Enlarge / Oh crap, did he see me? He saw me, didn’t he? Ohhhhhh crap.
Owing to Bethesda’s recently enacted policy of withholding review copies until just before release, we’ve barely had five hours of in-game time with Prey prior to the game’s launch today.

Consider these impressions a review-in-progress as we work toward the game’s conclusion.

This piece includes spoilers for some very early portions of the game.

The protagonist of the newly rebooted Prey might be Morgan Yu, but I’d argue that the star of the game is actually the space station where Prey takes place.

Talos I is a towering, gleaming base hovering in the gravity well between the Earth and the Moon, built out of an alternate history joint effort between the Soviets and the United States and later incorporated into the near-future of 2030.
Largely empty of life now, the base is still full of little signs from when it was a going concern.

From the receptionists’ desks to the crew living quarters and experimental labs, Talos I feels like a place people actually lived and worked in. Little details from discarded pieces of paper to e-mails sitting open on terminals to hidden caches of food and items in logical locations tell a slowly unfolding tale of how this vibrant station became halfway ruined.
Talos I is also relatively small compared to the sprawling vistas of games like Fallout 4.

But it feels much more dense and carefully designed than those open-world environments ever could.

Even backtracking through previously visited corridors isn’t that much of a chore, since newfound abilities often let you explore nooks and crannies you could only get a glimpse of previously, in the best “metroidvania” style.
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