Home Reviews Prey Mooncrash Review: Fly me to the moon

Prey Mooncrash Review: Fly me to the moon

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And let me swing a wrench for ever more...

Prey was an amazing game, and not enough of you played it. For shame. Hopefully, the lure of the game’s latest DLC, Mooncrash, can fix that.

In Mooncrash, you’ll do away with Morgan Yu and instead are placed in the space-shoes of a lowly worker named Peter, an employee contracted by KASMA to sift through the data of rival company TranStar. Peter’s contract is brutal, continually being extended until he meets the demands of the KASMA corporation; this time, his overlords promise, he’ll be released at the conclusion of this job, finally allowing him to be reunited with his family.

This isn’t a utopia, folks.

Peter is forced to enter a simulation of TranStar’s moon base, Pytheas, and will eventually be able to control five different occupants of the base. Their collective assignment? Escape. Only one player is unlocked at the start, though you’re able to access others by completing objectives. Your final goal is to have each occupant escape the base using five different emergency routes, all without dying. It’s harder than it seems.

Bethesda has described Mooncrash as a rogue-like game, and for the most part, it’s true. While dying isn’t optimal, each playthrough — and potential death — helps you to understand the base. While death causes some areas to reset and randomise, most key elements remain the same. Enemies largely stay in the same areas, though you may find that a door that used to take advantage of a keycard now requires a character with the engineering skill to repair.

These siloed skills are crucial to Mooncrash; the DLC’s protagonists are highly-specialised, yet ridiculously weak in areas they’re not familiar with. One player has access to Typhon powers, as an example, but the experimentation required to gift those powers has left him with low health. The key is to figure out which character to take where, and potentially against whom, in order to maximise the group’s collective survival. The well-rounded Morgan Yu these people certainly are not.

To add further tension to proceedings, a corruption metre will fill as you progress; each success helps to build it, but so too does time. Essentially, if you spend too long exploring the base, it’ll be to your detriment. The timer is necessary to keep you moving forward, but it’s also something I loathe in games; the ever-ticking clock tends to give me crippling levels of anxiety that I would happily do without.

In direct contrast to that frenzied mechanic, Mooncrash still suffers from Prey‘s near-ridiculous load times. They move at a snail’s pace, truly punishing you for death while at the same time removing every bit of urgency the game wishes to impress upon you. I’m extremely surprised Arkane didn’t try to streamline the loading process, though I do understand how potentially difficult that can be in such a sandbox as this.

Ultimately, Mooncrash is another great reason to get into Prey. With a simple rogue-like mechanic offering a near-endless gameplay loop for those who choose it, it’s hard to go wrong with this DLC. It mightn’t be the best entry point for someone new to Prey itself, but the survival aspects that are to prevalent here tend to peter out inside the base game once you’ve got enough skill points to level up to near Godlike status.

 

# out of 10

The good

  • A fun little experimental piece of DLC.
  • The variety in characters is a nice contrast to Morgan Yu.
  • The potential for endless play is astounding.

The bad

  • Ridiculously long loading times.
  • The corruption metre is a source of crippling anxiety.

 

Prey’s Mooncrash DLC was reviewed using a promotional code on Xbox One, as provided by the publisher. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale.