Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Prey Demo Quickplay

Possibly the most impressive thing I can say about Prey is that it runs decently (albeit still mildly distracting low framerates) on my Radeon 9700, a card I purchased to play Unreal Tournament 2003 better and now, so many years later, can still push a few pixels.

Prey is intriguing, I'll give it that. I wish the demo didn't start with the now industry standard "first person cinema" which apparently has become doctrine. Sure, it worked in the first Half-Life. To a certain extent, it worked in Deus Ex. Here, I just felt like I was randomly wandering around waiting for the next timed event to get triggered. Jen's bar felt about as real to me as the back of Hollywood set. You know, the part the audience isn't supposed to see? Worse ... it follows up with a sequence which is at point third person and then first person?

I'll say it again ... cut-scenes aren't the worst thing in the world people. I would have taken a console style cinematic that dropped me into action quickly over this any old day.

In game, at least, much of the intro is left behind. In fact the ingame "events" or characters are much better. They remind me of the first Unreal game and lend a lot of strength to the game world. The world design overall is another great thing about Prey. New tricks to the Doom engine like flexible gravity and portals make the levels feel uniquely alien (even if we've seen some of this before from CroTeam). If I recall correctly, one of the original design ideas for Prey was portal technology to keep only a single room "loaded" at a time, so it's interesting to see this in the design.

Overall though, I'm not sure there was enough to grab me to get a purchase out of the deal. Yes, it's pretty and it sounds great. I just get the impression that without a power gaming rig, I'm not getting the real experience of out it. It looks good, but I'll probably hold out to see if a PS3 version is in the pipeline.

tagged: ,

No comments: