Prey: Mooncrash is one of the surprise announcements for this E3 2018, a soon-to-be-announced content addition for Arkane Studios' horror FPS Prey, released on May 5, 2017. More than just a DLC, Mooncrash could have been considered as an independent game, it does not require having played the initial game which I have not yet discovered, the previews (first and second) having at the time been made by Aayla. So here I will give an overview with a completely new look and without comparison to Prey.
This independence can be seen if necessary from the interface with a special tab which, once selected, changes the mood of the menus.
We play as Peter, a hacker stationed in a spy satellite orbiting the Pytheas Moon Base shortly after the events of the main game. Hired by KASMA Corp, the great rival of TranStar to which the complex belongs, Peter's mission is to recover all the lost secrets of the base. Via a virtual reality headset, he goes on site to infiltrate the skin of some of the crew members in a simulation that is larger than life.
Once there, there is no actual scenario even though each team member has a story objective to accomplish, but there are computer screens, handwritten notes or audio diaries of the inhabitants of the area. based. All these snippets indirectly tell a part of the history of their former owners and the terrible events that occurred in the base.
These computers are also one of the main means of obtaining useful information, such as retrieving the map of the area where one is located or the location of the corpses of crew members.
Other screens allow you to locate the Mimics in the area or to change the background music!
The first character to be embodied is Andrius Alekna, a "volunteer" with very few health points offset by a large amount of PSI points. As a base, he has no weapons and, of course, his power is relatively expensive in PSI, not to mention that he has a reload delay that prevents him from using it in a loop. I land in the moon base, take a few steps ... and die from a superior Mimic turned into a moving box.
I relaunch the simulation after this poor performance which gives me a pitiful score of 200 simulation points, determined not to be fooled by critters which metamorphose into everyday objects and I succeeded in recovering my first weapon, a claw wrench. It's not optimal, whatever, I go in contact, I cross the crater, then I get lost in the base and I finally find something much more effective, a silent pistol. Except that the bullets quickly run out, especially after emptying my magazine against a lunar shark, and I find myself having to go back to my initial tool. After several scares, a lot of racing, an impressive amount of boxes searched, it's a success, I arrive at the last minute at the evacuation module with almost more life!
But that's just the start as the end goal is to unlock all five playable characters and escape them all from the base in one simulation, without resetting it between ... make ! This first step towards success is rewarded with a large package of simulation points which will allow me to leave with a better foundation for my next test.
You will understand, there are three gauges to watch in order to survive, which are constantly displayed at the bottom left of the screen: life points, the state of the suit and the PSI points. All these gauges can be reassembled with specific objects:
- health points: food, drink or care kit. To treat certain styles of injuries, you also need drugs or special supplies: burn, hemorrhage, fracture ... As long as the injury is not treated, the character suffers penalties (reduced maximum life, loss of life points by jumping or sprinting ...)
- suit condition: repair kit.
- points de PSI: hypo PSI.
In addition, to reassemble these gauges, there are stations with deployable drones. The machine seems to stay in the world without delay, which provides a great place to come back to in the event of a bad encounter.
If the life drops to zero, the character dies, he will be replaced by a ghost if he does not wear the correct chip. Then, if we still have characters, we go back with him to the same place where the character died. If there are no more characters, then all you have to do is reset the simulation to try again.
Progress and Goals
The character enhancement is done through chips installed in the armor and neuromods that grant abilities, both of which can be found in the world. Chips are lost after death, but once found they can be redeemed for simulation points, just like weapons and all slightly special pieces of equipment. Neuromods on the other hand persist without any cost.
From one simulation to another are kept all the plans, as well as the passwords and the objectives carried out. There is therefore no need to go back and search every corner at each attempt, which allows you to focus on one of the tasks requested by your bosses. Fortunately, because there are a lot of them and doing everything in one simulation is impossible.
No attempt is totally wasted thanks to the simulation points acquired after a successful evacuation or death, currency to buy equipment and chips for each character before they join the simulation. Starting with a pistol and multiple magazines really changes the odds of survival, trust me! On the other hand, it is necessary to know how to be economical, the simulation points are earned relatively easily but they are not infinite either, especially as a part related to the discoveries made, plans or bodies of the members of the crew, is only won. Once. We must therefore find the right balance between survival and return on investment.
In order to achieve the final goal of escaping with all the characters, you have to unlock them. The engineer is given after having escaped with the volunteer but, for the security guard, his body must first be found at the top of the shuttle launch station. I have not yet unlocked the remaining two, but the unlocking conditions are indicated precisely, so everything is clear, I just need to get started!
Each character also has their own quests with a story objective to complete that requires going into spaces that one would not necessarily want to visit from the moon base. Note that this objective is not unlocked immediately so, in all cases, it will be necessary to accomplish several with each character.
There is therefore a lot to do to achieve all the objectives and progress in the mission of KASMA Corp.
Collecting and crafts
The world is filled with containers, boxes, cupboards and drawers to search and unfortunately also bodies and objects abandoned by residents in their haste to try to save their lives. So many opportunities to find useful objects.
And others less useful because defective but which can just as much be recycled to recover raw materials and spare parts. Thanks to all this, and to plans also collected in the world, we can create or repair. Of course, you have to find the right machines in the complex or have the affiliated skill that allows you to do it on the fly. As I said above, fortunately the plans persist from one trial to another.
On the other hand, insofar as the simulation is shared by all the crew members, it must be taken into account that the objects once collected, recycled or broken are lost for the following ones, especially since death is often violent and unexpected, which does not leave the opportunity to calmly put down his booty in safety. Thus, we must not exhaust resources with the first to leave the others with nothing, especially since the simulation will gradually increase in difficulty.
Because what there is most in this world are the enemies and I quickly realize that poor Mimic who killed me at the beginning is in truth very bad, he has a lot of much nastier friends with him. much more lethal abilities such as telepaths, the lunar shark or the one with the tentacles. In addition, these monsters gain in power as time passes and the level of corruption of the simulation increases.
There are rare objects that look like a stopwatch to reduce the level of corruption, nothing that can stop it, however. Sooner or later, the simulation will become too complicated and death will strike, so there is a notion of efficiency to take into account, especially if we want to save the five characters without this becoming infeasible for the last.
A little annoying thing, even if the objects are not given to each character, some of the enemies reappear as soon as there is an area loading or arrival of a new character.
To oppose it, we have a whole arsenal of weapons and gadgets: pistol, shotgun, crossbow that launches foam ammunition (Nerf style), turrets (laser and ballistics), grenades (recycling charge), glue gun ...
A little word beforehand about the atmosphere which I have not yet spoken, it is both magnificent and gloomy at will. The chiaroscuro of the sacked moonbase provides stunning environments with breathtaking views of Earth. The music and the sound environment are correct, without being great, sometimes even completely non-existent. So I have a good part of the time played without sound without it worrying me (there are all the subtitles that go well for that).
Prey: Mooncrash offers a very compelling experience that is self-sufficient. Allow at least twenty hours to complete the tasks asked of your hacker, probably a little more if you want to open each door and find each body of each crew member. On the other hand, the replayability is not infinite either, the map remains the same from one trial to another, like the position of the bodies of the equipment members or the essential parts. What changes are the items found, the state of reserves or the equipment in good condition. And there is no real story either, quests or scenarios, it is above all combat, infiltration and survival.
Note that on the occasion of this release, the original game also has a story difficulty mode, to more quietly discover the plot and an option with survival features that include trauma, oxygen management and weapon deterioration. In addition, a Game + mode is unlocked once the game is over to rediscover the adventure in a new light.
If you already own the base game, the Mooncrash DLC retails for $ 19,99, which sounds like a great deal for the money. If not, you can purchase the Prey: Digital Deluxe edition for € 39,99 which includes the base game and Mooncrash. In both cases, you can take advantage of the various updates planned for this summer, including a multiplayer mode and the arrival of virtual reality.