Prey PC Performance Review
Published: 6th May 2017 | Source: OC3D Internal testing | Price: |
Walking into this review, the questions on everyone's lips were "Is this game going to have the same issues is Dishonored 2?" and " will this suffer from the same problmes as other recent CryEngine releases?". To say the least, this game performs a lot better than Dishonored 2 did at launch, but sadly that does not mean that Prey is free of any performance issues.
With 3rd party CryEngine releases, there are two common issues that can plague both console and PC gamers, slow initial loading times and random framerate drops when the game loads new assets. These issues were prevalent in recent releases like Homefront: The Revolution and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, but Prey manages to minimise these issues to a degree.
When it comes to loading times, Prey typically loads into a saved game within 30 seconds on a SATA SSD, though on several occasions load times did take up to 10 minutes. These long load times are anomalous cases, though it did happen during testing more than once. This required us to exit and reload time game to get into gameplay faster. Right now it seems like Bethesda are aware of this issue and are working on a fix for these rare instances.
Like many CryEngine games, Prey also suffers from momentary framerate drops when loading new game assets, typically when moving across a certain area/threshold within the game. This issue is not as noticeable as in some other CryEngine releases, but it is still an issue that will annoy some gamers. Thankfully Arkane Studios has worked hard to minimise this problem, but they are still present and noticeable in-game.
In general, the PC version of Prey offers very little to complain about from a performance perspective, being very easy to run at 60+ FPS at 1080p and 1440p with the correct settings. Yes, loading related stuttering is there, but these small performance dips will be bearable by most gamers.
One big complaint about this game is the lack of graphical options like a FoV slider and the ability to disable motion blur, with these options only being available when users mod Prey's game files. Hopefully, Arkane will soon rectify this issue with a new patch, but for not the lack of these options is unfortunate.
Gamers will also be happy to know that the game's intro movies can also be deleted from the game files to enhance initial load times and that the game's framerate cap of 144FPS is removable with some tinkering.
Graphically our two biggest complaints with this game are in regards to texture quality and Anti-Aliasing, with the game suffering from a lot of texture pop-in and the frequent appearance of low-resolution textures at max in-game settings. Even at 4K max settings, aliasing can be an issue in Prey, which would make alternative AA options like MSAA useful for future users with powerful GPUs.
CPU wise, Prey offers some interesting performance results, offering steady framerate improvements when used with larger core/thread counts. This means that those who use modern 6+ core CPUs from Intel or AMD will have a much better time achieving 100+ FPS framerates in Prey, though are simulated dual-core (quad thread) CPU was able to maintain 60+FPS in our testing area.
In the future, we plan on expanding our CPU testing in future game performance overviews, including the introduction of Ryzen testing. It will take us some time to acquire and setup a new Ryzen test rig, so please be patient with us.
As a full package, Prey performs very well on PC, though sadly a lot of smaller niggles do add up to create a larger problem with the game. While Prey is fairly easy to play at over 60FPS and is one of the few games that benefits from using more than 4 strong CPU cores, the lack of basic options like a FoV slider, the game's texture issues and the frequent stuttering will force some people to place this game into the "wait for a patch" pile, rather than work through these issues at launch.
The answer to the question "Is Prey is a game for me?" at this stage will come down to whether or not you see the game's minor issues as a big problem. Story wise the game is a very immersive and compelling experience, offering an experience that is reminiscent of System Shock and Dishonored, which is something that will certainly please a lot of gamers.
Prey is easily the best CryEngine release of recent times, but it is certainly not perfect.