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It has been a really busy year for new game releases, so you'd be forgiven if you happened to overlook the atmospheric survival shooter, Prey. Bethesda is hoping you'll be willing to give it a chance now, though, as they've officially launched a trial version of the game across all platforms.
So, what's the difference between a trial and a demo? Well, according to the new trailer, you're still going to be playing the first hour of Prey, but the trial version allows your progress to carry over into the full version of the game. In case that's a little confusing, the demo previously available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One was exactly that; after you were done playing, you had the option to buy the full game and start over from the beginning. With this new trial version, if you buy Prey afterward, your progress, Trophies/Achievements, Settings, etc. will carry over to the full game, so you can just keep right on trucking.
If you're concerned that a single hour is not long enough to get a feel for a game, you've got nothing to fear with Prey. If you're not picking up what this game is putting down after the first hour of play, then it's probably not for you. Bethesda does a good job of setting the mood in that time, as well as introducing the player to some of the core concepts that drive the plot. Just keep in mind that, as the game progresses, you'll earn a whole lot more nifty weapons and abilities to play with. Your distrust of every coffee cup and chair, though, will remain intact.
Prey is all about exploration and unraveling a big plot by exploring the ins and outs of smaller plots. You could try to make a beeline to the end of the game in record time, but it goes out of its way to reward curiosity and exploration. The game lasts average players between 20- and 40-odd hours to play. There's a big gap there because, again, it works just as well for folks who just want to run around and shoot aliens as those who want to explore every nook and cranny of the space station.
Again, in a year where Nintendo has been stealing the spotlight with the Switch and games like Splatoon and Zelda, and titles like Nier: Automata and Horizon: Zero Dawn have been wowing audiences, it's understandable if Prey has flown under the radar. Still, you can't really go wrong with a free trial, especially since any progress can now continue over to the full game.