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Prey - An alien encounter CDTV  CDTV

Almathera Systems * £25.99 * 081-683 6418

Prey - An alien encounter CDTV Apparently, asteroid KG – 42 used to be a nice, quiet sort of place to live until the aliens moved in next door. So properly prices plummeted, and the aliens eating everyone did not really help the situation either. The powers that be thus decided to send you in to sort out those nasty aliens once and for all, and to help rescue any refugees you find lying around the place.
Well, at least that is what I assume is happening. This game does not come with much information, except for a single paragraph on the back of the CD box. There is an insert, but all this tells you is how to control the game. The controls are pretty minimal, with the usual forward, back and turn, and the two keypad buttons giving a status screen and a map of the area, showing you what to do and the objective.

I know that CD does not have the fastest transfer rate known to man, but this game hardly pushed back the boundaries. Each time you enter a new zone, or request the map, you wait at least five seconds for something to appear. I would not mind if the clock stopped, but it does not, so just after going through a doorway, you are stuck there waiting, but the clock is still ticking away. With only one minute and 40 seconds of oxygen to start with, every second counts.

Apart from moving around the colony, there is also a combat section where you and an alien slug it out. This uses some nicely treated digitised images to show the aliens, but it does not really work, especially with a CDTV keypad. You attack with button A (which has a nice machine-gun sound) and dodge with button B, but this does not seem to have much of an effect.

Nicely drawn and rendered 3D graphics abound, and the sounds add to the atmosphere, with heavy-breathing and good clunky footsteps as you move down the corridors. If you are really up on sci-fi films, you could also play ‘spot the sample’ while you are waiting for things to load. Let us start it off with the breathing – from 2001 – A Space Odyssey.

The game is rather similar in feel to Infestation (reviewed in AF10) but you do not get the same feeling of being in control. There certainly is not the same degree of background, and the control method is much more simplistic. There is a good game in there somewhere, but the bad design long access times, lack of proper documentation and extreme difficulty conspire to make it a game that won’t last too long.
Richard Baguley

Verdict: 55%

Amiga Format, Issue 49, August 1993, p.87


Prey - An alien encounter CDTV  CDTV

Kirk Moreno Multimedia, Price: £29.99, Tel: +4586181607
F Prey - An alien encounter CDTV rom the moment you load Prey, you're assaulted by a blistering array of digitised graphics and sound shifting at a cracking pace. The game is an 'alien'-style story, where you are searching a moon base which has been gassed by aliens. Initially your aim is to rescue survivors, but as the game unfolds, a more sinister scenario evolves.

The game is viewed from inside your helmet, with the outside world viewed in 3D, but only in the four main compass directions, as in Bard's Tale or Dungeon Master. It's all done in gloriously gloomy shades, creating a dark and claustrophobic atmosphere broken up every now and then again by a radio message, sent to you by a German bloke speaking English in an American accent, dropping in the odd four letter word here and there.

The problem is the huge disk loading times. You begin against the clock, as you are only given 60 seconds of oxygen at the start of the game. The radio message at the start tells you there is a room in the medic centre that has more oxygen, and it is marked on your map. Then the clock starts ticking. It takes about 50 seconds to walk to the medic centre. Fine. But it takes 30 to load the map and then return to the game. What are you supposed to do, guess?!
On the bottom line, it could have been a very heavy game, but in the end it just becomes frustrating.

65%

CU Amiga, March 1993, p.123


Prey - An alien encounter CD32  CD32

ALMATHERA OUT NOW £19.99
N Prey - An alien encounter CD32 ow here is a game which gave me a jolly laugh - about ten million years ago on the CDTV. It is set inside an abandoned mining ship where the occupants have all been devoured by aliens. Sounds familiar? Damn right.

Into this alien environment comes you, a puzzle-solvin' xenomorph-zappin' desperado. That is the idea. Sadly something has gone wrong in the execution. The gameplay has you trudging through miles of deserted corridors, tracking down fresh oxygen supplies for your environment suit and frequently being killed. When you do encounter an alien the result is a rather disappointing combat scene where you attempt to duck the alien's feeble attacks while trying to fill it with bullets.

The action is accompanied by heavy breathing noises, which is supposed to be you in your suit, but instead sounds like something which could get you arrested. This is matched by the graphics which, bar a few nice effects, are painfully dull. Don't expect to see much of the aliens either, when one appears your suit switches to 'thermal' mode, which basically means you get a cruddy, ill-formed pic of what should have been a well-drawn alien.

What makes this a thousand times worse is the thought that this isn't actually a CD32 game, it is merely a CDTV title with different packaging and a fractal intro. And when you compare the two machines it is like someone suggesting you hook up their dodge mobile home to the back of your Bentley. Things like that are just not on and neither is this game.
Mark Patterson

45%

CU Amiga, March 1994, p.123