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Prey - The Next Great Video Game - Page 2

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"Is that a doorway? Make sure by walking close and seeing if it vomits on you..." seems like a pretty strange thing to say, but it did account for some pretty surprising moments in gameplay, I must say so myself. These types of strange objects or obstacles become more apparent, and livelier, as the game progresses, which add to the immersion of the gameplay and storyline.

Being a first person shooter, this game stands true to the best games of the genre by having a wide variety of weaponry. Although the only true human weapon that you possess is the wrench throughout the game, many of the alien weapons are describable by comparing them to human weapons. For example, the first weapon you acquire in the game is a kind of mix between a machine gun and sniper rifle that, when not zoomed in, allows you to hold down the trigger to fire multiple rounds. At the press of a button, however, the gun seems to spawn a scope and the gun fires a larger, more powerful round at your foes. Another weapon in the game that I found interesting was a gun that could "suck" the substance out of certain objects, and could in turn fire that substance. Most of the different substances had different states of matter, adding to the fun. For example, one type of substance that I sucked up with the weapon shot off big shells like a rapidly firing bazooka, while another substance shot out a stream-like liquid or gas, similar to a flamethrower.

A very significant part of the game is the use of portals. Using portals similar to the ones featured in my last article "Everything You Wanted to Know About Portal ," this game utilizes them in different and intriguing ways. In some places, enemies would appear seamlessly out of nowhere via portals appearing in thin air surrounded by a red or blue ring. Just like in Portal, you can see through these portals to the location of origin, and in most cases you can go through the portals that the aliens appear out of. The downside to this, however, is that for some reason, the enemy AI simply isn't smart enough to be able to use the portals that are scattered throughout the environment on their own.

Prey ScreenshotPrey ScreenshotOne intriguing use of these portals is that in several places throughout the game you approach what is a metal version of a human cardboard box, except tipped over. Instead of being the inside of the metal box, however, you see another real room. Walk into the box and your now in a totally different environment than you left. This seems to allow the makers of the game to change environments seamlessly, easily, and at times quickly.

The last good example of the use of these portals I'm giving you (leaving a few clever uses of portals as treats for you to discover), is a few hours into gameplay you enter a room that has a stool with a glass box with a round brown ball hanging inside. Bypassing this strange object quickly, I passed to the portal on the opposite side of the room, not noticing the doors on either side of me. Entering the portal, I saw that I was standing on what appears to be a tiny brown planet, looking out to an enormous metal room... Somehow, I have gone through the portal, which has in turn miniaturized me to accommodate myself inside the glass box in the center of the room. Soon after, a giant alien enters the room, and making a yelping/grunting noise in what I assume to be surprise, runs through the portal, becoming as small as me and appearing in front of me, and attacks me. After a short scuffle, I didn't wait for more enemies and ran around the brown surface, finding an exit portal that transported me back to the metal room. Although not having significance to the story, I thoroughly enjoyed this interesting concept to technology, and what the portals in this game can do.

Being a guy that enjoys a fun game of poker occasionally, I was surprised to find that the aliens on the ship had picked up the hobby from a casino-like machine that had been sucked up from the bar at the beginning of the game. Not knowing why this was here, and having played this machine at the beginning of the game, I tried it out. Soon after, however, I found that these particular aliens don't like losing much, and that the game had been altered from the version I had played in the bar. Soon after starting to play, I realized the only hands I got on the machine were Royal Flushes, Four of a Kinds, and Straight Flushes. No matter what I did, I couldn't lose. This sounds like it would be pretty fun, but after betting all I had and ending up with 99999999 credits, I got sick of this minigame and walked away from it. While this is only a small and unimportant part of the game, it is a sign of what small things this game has in store for you if you play it.

Without further ado, though, I shall sit down and complete the game... And as for you, please: game safely.

Matt Wood
mattsbomb40@yahoo.com 

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