Bethesda sending out review copies in a less than timely fashion only means reviews will be late, not absent. Almost a week has passed since Prey's launch and there are enough opinions floating around the internet now to justify a roundup. The results are more mixed than usual.
Bethesda's anti-consumer/pro-Bethesda review code policy has brought Arkane Studio's Prey some late and mixed, but generally positive reviews. Metacritic scores the game at 79% for PC, 80% for PlayStation 4 and 88% for Xbox One, while user reviews rate the game at 7.9 across all platforms at the time of writing.
Most of the praise hurled at the game seems to be centered around its level design and aesthetics. Reviewers generally agree that the unified interlocking rooms of the game's Telos I space station are among its strongest aspects.
"It's an absurdly magnificent edifice, perhaps the grandest and most beautiful facility of its kind ever imagined for a game, though coming from the art team behind Dishonored 2, this is hardly unexpected", is the word from Eurogamer, also calling the game's PlayStation 4 version "a clever if slightly under-cooked System Shock successor".
Prey's level design and combat found praise with GameSpot as well, but a finger pointing at a thin story and early game grind explains the main motivation behind giving the game a 6/10 for the PlayStation 4 version.
Several reviewrs have noted input latency issues with Prey on the PlayStation 4.
IGN, surprisingly, gave Prey a 4/10, while attributing the low score to a number of technical issues including crashes and save-game corruption, that break an otherwise pleasant experience for the PC version.
PC Gamer doesn't seem to have had similar issues during their time with the game, praising Prey's various possible approaches to any given problem and lamenting the game's reliance on jump scares.
Xbox One reviews for the game are hard to come by at this point, and the above mentioned 88% score on Metacritic is based on only 12 reviews, which might explain why the game is scored disproprtionaly better on that platform.
Polygon seems to be among the few sites that actually reference an Xbox One score, but this is derived from their PC review for the game, and the score of 8/10 is calculated, rather than first-hand. As with a lot of other reviewers, they warned about long loading times which can break the experience for a lot of players, and have adjusted their Xbox One review score accordingly.
Digital Foundry have noted the same loading times issue while testing the game and have advised players who have the leisure of choice to go with the PC version, even going as far as saying that it "almost changes the game".
All things considered, it seems that Prey truly shines on PC - barring game breaking glitches of course. It boggles the mind then why Bethesda would choose to leave PC's out of their demo scheme, on top of its questionable review code policy.
Are you sneaking and shooting your way through Telos I? What was your experience with Prey? Let us know in the comments.