Ugly First Level Syndrome

So, the first time I put “Prey” in the 360 and gave it a spin, I made it through 2 levels, took it out and put it aside for later.

That takes about 20 minutes.

It didn’t grab me.  And when I say it didn’t grab me, I mean that I was actually repulsed by it.  I hated the main character and the gore, especially the “I just beat some guys up with a wrench! Lookit how bloody my wrench is!” bit and the spiky impaling people bit.

But I put it on my “play this!” list because, well,  I exchanged currency for it, I should give it another try.

On the second try, getting through the first couple of levels again was a real test of will.

And, yeah, getting through the next couple of levels, that wasn’t much easier.

Then it started to grow on me, and then there’s a bit where the game actually has some really impressive outer-space visuals, and I wound up quite enjoying it, enough that I didn’t curse and use the disc as an impromptu missile after I finished level 13, started loading level 14, and had the game crash on me, making me play level 13 again even though I had the bloody achievement for finishing it and so obviously I’d done so.

Ahem.  Bit of a sore point there.

I finished it tonight, and I’m actually kind of curious to see if they manage to get the sequel out.

Not enough to, you know, put down full price for the sequel if and when they release it.  But I’ll probably pick it up once it’s come down to $30 or so.

Rainbow Six: Vegas had a similar effect on me.  The first level of that game is pretty much Ugly in shades of Brown and Tan before you get to the actual, you know, VEGAS bit of the game.  It also took a good amount of willpower to force myself through to the point where it got pretty.

Game designers: Please stop this.  A game can look good from the first level on.  It’s OK.

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