Prey – Game Guide – Part 1.0.

So I am back on working articles on this blog. And – since lately I’ve been playing some games – which I am really enjoying – I wanted to start another series of articles – guides – for one of the games I fell in love with.

The so called reboot of the 2006 game Prey. 1465797909-prey-logo

But since people call it a reboot – the game is nothing similar to the previous game sharing the same name. You can only find similarities in the name and the presence of alien creatures that invaded the in-game world.

Developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks, Prey takes you on a journey on the space station named Talos I. As in many games out there – you find yourself on an abandoned facility, filled with corpses of the crew members, creatures that attack you and disastrous conditions.

Talos I has multiple areas that can be explored in order to complete missions, search clues, read emails and notes, find supplies and ammo.

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

As a first-person perspective game, Prey lets you to interact with the world around you. The protagonist – which you can choose to be a male of a female – wakes up on a Monday, date March 15th 2032. You wake up in your room and you receive a phone-call from your brother regarding some tests you have to complete.

You receive your first quest- First Day On The Job.

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Arriving at the testing area you discover that some sort of alien form is present among the crew members, called Mimics. Thing is, after this event, you once again wake up at the same location, date being the same. You discover that this was all a lie – your room and the space around you being just simulation labs. Your role in exploring and finding out what is really happening begins here.

I currently completely a few other quests like:

I still have some problems with finding key-cards and entering restricted areas – but this is one of the fun things about Prey – you can explore and solve quests as you want, taking your time and finding clues everywhere. One thing I like about the game is that it tells you the amount of time spend playing – like in those fascinating JRPGs, in which you explore and battle creatures over and over to develop and level up your characters. In Prey you can find chip-sets to evolve your suit, neuromodes to gain abilities, chip-sets to improve your weapons and many other things.

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I spend almost 10 hours exploring the space station and battling Mimics and Phantoms and Corrupted machinery. So this guide-article will continue with part 2.0. in which I will talk about neuromods, technologies, recycle systems and other things you can do in Prey.

[to be continued]

 

Horror Ascend: Yami Shibai

The following article contains many spoilers. Do not read if you plan to watch the show.

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A series of short animations with a duration of 4 minutes and a half can really spook you out?

That depends on what they are showing to you, and what atmosphere each episode can create. And definitely this anime can leave you without words. A collection of short japanese tales, each one more weird and upsetting than the previous one. I was just browsing my completed anime list on My Anime List and I searched for some horror shows and this one caught my eyes.3e70c2d2055555744f644a98720d263098146d99_hq

First of all, because of the strange anime effects and artwork and secondly because of the stories told.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Episode 1 – If you move into a new house and right across the street, a strange woman stares at you, day and night, you have to quickly realize something is very wrong. But what if she comes into your house and that is the start of an undefiled end for you?

Episode 2 – Zanbai can be translated as offering disaster to a certain person. It is a curse, it is a ritual of death, and the hero in this episode cannot escape his fate.

Episode 3 – We all love the fresh air of countryside in the morning. But what if, in this wonderland there is a demon that must be kept out through a strange ritual of laughing…? A happy face always hides a deeper truth of darkness.

Episode 4 – I work at a print shop, and once I saw an old person climbing down the stairs towards me – and then – it just vanished. I do not know what it was. I am sure I saw someone coming down and yet there was nobody there afterwards. Episode 4 tells the story of an entity similar to Yurei that lives inside a copy machine. So strange, so beautiful.

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Episode 5 – A family man decides that buying a present for his son along with his wife is not what he planned for the day. So he decides to skip this part only to find himself in a realm of nightmare. He wanted to be alone.. now he finds himself in a strange place.. as he desired..alone…

Episode 6 – Only work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. Japanese people are known to be hard-working. But when you only work and work and work – fatigue comes along. And hallucinations happen. Is that pounding meat creature real???

Episode 7 – Visiting deserted places at night might be a very dumb idea. Especially when you enter a locked door and you find yourself looking like a smiling corpse.

Episode 8 – Do not look into the eyes of the Umbrella Goddess.. stay out of sight.. keep the door closed…

Episode 9 – A young girl is affected by a grudge held against her ancestors. And when this becomes visual on her skin, only inside a holy temple a cure can be found. Or at least purification can be tried.

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Episode 10 – As a child I heard stories about ghosts and demons hiding into toilets and grabbing you and eating you.. but this episode makes all this concept incredibly weird.

Episode 11 – Cursed videotape. A cliche into the Japanese horror productions. A videotape of a ghost who moves and if you rewind the tape isn’t there anymore. Don’t look back…

Episode 12 – A shadow in the pavement wants to play with you. If you promise to play with it.. for the sake of your good health.. keep that promise.

Episode 13 – All tales of madness must present the cries of cicadas in the evening. This last episode had something of a Higurashi no naku koro ni ambience included.

I really enjoyed this show because of the painted-style of the animation. Dark tones, disturbing voice effects and a creepy soundtrack helped grow the stories. I am looking forward to the second and the third season of the anime.

And remember… when the door opens up by itself… run!

Gaming 101: SOMA

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I can proudly say that I played and finished (multiple times) each game from Frictional Games. That means Penumbra: Overture, Penumbra: Black Plague, Penumbra: Requiem, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs and SOMA.

It is not the first time I write about these game. In articles like PenumbraShadows, Screams and Infernal Fears: The Penumbra CatalogueGaming 101: Penumbra OvertureSymphonious ConvectorsA Letter For RedGaming 101: Amnesia The Dark Descent I expressed my joy of playing these games, immersing into worlds of doubt, fear and sadness. All these games are great. Are exceptional. Are well written and have a unique style of story-telling.

[Spoiler Alert]

SOMA, the latest game from Frictional Games is a First Person Survival Horror Science Fiction Puzzle-Solving game. Set into a world where humankind is no longer an existing entity, after a comet destroyed almost the entire planet, SOMA takes you into the abyss of the North Atlantic Ocean where you wake up in a research facility called Pathos-II. Excerpt from SOMA Wiki says:

It was initially built to conduct thermal mining during the 2060s and, later, developed the Omega Space Gun. It has a diverse staff of scientists and engineers involved in multiple research projects such as marine sciences, hydro-culture, and deep sea construction. An artificial intelligence known as the WAU was used to oversee primary operations of the facility.

When a Comet impact in January 2103 rendered the surface of the Earth barren and killed all surface life, the staff of PATHOS-II became the last living humans on the planet. Knowing they would not be able to survive indefinitely, they began searching for alternative ways to extend their lives and ultimately, save what remains of the human race – the ARK program being among them. Not much is known about the events that followed, but eventually machines previously operated remotely by humans began to become self-aware and started to exhibit human traits. The facility eventually descended into the nightmarish state seen during the events of the game.

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The main character, Simon Jarrett experienced a trauma to the head after being involved a car accident. He decides to take some brain scans and medical treatment for eventually getting better, but the treatment and the solutions for his condition are nowhere to be found.

He wakes up after almost 100 years from the moment he first gets scanned, in a chamber on Pathos-II, having no idea what is going on and that he will undertake the mission of saving humanity, digitalized as scans on a virtual world called the Ark.

He travels from site to site, from one laboratory to another just to discover the horrifying truth that went on this facility. At certain points the story gets really dramatic, you have dialogues with deeper meanings, you have to take the lives of certain robots who don’t even realize that are not human anymore, you kill the last human that was alive at that time.

SOMA maintains the well-known atmosphere from all the Frictional games, an eerie, creepy, dark and sad atmosphere. But apart from the rest of the games, SOMA deals with more surreal elements, metal being mingled with organic material and having the ability to grow and infest beings and objects.

The soundtrack was composed by Mikko Tarmia and it is very beautiful. From dark themes to very pleasant ones they help developing SOMA’s story. He also did the soundtrack for the Penumbra Trilogy and Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

The puzzles are very easy to solve. I only got blocked once at some laboratory where you start an Ark simulation and I wasn’t paying enough attention when loading the Dummy, but eventually I got it. I really try not to use walk-throughs when playing games. Last time I went into one was when I was blocked in Metro 2033 and I really hated after seeing how simple it was to move on with the game. Also I needed a walk-through back when I played Syberia. And that’s it with the walk-throughs :)))

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The game uses a lot of dark tones and some bright lights and colors to define your direction or interaction points. You can listen to various radio transmissions or recordings, you can read journals, e-mails and notes from the staff of Pathos-II that really help making the story incredible. The voice acting is well-done, especially at moments when Simon gets really frustrated or annoyed by what is happening.

All-in-all SOMA is a very good, dramatic, bone-chilling experience. I played it twice, once because I was just mesmerized by it being released and the second time to save screenshots and carefully listen to all the story, for details, since I am into knowing all about the games I play.

I highly recommend it.

Kate: Puzzle

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One of my favorite PC games is Mirror’s Edge. Has a lot of strong points which include a cool story, lots of action, an amazing soundtrack and a splendid artwork.

I guess that is why I enjoyed it so much, because of the simplistic abstract artwork. I even got a tattoo with the logo of the game. This was planned a very long time ago. Wanted something simple, black, something that should remind me of fun times. And I went with the logo of Mirror’s Edge.

Thing is… A tattoo just demands another one.. And then another one… Just like Pringles, you cannot have just one :)))

I plan to get another one saying “Silent Hill”, I just have to find the perfect font for it. But for now I am very pleased with this one and I am very fond of it. This morning I woke up and after playing some Dead Trigger (android zombie FPS), I listened to one of the songs from the Mirror’s Edge Official Soundtrack. It is called Kate (Puzzle). Harmoniously pleasant to hear. Produced by Solar Fields.

Penumbra

Dark corners of consciousness

Flies all over corpses

Angry eyes waiting for us in shadows

No escape, no future, simply no…

Once in… there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get out.

 

Penumbra.

 Nor light…nor dark…only fear…

 

A sad story, a tragic story… a true story of a man captive in an ethereal nightmare, with no friends, with no food, with no plan to escape reality. A destiny infatuated by broken glass. A boy – Tom Redwood – worker in a mine – trying to get the best out of him.

And the man who is seeking answers – a man who desires to know the absolute truth. Part confident, part curious – he descends into what seems an abandoned mining system somewhere in Northern Greenland. But what awaits him is far from a good and perpetual life. The answers he seeks only bring out more questions and doubt.

Silently, he discovers horrific truths about what that place hid from the outside world.

Dust, rotten wood, rusty metal – spider web, silence – a silence of terror – whispers from beyond the grave and details about the tragedies that occurred here. Confusion, lost temperament, isolation, extreme measures – all in one place. What’s the darkest secret that you can handle.. .what’s the pint of no return.. .who is behind all that faded gray shades?

The hero – Philip – who seeks answers – only receives more question marks. There are signs of life – but a misused one – someone gets killed — some unknown force leaves behind a trail of blood. Some feral creature appears. It’s all becoming a survival option. Prey…predator – all connected in this twisted game.

Someone was here before – lost – forgotten in the dark. Rescue didn’t come. He was able to live eating spiders. These spiders grew larger and in the end they were capable of destroying the human being from the interior of this man. Solitude at its best – the man become obsessed then he lost his mind.

 

What if there’s no escape?

What if there’s more to it than it seems?

What if the correct answers won’t appear?

What if…?

 

Original Story: Past Midnight [Part 1]

A short story called Past Midnight. Right now I’m just experimenting with some ideas but this will be written more elaborated in Romanian and I will try to get it published. Because English is my second language – creating literature isn’t my best point. But still…I want to write this.

“Finally..awake” that’s what crossed my mind when I tried to open my eyes.

The bright light from that room wasn’t much of a help for me, instead it created a barrier between what I should see and what I should understand. One thing that I was certain of was the deadly silence. Nothing disturbed my hearing.

After inspecting everything around me I realized that I was trapped into a nightmare, that some dark force brought me into suffering and misery. I was captive in a room without doors or windows. Only four white walls to keep me company…

Also there was a large mirror and apparently a locked safe, resting without worries while my subconscious started to force me into panic. I wasn’t sure which was creepier..the fact that I was sealed into a room without escape or the fact that soon – the air in here will vanish and I’ll die suffocated.

“Okay…first things first…do not panic” I told myself.

“There must be a logical explanation for this. Yes…logic and its mysteries. I’m in the middle of a puzzle and salvation rests within its solution”.

The mirror could help me get in touch with something. Apparently it can help me see myself – I am the key element. But the safe…that’s another problem. I have no idea what the combination might be and honestly I fear what might be inside of it.

Minute after minute I walked across the room trying to remember what lead me to this place and condition. Because I couldn’t answer that I started to look for clues.

“I know you’re there watching over me. Just what did you left behind for me to find? What’s your plan?”.

But nothing…there was nothing that got into my attention. No symbols, no written signs, nothing.

“Goddamn. Why am I here in the first place…what is the meaning of this”. My patience was at a limit. I fell down and started to scream.

“It would be impossible for me to find an exit without help. It can’t end like this…I shouldn’t be here”. Of course this was a cliche used by the guilty. Nothing is random, everything is meant to fit into it’s original place. Me resting withing this chamber was a way of destiny saying welcome home.

So I decided to take things from the beginning. There were three subjects in this room – a symbolic number probably. First, the mirror – a reflection of something…yes…a representation of truth.

“Mirror’s don’t lie. If there is an answer..only the mirror could offer it to me. Obviously there is something I’m not aware of, something I didn’t noticed yet”.

Secondly – the safe. An enigma. A locked safe always carries something important, crucial, vital.

“Information or probably a helpful tool, I don’t, but I have to find out. If the safe it’s here – I must find the code to open it”.

A codebreaker – a new definition for my person. I never thought that this would bring a significance to my life. Well if the safe contains means of survival then I must open it.

I started to feel thirsty which was a bad sign since I had no water with me. I had to work fast on this enigma before the lack of food and water would cause hallucinations. With a sense of justice imprinted in my brain I approached the mirror carefully. This was where the mystery began…right here I was supposed to find the escape route.

The only thing I could see was my reflection – my red, tired eyes, my face trying to decipher an existential puzzle, my hands shaking because of natural curiosity.

“Well…tell me what to do” I said to myself. But there was no reply…

[to be continued…]