Today I finished the game PREY by Arkane Studios, and felt sort of compelled to put some thoughts down on paper. Due to real life circumstances I havent really gotten to play it back on release, despite it definitely being on my radar.


The short version of the story is that you are part of a crew on a research station in space. It all centers around the research and testing of so called Neuromods, sort of like an inversed lobotomy, you insert needles into your skull and can then imprint memories and training, so you can become a master pianist overnight.

You are one of the people who are testing these out, to make sure they dont cause personality drifts or any other kinds of side effects. Thing is, when they are removed they pull the memories since the injection with them. So one day at work you wake up, shit is on fire and weird shadow beings are eating staff. Mondays am I right?

In the middle of this emergency you are contacted by a former recording of yourself, as well as your brother who both have their own versions of the story and views on how to handle this crisis. You are left to figure out right from wrong for yourself, for couldn't your recording or brother just be an alien replication meant to manipulate you?

Where things take a further turn is when you discover that you can analyze these creatures and create neuromods that feature their psionic powers. But this is of course a matter of injecting alien matter directly into your brain. This completely optional by the way, I went the path of the survivalist and figured hey anything to give me an edge. Soon I got weird flashes of half memories, and the stations security scanners flagged me as alien too. And as the story progress and various crisis hit on the ship and personel is endangered there is the question of, do you risk personal harm to aid them?


In the end I ended up with roughly 30% of my installed neuromods being of alien matter, and me trying to save lives and help out when possible. I wont spoil the ending, but I will say that your choices will affect it and I am itching to play it again while fulling embracing the alien neuromods.

As far as the gameplay goes, it is clearly a immersive sim in genre, and a good one at that. Arkane Studios other game Dishonored I have played and immensely enjoyed. And they are drawing clear influence from another incredible game, System Shock 2.

The environment is portrayed as a place where people actually live and work, with all the little nooks, crannies and vending machines you'd assume. And the areas are in no way linear and can be explored at whatever pace you want to. What also made me very happy was the relatively low amount of actual weapons in the game, instead you found a lot of repurposed tools kind of like how Deadspace (1) did.

One thing that immediately gave the game a huge plus was that the first pointy-shooty thing they gave me was a GLOO Gun, a tool that shoots expanding and hardening foam. There is a saying about hammers and nails, and in this case you really starting to see everything as solvable by glue through its multiple uses. This weapon lets you temporarily incapacitate enemies, choke out fires, build footholds for exploration and seal up doorways.

And the game features plenty of environmental problems and dangers you can take advantage of. Burst fuel lines gives you an easy way to incinerate your foes, you can deliberate break electrical junctions to have them spit arcs and electrify nearby metal panels. Or you can simply lock an alien into a section you arent going back to any time soon. The space station is an entire little ecosystem with different machines, alien types and human survivors interacting and I love it. As with all of Arkanes Previous games you can go through it without killing a single person or decide to murder the crap out of everyone for fun and profit.

And with me having forgotten the more recent games Dishonored games from Arkane, I will likely have to give them a delve, just as soon as I've done my neuromod-free playthrough.

Also you can actually chose to play a female character! And the game features a few gay couples, without being overly overt about it. Please at the very least give the free demo a chance over on steam, the playstation store or whatever xboxs service is called.