Prey For The Gods

Stand­ing on the shoul­ders of gi­ants… and then stab­bing them re­peat­edly

XBox: The Official Magazine - - PREVIEW - Dave Meik­le­ham

“Merely en­dur­ing this harsh land­scape is as tough as down­ing any huge boss”

We’re gonna need a big­ger boa… ac­tu­ally, keep your rick­ety fish­ing ves­sel. We’d be bet­ter off with a bazooka to bat­tle the be­he­moths of this mon­ster-slay­ing in­die sand­box. It may not be the done thing to dis­cuss beloved PlaySta­tion clas­sics ‘round th­ese parts, but in this case, it’s im­pos­si­ble to ig­nore the 20-storey leviathan in the room. “There’s no doubt we’ve been heav­ily in­spired by Shadow Of The Colos­sus,” ad­mits No Mat­ter Stu­dios’ Brian Par­nell.

An ac­tion ad­ven­ture built around ti­tanic boss bat­tles? Tick. A mys­te­ri­ous, for­bid­den land (in this case a frigid is­land) to ex­plore in lonely fash­ion? Tick. Co­pi­ous climb­ing me­chan­ics? All the ticks. It may be fol­low­ing in the jeep-sized foot­prints of a mas­ter­piece, but the Colos­sus com­par­i­son isn’t some­thing Par­nell, or his two fel­low founders of the teeny three-man stu­dio are shy­ing away from when it comes to Prey For The Gods.

“The sad thing is, I wish there were more games like Shadow Of The Colos­sus,” says Par­nell. For ten years no one made a game like this. We know why now… be­cause it’s hard as hell.” And here we were sit­ting here think­ing that mak­ing an open-world game built around bat­tles with 100-foot beasts would be a com­plete dod­dle. Still, de­spite Par­nell’s clear rev­er­ence for Team Ico’s clas­sic, Prey For The Gods is aim­ing to be much more than just a Shadow Of The Colos­sus clone.

For one thing, No Mat­ter Stu­dios has set out to craft an ex­pe­ri­ence where player agency rules above all, in a quest where per­sonal choice is cen­tral, and the road to the next enor­mous scuf­fle rarely fol­lows a set path. Com­bine this ex­cep­tional sense of free­dom and open-ended de­sign with dis­tinctly DayZ sur­vival me­chan­ics, and a com­par­i­son to Dean Hall’s un­dead PC-based phe­nom­e­non makes a lot of sense. Sur­vival se­ries If any­thing, Prey For The Gods’ frozen is­land is its ul­ti­mate boss. Howl­ing bliz­zards that are so bit­ter they freeze the screen, ob­scur­ing your vi­sion. Packs of hun­gry wolves to fend off. End­less clumps of knee-high snow to awk­wardly stum­ble through. Camp­fires to build to keep the cold at bay. Fauna to hunt and cook over said fires. Wood to scav­enge from the bod­ies of fallen war­riors to craft ar­rows (th­ese are a fi­nite re­source so each one fired will feel im­por­tant). Merely en­dur­ing this harsh land­scape is as chal­leng­ing as down­ing any BFG-dwarf­ing boss.

Let’s be hon­est, though, you’re to­tally here for the mega bosses, right? Based on glimpses of a pre­al­pha build of the game, they’re not go­ing to dis­ap­point, even if there are only five of them. The two we’ve wit­nessed so far in­clude a mon­stros­ity that re­sem­bles a gi­gan­tic, clawed teddy bear (trust us, it’s nowhere near as cute as it sounds), and a feath­ery dragon, with what ap­pears to be a crow skull for a head – we’re def­i­nitely go­ing to need the game’s grap­pling hook when that thing takes to the skies.

Con­sid­er­ing it’s be­ing made by three peo­ple, Prey For The Gods is hugely am­bi­tious. To cre­ate an is­land that’s “to­tally, le­git­i­mately open-world”, as Par­nell de­scribes it – star­ring amaz­ing crea­tures and lay­ered sur­vival me­chan­ics – is re­ally some­thing. If the fi­nal game matches this early prom­ise when it hits Xbox One in early 2018, this could be a colos­sal in­sta-clas­sic.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.