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Prey

Prey

Prey

Prey is a first-person shooter video game developed by Human Head Studios, under contract for 3D Realms, and published by 2K Games, while the Xbox 360 version was ported by Venom Games. The game was initially released in North America and Europe on 11 July 2006. Prey uses a heavily modified version of id Tech 4 to use portals and variable gravity to create the environments the player explores.

The game's story is focused on Cherokee Domasi "Tommy" Tawodi as he, his girlfriend, and grandfather are abducted aboard an alien spaceship known as The Sphere as it consumes material, both inanimate and living, from Earth in order to sustain itself. Tommy's Cherokee past allows him to let his spirit roam freely at times, and gives Tommy an edge in his attempt to stop the Sphere.

Prey had been in development in one form or another since 1995, and has had several major revisions. While the general approach to gameplay, including the use of portals, remained in the game, the story and setting changed several times. The game received generally positive reviews and was a commercial success, selling more than one million copies in the first two months of its release and leading to the development of a sequel, with rights owned by the Radar Group. The rights were recently transferred to Bethesda Softworks and Id Software parent company ZeniMax Media.

Prey Plot

The story focuses on Domasi Tawodi (also known as "Tommy"), a Cherokee garage mechanic and former U.S. Army soldier living on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma. At the beginning of the game, Tommy is in a bar owned by his girlfriend, Jen. Tommy is tired of living on the reservation, and constantly tries to push his heritage away, while at the same time trying to convince Jen to leave home, if only for a short while, to which she refuses steadfastly. After an unfortunate bar fight, the entire building is lifted up by a gravitational force into a green light above. Tommy, Jen, and Tommy's grandfather, Enisi, are transported skyward to the massive alien starship called the Sphere. After docking, all three, along with countless other captives, are dragged through the upper levels of the Sphere. Tommy is freed in an explosion set off by a stranger who, despite being cybernetic like most of the Sphere's denizens, appears to be working against it rather than for it.

Tommy witnesses Enisi's death in a brutal alien device. While trying to find Jen, he falls from a walkway and has a near-death experience to The Land of The Ancients where he meets with his grandfather's spirit who bestows him with spiritual powers. After returning to the world of the living, Tommy gains the ability to spirit-walk, allowing him to separate from his body to pass through forcefields and operate consoles normally out of reach, as well as the aid of his spirit guide, the ghost of his childhood pet hawk, named Talon. Despite being entrusted by his ancestor's spirits with the mission to protect all of mankind from the sphere's invasion, Tommy cannot stop worrying about Jen, and he only cares about how to find and rescue her. As the game's tagline says, "Earth's savior doesn't want the job."

Prey Gameplay

Prey is a first-person shooter with the player in control of Tommy as he explores the Sphere and fights the inhabitants aboard the craft. During the game, the player will collect a number of alien weapons, some compare to typical first-person shooter archetypes, others more alien in behavior.

The game's engine introduces two unique aspects to exploration. Portals in the game can transport the player from one area to another instantly; portals can be looked and shot through as well (introducing the very real hazard of shooting oneself by mistake), and can also be traveled in reverse. Unlike the later game Portal, the player cannot create portals directly without the use of mods, and portals remain fixed in space. The game also features variable gravity. Special paths allow the player to walk along them, remaining upright regardless of orientation, though should the player fall or voluntarily jump off the path, gravity will reassert itself. Small planetoids inside The Sphere can also exhibit their own gravity fields, allowing the player to walk completely around the outside of it.

The player can detach Tommy's spirit from his body, allowing the spirit to roam freely for a short time. The spirit has limited interaction with the environment, though it is able to activate control panels and can use a spirit bow to strike at foes. The spirit force is often used to solve environmental puzzles within the game as well as to locate paths that are not visible to mortal eyes.

Reception
Prey has a respective average of 83 and 79 on the PC and Xbox 360. Prey was highly praised for its graphics and gameplay. Gamezone called the graphics "top notch", while Play Magazine called them "incredible". GamerFeed lauded the gameplay of Prey, calling it "nothing short of amazing", and concluding that "Prey has got everything anyone could want from a sci-fi shooter and more". However, there was criticism directed at the multiplayer component, especially the fact that it only had two game modes. GamesRadar said that the multiplayer "could have been much better if only there were more than two modes a couple of maps small enough to play with less than five players".

In October 2006, 3D Realms CEO Scott Miller announced that the game was a commercial success on both PC and Xbox 360 with combined 1 million copies sold worldwide to date.

Prey is ranked third on Game Informer's list of The Top 10 Video Game Openings.


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