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Doom 3

Prey 2006 retrospective

See I called it a ‘retrospective because it’s fucking old, that’s what you do with old stuff, you don’t ‘review’ it, you retospectivise it (that’s not a word.
Yeah well I was gonna do the Outer Worlds review I hinted at, well I call it a review, it’s like five thousand words already, so it’s more like another shitty essay. But I decided to give it more time and finish it and I think I’ve almost completed it. The reason being it has gotten better as I played it. Like the first part was kinda eh then I got the ship and it started to be more interesting and now going to different worlds is giving it a little more mileage and it helps that it kinda reminds me of Genesis Alpha One which is an indie game I fucking love for some reason. It’s like Alien Isolation if it was a ship builder and the aliens were more annoying than terrifying… terrifyingly annoying. I mean it gets scary when an alien is fucking up your shit and you’re running around trying to stop your ship falling apart and getting sucked into the vacuum of space.

So anyway Prey 2006 what’s that about? It’s a human head studios game, what did they make, not a lot of stuff because after this game they got the beady eye of Bethesda on them and had to choose between cake or death and they chose death which is why they’ve pretty much never been heard from again except some really bad games (like bioshock infinite fuck you). Essentially Bethesda is a little bitch and they like money but they don’t like developers under them showing them up so when a studio comes along that seems to have fresh ideas and talent they have to either buy them out or destroy them. Human head and Obsidian are two such companies that Bethesda tried to bash on the bonce, human head is pretty much dead at this point, Bethesda cancelled the original Prey 2 sequel and then used their buttmonkey studio Arkane who basically just churn out mid-level filler for Bethesda to fashion a nice suit from it’s skin that they could wrap a generic system shock clone in it and sell it for full price. Which goes without saying is pretty shit as a business practice and just on a basic level.

This giant corporate entity basically just crushed them because they made the mistake of sticking out and then not falling in line.
I’m not trying to say this game is amazing, it’s basically just a decent Turok clone using the doom 3 engine. The only reason I played it was because I wanted to see if it was any good and it was dirt cheap on amazon and it was reverse compatible on my xbox one.
I remember at the time when it came out my friends raving about because of the insane level design and innovative physics but it never interested me because I was more into realistic shooters. I preferred shooting zombies and human like npcs, I thought killing aliens wasn’t very immersive or interesting. It just didn’t do anything for me at the time and honestly I probably would’ve been too scared to play it as a kid because this game is pretty dark both tonally and just literally haha. You get like a lighter that runs out and that’s your only light source on this ship that looks like the inside of H.R Geiger’s shitter. Kinda makes me think of that new game Scorn that’s trapped in development hell and probably wont ever come out haha. It looks good but I doubt it could top how ahead of it’s time this game was. The only way I can see it being impressive is just the art style and atmosphere.

So Prey 2006 is about a cherokee called Tommy who lives on a reservation with his girlfriend and grandfather, but then they get abducted by aliens and he has to save them and destroy the alien ship that’s abducting people for nefarious mysterious purposes.

The game’s story is pretty simple but it has this really nice half life feel where you’re not constantly bombarded with narrative or shitty audio notes and there aren’t a million emails to read. You’re just dumped into this completely ‘alien’ environment and expected to adapt and survive and get back the people you love. It’s sort of simple but really good.

Recently I watched a video comparing the weapons and enemies of Prey 2006 to Prey 2017 and the comment section was amazing, I could’ve read it for hours. It was just full of people amazed at how much better and more varied the weapons and enemies were in the original. Just the art style is ten times more imaginative than the remake. Sure you don’t get lame alien powers in the original but you get more than two guns that don’t need to be upgraded at all, you just pick up a gun and it’s just good, it does what a gun should, it kills enemies. You don’t need to rub it and make wishes so that it kills things, it just does. You can’t aim down the sights (except with the first gun because it has a scope and turns into a sniper rifle) but that means that button is for the secondary fire so technically every gun is two guns because it has two modes of fire. One of the guns even has two ammo meters one for general machine gun ammo and the other for explosive rounds. One of the guns is technically  four guns in one because it absorbs various forms of energy to fire different projectiles. It can freeze enemies, shoot out fire balls like an imp, fire lightning bolts (my personal favourite) or like a sun doom beam.

But more than that it’s the little things, every gun has it’s own idle animation. I don’t mean Tommy like moves his hands or tinkers with the guns I mean the guns move, some of them are literally alive. The designs on the weapons evoke this really strange alien lifeform that has been turned into a weapon somehow, it’s really weird and cool. And you compare it to Prey 2017, it’s almost shocking how much effort went into just one weapon you might not even use.

And although there isn’t a shotgun in Prey 2006 there is a gun that shoots out a shotgun blast of projectile acid haha. Or you can fire the whole vile of acid like a grenade.

There’s only one grenade in the game which is the weirdest weapon in the game because it’s these little creatures you think are enemies but then you pick them up and they have two functions one is a standard grenade and the other turns it into a proximity mine.

There’s also one gun you get in a boss battle (yeah this game has bosses because it’s a classic shooter modern gamefags btfo) that’s literally the bosses arm you cut off by closing a door on it. And I didn’t even know you could do that I just did it by accident, I ducked into a little alcove to get some cover and he couldn’t follow because he was too big but he sticks his arm in and starts to fire and I noticed a switch for the door and I was like ‘hmm’ and I cut his fucking arm off and then picked it up and killed him with it haha.

The enemies are also very varied, there’s lots of different enemies and they’re very imaginative, I mean more imaginative than black goo marmite monsters. Also they’re a lot more reactive, like there’s an enemy that like has weird robot legs and you can blow its legs off an it will try to crawl away to heal, it’s weird ok. The enemies and environments are strange, the ship is pretty much this horrifying mix of metal and flesh and so are the enemies, the enemies almost feel like the white blood cells fighting you off as this foreign body. The tone as I mentioned before is also pretty dark as in kids dying and you having to dispatch their bodies being inhabited by the fallen spirits of the dead. One thing I forgot to mention that on top of the aliens there’s a weird supernatural element that comes entirely from you because you have weird native american spirit powers. So it’s like the world of magic and technology colliding in a cool way that works and also it comes together narratively at the end in a really nice way. It also reasons why you come back to life, because when you die you enter the spirit realm and have like a mini game where you have to fight the spirits of the dead for your soul so you can come back. Kinda makes the game a little too easy but it’s enjoyable.

The most fascinating and groundbreaking part of the game by far is the physics, it was really ahead of it’s time in a lot of ways, there are things in this game Portal most likely ripped off. This I think is the first game that has functioning portal mechanics. You can’t lay the portals down but you used them in puzzles and traversal to new parts of the ships and they’re how enemies spawn in. But there’s also these cool areas where the gravity is inverted so you can walk on walls and it creates these really interesting fights where you’re fighting enemies on the floor while you’re on the ceiling or the wall and it adds this insane level of verticality to the level design. But sadly you can’t turn into a mug, we’re all aware that’s all that matters to the soyboys who love Prey 2017, they just love wowjustwowing over the ability to turn into a drinking implement. Never mind having fun gameplay or interesting environments/guns/enemies, all that matters is the muggening.

It’s not the most amazing game ever, if I’m honest I prefer Doom 3 but I’m a crazy person. I just really like that game for some reason. But I finished this, I’ve never finished Prey 2017, not because it’s hard but because it’s not fun. Prey 2006 is fun and the ending is actually pretty satisfying because it sort of lowers your expectations with this generic ‘save your girlfriend’ plot and this awesome opening abduction scene. But then the story throws you a fucking curveball and a half and *spoilers* if you care about spoilers on a game that’s over ten years old. Your girlfriend has been turned into a weird genetic abomination and you have to kill her while she screams for help, it’s pretty fucked up. And then it’s revealed that not only do the aliens just see humans as a source of food they harvest every now and then but it was the harvesters who seeded humans on earth in the first place as a source of food and to use as biological material for experiments. So basically earth is a truck stop for these guys and humans are essentially cows and how the spirit magic and the aliens collide is that the aliens are the ancient evil gods of the cherokee people and they invade the spirit worlds because it’s actually just another dimension through which they can access with portals. So basically you’ve been traversing portals astrally and physically this whole time.

*Spoilers end*

It’s pretty surprising because it comes off as just generic shoot mans but then it blind sides you with a pretty cool concept and really innovative mechanics and level design but you can’t turn into a mug though. You can fly around in zero g in a little space buggy and it’s so much better than in Prey 2017 haha.
I just like it more overall, Tommy isn’t a boring generic science guy Gordon Freeman knock off, he’s his own character and he’s constantly commenting on stuff and he really adds life to the game. He isn’t just this generic silent protagonist guy who’s silent for reasons. Like why is Morgan silent when you hear him talk in audio logs all the time? I mean I get why but its a dumb reason, the twist and story of that game is dumb.

‘But Prey 2017 has multiple endings though!!!!11111’ Yeah but they’re all dumb, Prey 2006 has one ending and it’s good and it should’ve had a sequel but it didn’t meet bethesda “quality standards”. Needless to say Outer Worlds was not a good replacement for Prey 2 as I fantasised briefly. It’s basically Fallout 4 in space but even more casualized as if that’s possible. Like there a multiple endings when going to a party at Michael Barrymore’s house but that doesn’t mean I want to go (too soon?).

There’s not much more I can say about it really, it’s not Half life 2 tier but it’s pretty good, if you don’t believe me get it yourself it’s like under a fiver. All I can is I enjoyed it a lot more than the remake and it had a lot of potential for a sequel in a universe where humans are basically a snack for intergalactic cenobytes. But sadly no one can be the cool kid in the games industry, that’s only for bethesda and they had to can a game that according to the developers was like 90% done. I seriously don’t why there isn’t crowdfunding out there or a some kind of build of this game floating around. I mean we live in the age where crowd funded games can not only exist but be better than triple A titles… I can only think of Kingdom Come Deliverance off the top of my head but the Witcher was funded by a Polish government grant so that’s like ancient crowdfunding.

I probably wont replay this game, which is why I say I prefer Doom 3 because I have and definitely will play that game over and over. Why? I don’t know why I just think it’s cool and it takes the demons seriously, unlike Doom 2016 where it’s borderline stabbing it’s tongue through it’s cheek which I hated. It’s like a Doom game that was embarrassed or too cool to be a Doom game with it’s shitty dubstep soundtrack, good gameplay but the world and story are shitty and the game is kind of overhyped imo. It’s a pretty good classic shooter, it’s better than Halo or whatever but *man hates thing that popular grr*.

Yeah so go play Prey 2006 or just watch youtubers play it and then compare to the shitty remake and cry about never getting a sequel. Then think about entering a portal in the original to a dimension where we got Prey 2 instead of Prey 2017 and Fallout 76.

See you…

 

 

A poetic lamenation of the fps genre.

Ok so that was just a title that popped into my head, nothing about this ramble is going to be remotely poetic. Or even a limerick, maybe I’ll do haiku at the end.

I thought I should just do a ramble to break up all the literary shade I’ve been throwing you folks over the past however long and I really can’t be bothered to do another knife review or even buy another knife. Shit I just spent like a hundred quid on a new blender, what the fuck am I doing with my life?

Right so topic, topic. Ok I recently bought the game Doom, and I thought I could complain/praise that and maybe spin it into a blog here and abouts a ponies worth of words (500, at least I think, need to take another course on cockney rhyming slang).

Ok (gotta stop starting new paragraphs with ok, I was talking to someone on xbox live ((i.e. the only human contact I get)) and I kept starting every sentence with ‘basically’ or ‘essentially’ which are basically essentially the same word and I wanted to strangle myself with a kitty print draft excluder). I really actually enjoyed this game, I haven’t completed it yet but I had some minor gripes about this game and shooters today in general.
Because to be perfectly honest with you I preferred Doom 3 to this and let me tell you why before you rectally examine me with a verbal steel toe cap. It had atmosphere, yeah the game is dated now and it was pretty shitty even then, like lame haunted house half-life knock off. But I really enjoyed it, it rang so hard of event horizon I couldn’t help but love it. And if Doom 3 had the awesome gameplay of the new Doom it would win hands down.

Opening a dimensional portal on mars to hell is super cool so how did Bethesda make it shit and boring?
Well in Doom 3 the hell research was sort of hush-hush, it built up gradually and you didn’t really know what was going on and you read audio logs that documented the slow descent into hell and madness. It was a mining operation that was experimenting with teleportation and accidentally opened a gateway to hell in an ancient Martian ruin.
In Doom they’re actually purposefully trying to get to hell to frack some demon gas, I’m not even kidding. There are like holograms saying how it’s all super cool and safe and awesome to open a portal to hell to nick their idemon chargers.

I mean seriously is this game for real? How would that ever make sense? It’s just ridiculous, no janitor working for no three-fiddy an hour would mop the floors of a mars base where they’re openly telling everyone they’re opening a gateway into hell to steal their unobtainium. I mean how could it go wrong?

So the first strike for me is Doom 3 took it in stride and played it closer to the chest and had better atmosphere and actually tried to be scary. The new Doom doesn’t give a shit, it’s just a balls out shooter. Which I like, but it really missed an opportunity to be more than a shooter and surpass Doom 3.
I feel a twinge of disappointment whenever I start a new shooter and literally two seconds in you’re mashing a zombie or I’m sorry a ‘Possessed”s head into mushy peas. Whatever happened to the half life style of games where there’s actual build up and the action seems to flow organically? You’re not just given a gun and a slap on the bum. It’s insulting. I want set up, I want atmosphere and I want tension.

I think the day I noticed the real immersive shooter experience was dead was Farcry 3. The trailers were this intense looking fps that looked like a game of the movie The Beach. A group of holiday goers having fun get snatched by guerillas and have to fight and adapt to survive. But as soon as you start the game you’ve already been captured, no build up, no character development, you’re just kicked onto an open stage with your pants down. And then the cheek of the game reaches peak when you’re told to save your friends in the game that hasn’t introduced you to them yet. How can you want to save someone if you don’t even get to know them at all? You’re actually in the cage with your brother and he dies right in front of you and the game expects you to care, I like met him two minutes ago and he was only really there as a tutorial.
Then I started to realise they don’t really care, and ubisoft in general is pretty lazy, willing to literally copy and paste their games into shiny new sky boxes selling them at full price with a hackneyed plot ripped right out of Michael Moore’s asshole. Yeah when we say ‘Sequel’ we mean an actual sequel not the same game where everyone is wearing different hats.

I’m really enjoying the game, it just makes me sad to think shooters used to be so much more than this and they’ll never be like that again. It’s fun, the guns are great, the monsters are great, the action is heart pounding. But I used to play games I felt that people really cared about when they made them. Now I’m not so sure.

Doom is a fun game
Lots of mindless gore and shit
Seven out of ten.

Peace!

 

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