in a violent manner. Shortly thereafter, he comes face to face with the extraterrestrial ‘typhon’ organisms, who appear to have broken out of containment and now there is a desperate fight for survival.

Ever since his breakout from the simulation, he has no prior memory to that event. There is nothing he can remember, aside from basic skills and abilities. As Morgan Yu heads deeper into the research station, remnants of his memories are slowly revealed to him, creating a backstory alongside the central story.

As Morgan tries to recover his past under the guise of a Typhon-takeover of the station, he needs to figure how everything came to be. How did they break containment? How many survivors are out there? And how can we ultimately survive this attack?

Characters

There are two central characters to this particular video game. These are the brothers:

  • Morgan Yu — The central character you play as. An influential scientist of the station and respected by his employees.
  • Alex Yu — The head of the research station. He is always research-focused and somewhat arrogant. Not exactly likable in the station.
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PREY — Morgan Yu portraits by Fred Augis

There are also many other side characters, some with more influences than others:

  • January — This is an A.I. created by Morgan before his memory loss in anticipation of his amnesia. Using the voice of Morgan himself, he provides instructions in regards to his creator’s survival and how to destroy the station to prevent any further outbreak of the Typhon organisms.
  • December — This was another A.I created by Morgan. This specific A.I. is purely designed to allow Morgan to abruptly escape the facility and to finish the game earlier.
  • William Yu — The father of the Yu brothers. He is the owner of the company behind the research station.
  • Dr. Igwe — A neuroscientist who was part of the team headed by Morgan himself. Morgan once saved his life and now Dr. Igwe feels a debt of loyalty towards him.
  • Mikhaila — The chief engineer of Talos. She was supposed to be recalled back to Earth due to a physiological condition making her unfit to work abroad the research station. Morgan allowed her to work anyway and she owes him a debt of gratitude. They were also in a relationship.
  • Daniella Sho — A chief archivist of the Talos station. Her partner is killed and Morgan is tasked with finding the impostor who was responsible. She has a distaste for the Yu family too.
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Mikhaila Ilyushin — Prey by Frozen-chica

World-Building

The entire story takes place in and around the Talos Research Station. The video game is quite exploratory and the player can choose themselves on how to approach the story. There are central quests as well as side stories to choose from. Whilst the central campaign does feel largely linear, there are multiple decisions to choose from throughout the game which would influence the outcomes towards the end.

This game is quite detailed in its science-fiction lore. Each Typhon organism has its own story of discovery, analysis and with information relating to its combat abilities. In turn, Morgan himself can choose to increase his skills and enhance his abilities in relation to security, engineering and other categories. Morgan later unlocks the ability to invest in the more ‘alien’ abilities, which will eventually lead to different interactions with the environment as well as have an impact in the ending. For that reason, I strictly invested in human-only techniques. Morgan can also fabricate weapons, ammo and equipment to assist him on his arc.

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The Prey- Typhon Hunter by Julie Tardieu

There is a decent blend of action and horror. In the beginning, Morgan is too weak to defend himself and has to use his wits to evade the Typhon organisms or kill them using the surrounding to his advantage. It was more horror-orientated in the beginning. Around the halfway-point, Morgan is invested enough to confidently taken on the Typhoid organisms straight on and it becomes more action-focused. However, there is still a dreadful undertone present due to two reasons:

  • Mimics — These are the simplest forms of Typhoid. They are relatively easy to kill, but they can appear out of nowhere due to their ability to shapeshift to blend into the surrounding environment. Morgan might be travelling and a piece of chair might suddenly transform and charge itself against him, dealing a decent amount of damage. Sometimes, they can be heard at a corner of the room or somewhere around the immediate vicinity, with Morgan stealthy walking around to neutralise the threat.
  • Tougher Enemies — As the game progresses, tougher and more sophisticated Typhon organisms appear. They are typically far bigger in size and possess a variety of abilities to kill Morgan with. They sometimes take a consider amount of ammo to take down and resources can become scare, so it is sometimes best to avoid an all-out combat situation.
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Prey Key Art by Petur Arnorsson

Morgan also comes across various characters throughout the exploration and each of them have a basic backstory. There are quests which are accessible through some of them, whereas others are more of a cameo in nature. They do not normally take too long and so they can be easily done alongside the main journey.

Summary

In brief:

  • Morgan is the central character who wakes up with amnesia.
  • Morgan and his brother Alex are the most influential members of the station, the latter of whom is in charge of the facility.
  • An extraterrestrial lifeform, referred to as ‘Typhon’ organisms, have broken out of containment.
  • Most members of the research team has been massacred by the time Morgan regains consciousness.
  • Morgan has planted pieces of information beforehand in an effort to regain his past as the story progresses.
  • This game is rich in lore and each typhoid organism is described in detail.
  • Different decisions taken will lead to different endings.
  • Main objectives are to survive, regain the past and destroy the station.
  • There is a good a balance between the action and horror of this science-fiction product.
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microgravity by altehra

Critique

This was a really enjoyable game. I enjoyed exploring the research station under a dreaded atmosphere. There was a decent balance the action and horror of this science-fiction story. The journey was intense and the ability to explore and choose my options made me feel I was in charge through the game and it allowed it feel more realistic.

I enjoyed investing in the human skills to enhance my abilities as well as upgrading my weapons to increase the proficiently of my combat skills. At the same time, I enjoyed behaving in more stealthy manner to evade some of the more difficult enemies.

I also enjoy descriptive description of descriptions. There was a lot of information to delve into in regards to the Typhon organisms as well as general information and going-ons of the research station which were accessible via e-mail, notes and audio logs. This game did not fail in detail at all. I was hooked into the realism of the viability of the space station.

I also enjoyed interacting with the survivors of the massacre. Each of them had their own respective role prior to the outbreak and now each of them are struggling for survival. At the same time, however, certain characters are still ambitious and want Morgan to undertake certain objectives for them in midst of the outbreak. I managed to do these quests at my own pace which I liked. There were multiple ways to approach certain locations depending on the invested abilities which made the experience feel diverse.

I did not have any significant issues with this game. A few times, I wished there was more emotion visible when I was talking to certain characters. Also, towards the end of the game, there was a specific emergency shaft which I could not use, even though I fully opened it. It took me around 5 attempts just to enter a room during a critical event. It was annoying.

Afterwords

Overall, this game was really entertaining and I would definitely come back to it at some point. The campaign was a thrill with a dreaded atmosphere and these are the types of games which I like, alongside fantasy, horror and science-fictions in general.

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Writer. Reader of Novels. Video Gamer. Documentary Watcher. Tech nerd.

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