Prey is a first person shooter that tries to merge the War Games genre with the nuances of an adventure game and comes out on top because of it. The reluctant hero Domasi Tawodi, also called Tommy, is a Cherokee who lives on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma. As a mechanic who once served in the United States Army, he simply wants to be left alone with his girlfriend. However, the two of them are ultimately brought aboard an extraterrestrial spaceship known as the Sphere.
The Sphere is an organic spacecraft, and much of the game play consists of fighting the various inhabitants found aboard it. Similar to the later game Portal, the player can explore and shoot through fixed portals. However, unlike in that game, one can’t create a new portal in Prey. Granted, there have been mods developed to allow for portal placement, but the original game play did not provide for this. Even more innovative though is the incorporation of Cherokee Native American philosophy into the game.
Tommy is able to separate his spirit from his body and allow it to travel and attack enemies. It can also be used to work out some problems in game, and see things that the eyes of a mere mortal human could not. This concept really lends an aspect of originality to the game.
This fresh feeling was needed, sadly, due to the fact that the game had been in development for almost a decade. The first versions were announced in 1995, and were significantly different from the modern game. Among other things, the character’s name would reportedly have been Talon Brave. The graphics engine wasn’t nearly as clean either.
Nevertheless, the finished product is a polished and unique product that should satiate even the most hardcore of war games fans.