First Playthrough of Prey [2017]: A Debrief

 

Prey_box_shot.jpg
Morgan looks really badass in this poster but most of the time, I, as the player, was just hauling butt whenever I hear the music pick up.

 

Spoilers Ahead.

Alright, I finished! Now, it’s time for a game review… First thing is, it’s a great game. I enjoyed playing through the game immensely. Usually, I’m not a fan of generic survival first-person shooters but this is awesome! The graphics, the concept and the characters were all great. Not a super deep story, sure, but the ending was a surprise and was quite satisfying. I chose the Perdition route and managed to complete almost all the sidequests (I didn’t do the one that involved stopping the strange Russian cook imposter dude.).

The game is, fundamentally, an aliens-vs-humans-on-a-space-station survival FPS. Kind of like Alien Isolation but more hi-tech and less horror-y (and also fewer hacking puzzles). The environment is designed beautifully with an elegant theme throughout the space station (called Talos I). The enemies were black shapeshifting aliens that had elemental powers called the Typhon. Apparently, they also have an external neural system in the form of Coral and that they store the psyches of their victims. It’s only my first playthrough and I hope to be able to learn more about this so tell me if y’all have something figured out. Typhon is also the most powerful monster-god in Greek mythology, fathered by the ruler of the abyss, Tartarus, and Mother Earth, Gaia. Hmm… So the Typhons are from space, which could be seen as Tartarus and they, at the end of the game, are seen to have taken over Earth. Typhon in Greek mythology was also the father of many of the Greeks’ most famous monsters. That could refer to the fact that they can somehow merge together to create more powerful Typhons and how the Typhon nest thingies are able to spawn explosive yellow ball thingies. I’m not sure so just tell me if any of y’all find something interesting, ‘kay?

The game also has Morgan Yu, the main character, who is the brother of the Big Boss on Talos I. On that note, the crew of Talos I is really diverse, everything from English names to Japanese to some sort of, I assume, African name (sorry, don’t know much about Africa) and the aforementioned Russian dude (although there was more than one Russian on the space station). Morgan, due to repeated testing with neuromods, has lost his memory multiple times and is apparently not the Morgan he used to be. This sort of memory manipulation would come up again at the end when you find out that you’re not Morgan and everything you just did was a simulation and an emulation of Morgan. Oh and that you’re a Typhon (from the looks of it, a Phantom).

That raises the question of morals, which was something the ending scene also brought up. At the end, Alex Yu (Morgan’s brother and the Big Boss) and several Operators (who were revealed to be some of the crew members you save during the game) stand around you and discuss your capacity for empathy and things like that, trying to gauge how human you are. They also discuss your motives based on the decisions you made in your game so yes, your decisions do matter. But my question is, even if everything was a simulation, do you, being a Typhon, count as a murderer for killing your own species? I guess since the Typhon were stated to be able to store the psyche of the people they kill, then I guess the species is capable of learning human emotion and thought (as you can see by the choice to shake Alex’s hand or to kill them). Also, how do they kill people exactly? The bodies we see littering Talos I look like they’ve been sucked dry but I don’t think it’s water that the Typhons were draining. Can they drain your mind? Or is it something else? That’s another question the game hasn’t answered. Also, some of the Typhon enemies you meet speak English and have human names so does that mean that they’re able to make zombies out of the people they kill? The imposter cook also says that he hears voices and things like that and seem to hold a grudge against the Yus. At the end, he also says something interesting about him being able to hear the future. But sadly, I didn’t finish his quest so I don’t know what’s up with him.

The Typhons were also stated to be able to sense intent. As you progress through the Perdition questline, you were told that the Typhons are aware of what you’re doing and that you have to watch out because they were spreading even more rapidly through the space station in an effort to kill you before you blow them up. This is another one of those unexplained powers of the Typhon. Then, there’s also the Apex, which is a giant writhing mass of Typhon right outside the space station. So is it some sort of queen of the colony or what? I didn’t get much of an explanation except it’s powerful and I shouldn’t touch any of its Tendrils.

Perhaps the biggest question I have at the end of it, though, if the question of Morgan’s fate. The ending basically says straight out that Morgan is dead and that his memories were used to reconstruct the events on Talos I. Does that mean that the Perdition route is canon and that Dahl wasn’t saved so an evacuation wasn’t possible before the space station blew up? How did he die and how did Alex get his memories? Or perhaps, did Alex alter the memories?

Alex at the beginning of the game gave me the feeling that he was going to be the main antagonist but his role in the story wasn’t that big, he was just a character to help set up the setting and to give you pointers on the Perdition questline. At the end, he was shown to very… brotherly(?) and said that even if Morgan decided to blow up Talos I, which he was against, he wouldn’t stop him and that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt Morgan. The player then had a choice to kill him where if you choose to shoot him, you’d get the second arming key and be able to initiate the self-destruct sequence. That is strange. Then, there’s also the fact that, when you find out you’re in a simulation, they didn’t bring up the fact that you killed Alex. So I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that things aren’t the way they seem.

Talos is also the bronze giant on the island that Jason and the Argonauts happened across who patrolled the island in three rounds every day and had one vein running throughout his body that was plugged with a single nail. He was killed by Medea, who took out his nail and he bled to death in a puddle of his ichor. Medea killed him so that she could get off the island. So take from that what you will.

That’s pretty much all I have on this game that I can think of for now. This extra-long post is partially to make up for the lack of content in the past weeks so I hope you found this interesting. I haven’t seen the other endings yet but I’m going to work through them in the coming weeks. My final grade for this game would be a:

9/10

The upgrade system was awesome. The RPG elements of the game were appropriate and gave the enemies a more alien feel and gave you many interesting challenges (I can’t say I wasn’t frustrated sometimes though). The gameplay was fluid and you were given many difference choices on how you handle the combat and the questing in the game. Even the foam-bolt-using crossbow had its uses. But that’s all for now. I’d love to hear what y’all think so leave a little something in the comments. If you guys find something cool, please let me know. I’ll talk to you later.

P.S. I probably can’t post much on Wednesday either.

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4 Comments

  1. Man…. this definitely is on my to-play list, as if the demo wasn’t enough to sell me on it. Great write-up. I agree that some things don’t add up, but I think without playing it all for myself I’m not sure if it’s intentionally ambiguous, the answers are hidden somewhere in the game, or if it was just poor planning on the dev’s part (I’m suspecting one of the first two).

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      1. Now I’ll have to decide if I just want to Wikipedia everything or wait to play…. I do agree that some games are best left as standalone games. There’s nothing wrong with a little ambiguity, in my book!

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