TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
Full reviews are not in yet since Bethesda did not release review copies until yesterday evening, but so far reports are that the reimagined property looks and runs great on PC.
There had been some concerns that the game would experience some of the technical issues that the PC version of Dishonored 2 suffered. However, Raphael Colantonio, president at Arkane Austin, assured GameSpot that the team was "doubling" its testing efforts. Driver updates and the variety of computer configurations make PC testing more complicated than testing for consoles which have fixed hardware.
PC Gamer has been running the game on two different systems and has not encountered many issues so far. The graphical settings for the game are somewhat sparse, but this is because Prey takes place in a space station, so there is not as much environmental detail (vegetation, water, etc.) to adjust as is seen in other games.
Although controller buttons are fixed, the keyboard is completely bindable, but with a couple of points of frustration. PC Gamer noted that if you want to bind menu navigation keys to keys that are used in gameplay, then those gameplay functions will have to be rebound to different keys as well. Also, if you want to bind functions to the number pad, you will not be able to use it to enter codes into keypads that are scattered throughout the game. There are some other UI issues that are mostly nitpicky, but it is really the performance that was the point of concern.
"The real reason why PC games often have problems is because there are so many permutations of hardware, [And] sometimes it's timing - drivers come out the same time as our game. Something happens that makes it more challenging."
The first system PC Gamer tried Prey on had a Nvidia 1070 with a Gsync display. The game ran on a "very high preset" in 1440p at between 90 and 100 fps without a hitch. They also tested it on an R9 Fury X rig with Vsync enabled, and it ran well, never dropping below 60 fps. While the frame rate never dipped, there did seem to be a lag in the controls.
"In one instance, I did experience what seemed like some sluggishness to the controls, although, Prey being a pretty dark game overall, it was hard to properly diagnose. It wasn't persistent enough of an issue to sound any alarm bells."
AMD is pretty good about releasing specific profiles for big releases, so any small issues like that can be handled readily with a patch. However, other than those few minor UI gripes and what may or may not be a control lag, the game appears to be solid.
Some users were mad that Arkane released a demo on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 but not on PC. However, with Steam's refund policy (full refunds within 48 hours), the outrage seems unfounded. It looks even more unjustified in hindsight since the overall user impressions on Steam are "very positive." HardOCP said the game rated 93 percent so far. So it seems Arkane did optimize Prey for PC performance after all.
Prey is available on all platforms as of today for $59.99.