A forgotten games surges
If the title “Prey” seems familiar to you and you think that you already played the game of that name before, then you are completely right. It was in 2006 when the first “Prey” game hit the shelves. More than a decade later, we have the opportunity to play the new version of the game with that name. Prey is scheduled for release on May 5, 2017, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
So, Is This a Remake or What?
While the new game shares the name with the title from 2006, they don’t have a lot in common. In fact, perhaps the only similarity is that they are both first person shooters.
The story goes like this – Human Head Studios had a great success with Prey in 2006. Bethesda acquired the name in 2009 and tried to make a direct sequel. That project was canceled in 2014, but Bethesda didn’t want to lose the name because it reminded of something good (and it sounded cool). That’s why they put the series in the hands of the Arkane Studios development team, who already proved themselves with Dishonored.
As a result, Arkane Studios made a game that is narratively and conceptually different than the original Prey. Instead of reminding of the original, you might say that it looks more like System Shock. The new Prey will be set in space, so you can expect a lot of aliens to shoot at until you resolve the mystery behind the plot. Before we dive into details, keep in mind that you can expect some spoilers in the following paragraphs.
Alternate Reality First Person Shooter
The game is set in a different reality than the one we know of. John F Kennedy survived the assassination attempt and made big investments into the US space program. As you play Prey, you will notice some aesthetic reminiscent of that era, adding a nice touch to the graphics.
The main protagonist of the game is a person called Morgan Yu. Yes, it is a person, considering that the name is non-specific when it comes to gender and the game doesn’t suggest if our hero is a man or a woman, leaving that choice completely up to you. Either way, you (or Yu) wake up in a room where you check your e-mail and find out that you need to meet your brother Alex for some routine tests at a Transtar research facility. You go to the roof and take a helicopter ride to the destination.
Transtar is one sketchy organization
Once you arrive at Transtar, you go through different testing procedures. It remains unclear why did you agree on this, especially considering that you are a brilliant scientist? Did you volunteer at all?
During the final test, everything goes wrong. One of the Typhons, spider-like alien creatures, frees itself and kills the doctor behind the glass panel that administers your test. Sleeping gas is pumped into the test chamber, so you fall asleep and wake up…
…back in your hotel room! You realize it is that same morning again. You go into the hallway and discover that the maintenance worker who was alive the last time you’ve seen him is now dead. There is no way to get to the roof, so you decide to go to the balcony. You break the glass doors and realize the path leads into that lab where you were tested! Soon, you realize that you are in a Groundhog Day-like loop and that they are conducting different experiments, resetting your brain every day.
Welcome to the Space Station Talos 1
The good news is that you broke out of the experiment. The bad is that you are not in your apartment or on Earth. You are on a space station Talos 1 and you are not alone! The monsters that helped you break free invaded the station and they don’t want to make friends.
Arkane Studios really put their thought into developing enemy creatures and they did a great job. So far, we know two types of Typhon monsters: Phantoms, tall creatures hard to take down and Mimics – small aliens that can mimic objects around them. That means that you need to be on your toes at all times and second-guess every item. Something as innocent as a coffee mug or a chair can turn out to be an enemy which is a beautiful addition to the overall tension you feel while playing Prey.
Play It the Way You Want
Exploration is the key to the game. The space station is (almost) an open-world setting, where you can freely roam back and forth. You will collect different weapons and various items along the way. One of the most interesting twists in this area is the ability to 3D-print new items and weapons. That will make you collect different items you think are worth recycling (for example, a banana peel is considered an organic matter).
You will also collect ‘neuromods’, genetic upgrades that you can inject into your eye to gain new abilities or knowledge. Neuromods can improve your hacking, medic and other skills, all of which you can see in the skill tree. The developers revealed that you will also have the option to inject yourself with alien abilities, which will additionally contribute to the already extensive gameplay experience.
Is it the Prey we wanted?
Based on the trailer and some hands-on impressions, the aliens aren’t that hard to kill despite the fact that they look astonishing. Arkane Studios assure that this is only the case in the starting hours of the game. According to them, Prey will allow up to 20 hours of immersive playing until you figure out the mystery behind the Telstar space enterprise.
The option to combine items and skills will also contribute to the replay value of the game. Each fight will play out a different way depending on how you choose to use the environment around you. The game encourages you to get creative and find unusual and weird ways to kill your enemies.
The people that tested the game also noted a couple of technical hiccups of the CryEngine the developers use for the game. Despite that, it is expected that these issues will be fixed before the release of the new Prey Game at the beginning of May.