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By Karl Seton Schaefer
Fort Wayne Reader
Human Head Studios / 3D Realms
M for Mature
1 Single-, 8 Multi-player
Unless itís a sports title, minority characters in video games are more rare than men at a Pampered Chef party. Prey is the only title I can think of that features an American Indian as its main character. I guess itís a step forward if you can forgive the fact that the beginning of the story takes place in a bar and Iím pretty sure one of the characters calls another an ďInjun.Ē
Prey is an exciting new PC and XBOX 360 game that is based of my favorite sci-fi topic ó alien abduction. The developers of Prey were also smart enough to not take themselves too seriously. Outside of the tire-old ďrescue the busty femaleĒ scenario, Prey is mostly a run and gun shooter without much story development.
Once youíre abducted and on board the large alien spacecraft, youíll note the architecture of the alien craft is like nothing youíve ever seen in a game before. Organic and mechanical structures co-exist in a uniquely alien world. Scattered about are mini-portals that are ubiquitous as doors. The portals contribute to a world that has no up and down, no back and forwards, and is very strange. The world is organically laid out, which at first seems sort of chaotic, but turns out to be highly ordered.
No bones about it, the graphics and audio in this game are great. But to take advantage of this horsepower you need to have a big system with lots of horsepower. I was particularly impressed with the level of detail to the environments. The artists really push the limits of ingenuity. Add some atmospheric audio and some great music, and this title seems like a winner.
Sadly, itís not! It comes in a close second or third, though. What Prey suffers from mostly is something not even in its control. Although innovative, Prey is a sign that the first person shooter is a tired game genre. It really brings nothing new to the gameplay in that youíre still wandering around an environment trying to escape something while shooting something else ó been there, done that. Prey is akin to the next-gen console war: itís going to take more than some pretty graphics to win.
Aside from the fact that youíve played this game before a dozen times, Prey may be worth buying at $30-$40. Not the $50 is currently sells for. Other than in its look, Prey is not groundbreaking enough.
VIDEO GAME RANT: Iím declaring the PSP a dead system. The UMD movie format never made sense, thereís no games worth buying outside of Daxter, the media features are second-rate at best, and the web browser was terribly implemented. Nice try Sony, but you better get those 7,000+ PS1 titles out soon before we put the nails in the coffin.
VIDEO GAME RAVE: After all this time, Iím still crazy in love with my DS. Although, this little system that could has a few of the worst games for any console, it also has some of the best. Mario, Metroid, Meteos, and Animal Crossing will keep you busy for a long while. If they could only fix their weak friend code system on the Wi-Fi service, the DS would be perfect.