Well here’s my review, having played through what I think is about half the game.
Overall, I’m finding it enjoyable. The game is based on the Doom 3 engine and it certainly shows. Every texture is shiny and, for the most part, the “environment” boils down to a series of hallways and rooms. Things are dark. The good news is that it isn’t as maddeningly dark as Doom3. So far there have been only a few instances to use the flashlight…err, I mean Zippo lighter, and they’ve only been for a brief second. No firefights in the dark.
The game is fairly creepy, though in a “messed up” sort of way rather than a Doom3 “monster closet” or a F.E.A.R. “what the fuck was that shadow?” kind of way. It’s the basic malevolent alien abduction type thing (though I’ve heard the plot develops a bit more later), but the interspersal of real-world pieces gives a somewhat haunting quality (i.e. a crashed passenger plane, school bus, etc.)
The whole gravity manipulation thing is interesting, though a bit nauseating at first. All in all mostly a gimmick, though it’s good to see some FPS conventions being challenged. As Revtim noted, there aren’t many “where do I go” moments, mostly because you can assume that when you hit a dead end, it’s simply a matter of flipping gravity somehow and walking out the door on the ceiling. I’d say, though, that the rooms are strange enough (it is an alien spaceship after all, I guess) that you never really get the gee wiz feeling of walking on the walls or ceiling. It’d be interesting to be able to tromp though a normal house with gravity flipping abilities. Make me a ninja and I’m there! I guess you could sort of do this already with the aliens in Aliens Vs Predators many years ago. Again, though, just futuristic space hallways.
Generally great weapons make a great FPS. What would Half-Life 2 be without the gravity gun. Prey somewhat disappoints here. Your standard, ever present gun is rather lackluster in both sound and visual effects. The fact that you can use the secondary like a sniper rifle makes it somewhat remisicient of the pistol in Halo, though somehow not as cool. The leech gun is a cool idea, though. Basically this gun and suck one of (so far) 3 types of energy to use as a weapon. Lightning energy is probably the best, which makes it something like a cross between a railgun and HL’s gauss gun. There’s also a cold energy which makes it some kind of close-range freeze torch. And finally a “red” energy which makes it just about the most run of the mill plasma gun since the original Doom plasma. The other gun I’ve got so far is a very lackluster (and extrememly weak) chaingun with a secondary as a grenade launcher. It seems there are two more guns left to come, but taking simply a WILD ASS GUESS I imagine them to be some variant of a shotgun and/or a rocket launcher. We’ll see if they’re any fun.