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In the early 2000s, the first-person shooter landscape was a crowded one. An overabundance of Halo rip-offs and World War 2 shooters had flooded the market, and it seemed like every other week a new generic shooter was hitting consoles or the PC platform. While there were many great action games that came out of this era, there were a dozen mediocre, forgettable first-person shooters for every great one that stood the test of time.
Enter Prey, an innovative first-person shooter released in 2006 that took spectacular risks with its unique gameplay and setting. The game kicks off by dropping the player into the shoes of a Cherokee named Tommy who’s abducted off a reservation into an alien spaceship—and it only gets crazier from there. The detailed, highly interactive opening sequences of the game gave way to inventive level designs that most other shooters of the day could only dream of achieving.
Letting the player use a host of bizarre weapons and powerful Spirit abilities, the game eschewed traditional shooter mechanics throughout the single-player campaign, and further let players fool around with its wild ideas in multiplayer matches. Featuring tons of unique ideas like walking on walls and ceilings, letting players warp through portals sprinkled throughout the levels, and dropping players in levels that break the laws of gravity, the game was a truly memorable experience from start to finish.
While the game didn’t achieve a blockbuster level of success, sales were healthy for a brand-new IP, especially one as off-the-wall as Prey, with over one million copies sold. With positive critical reception and a solid start to the franchise, Prey went down in the history books as a standout from the usual shooter fare.
Narrated by Steve Petitt
Written by Kyle Mann
Directed by Ailert Riemersma
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