You wake up on a spaceship in the year 2032. The view from your apartment is great, so you grab a coffee, check out the vistas and catch up on some reading before chucking on your spacesuit and heading to the lab.

The view from your apartment - but you'll be needing that wrench soon.
The view from your apartment - but you'll be needing that wrench soon.

Suddenly, all hell breaks loose. Freakish shapeshifting aliens with smoking black tentacles are devouring everything in their path - mostly your space mates - and they're heading straight for you.

All you've got for help is a wrench and a strange voice on the other end of the phone.

Taking on a Typhon can be a terrifically tense experience.
Taking on a Typhon can be a terrifically tense experience.

That's the set up for

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Prey,

and if it sounds familiar, it should - especially if you've seen any

Alien

movie ever. Or any sci-fi movie set in space. Or anything involving aliens. Period.

No, there's nothing hugely original about Prey, Arkane Studios' "reimagining" of a 2006 release that turns that sci-fi shooter into something that feels more like a Bioshock or Dishonored game if it moved into space.

As Dr Morgan Yu, you're tasked with exploring the Talos 1, a spaceship riddled with shapeshifting Typhon aliens who come in many shapes and sizes - including, thanks to their mimicking abilities, chairs, shoes and coffee cups.

It's a simple trick that, over Prey's first few hours, turns a basic setup into a very tense experience. Scares lurk around every corner, up every staircase and through every door, making every new location a nervewracking endurance test.

Because anything could be a Typhon waiting to pounce, you're constantly scanning rooms, watching for any signs of movement. And in those early stages, before you get the awesomely named Gloo cannon, or a shotgun, or upgrade your abilities using alien mods, all you've got to defend yourself with is a wrench.

What a great start. It also helps that Prey has a play-as-you-want-to vibe, letting you pick your own path without forcing you to take certain story strands. Accompanying all this is a terrific soundtrack that's at once spooky and happy and tense and weird, adding to the game's eerie vibe. It's the best I've heard in years.

A scene from Prey, on board the Talos 1.
A scene from Prey, on board the Talos 1.
Prey

gets so much right, it's a shame it also gets much wrong. Expect to spend far too many minutes staring at loading screens, because

Prey

is full of them - and they consistently pulled me out of its otherwise absorbing world. And while the graphics are solid, there are times when everything just feels a little bit Playstation-3-in-2009. In other words, blocky and underwhelming.

It's a shame developers didn't take the time to fix the game's flaws, because Prey is still well worth your time. Like any good traveller will tell you: forging your own path is the only way to go. And that stays true when you're battling those bloody aliens on a broken space ship.

Prey
Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC
Rating: R13
Stars: 3.5
For fans of: Bioshock, Alien Isolation, Dishonored 2
Verdict: A deceptively good space shocker