Prey is one of the most eagerly anticipated first-person shooters to hit the shelves this year. It's rather gruesome, and thoroughly deserving of its mature rating – parents, please take note. But provided you don't pass out at the sight of blood and can tolerate language that would make Bernard Manning blush, you'll enjoy a unique gameplay experience.

You play the character of Tommy, a rebellious Cherokee who has little interest in the ancient traditions of his people, much to the dismay of his girlfriend and grandfather. The three of you are abducted by aliens – don't you just hate it when that happens – and you are forced to fight for freedom and rescue your loved ones.

Gameplay makes up for the poor storyline. It features Stargate-esque magic portals connecting one place to another, rooms that spin at the flick of a switch and disorienting antigravity walkways, enabling you to stroll up walls or along ceilings.

The gripping action is backed by solid if unspectacular visuals, delivered courtesy of a heavily modified Doom3 engine. As with Doom, it gets a bit dark in places. In Prey you can use your cigarette lighter while holding a gun.

Don't be fooled into thinking that if your PC can run Doom3, it can automatically run this – the on-screen action can give even high-end cards something to think about. However, it's easily scaleable for lower-end systems. To get an acceptable frame rate, you'll need a 256MB video card and a whole gigabyte of RAM.

Prey: Specs

  • 2GHz Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor
  • Windows XP or 2000
  • 512MB RAM (1GB recommended)
  • 2.2GB hard disk space
  • 64MB video card
  • DirectX 9.0c
  • 2GHz Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor
  • Windows XP or 2000
  • 512MB RAM (1GB recommended)
  • 2.2GB hard disk space
  • 64MB video card
  • DirectX 9.0c

OUR VERDICT

It's not quite the masterpiece we were expecting, but Prey is a solid effort with unique touches to justify the outlay. The campaign, however, is a little short.

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