Last Friday, May 5, Prey arrived on virtual and physical store shelves with the usual fanfare from a triple-A game. Aside from the customary previews, developer Arkane Studios and publisher Bethesda Softworks released a demo for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which covered the game’s first hour.
So what exactly is Prey? According to the official description:
“In Prey, you awaken aboard Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032. You are the key subject of an experiment meant to alter humanity forever – but things have gone terribly wrong. The space station has been overrun by hostile aliens and you are now being hunted.”
More survival horror than shooter
What they didn’t tell you is that while the game is in first-person perspective, it’s more sci-fi thriller and survival horror than full-blown first-person shooter. Think of it as an updated System Shock 2. There’s also a bit of Half-Life, Dishonored, Deus Ex, Dead Space, and Alien: Isolation thrown in.
According to Arkane Studios, Prey won’t focus on stealth like Dishonored, and will feature a more RPG-like feel, like displaying the damage you inflict on enemies, which make combat feel more stat-based; and in-game chipsets that let you customize your skills.
Because of its survival-horror focus, the game won’t let you feel overpowered or allow you to accumulate too much ammo that would empower you to shoot everything that moves. It’s necessary to be judicious with your resources.
The original Prey
If you didn’t know, Prey is actually a re-imagining of a 2006 shooter. The two have nothing to do with each other: the first puts you in the shoes of Tommy, a Cherokee who was kidnapped aboard an alien ship. What made the original unique was its use of shifting gravity fields, which lets you walk on various surfaces upside-down while shooting aliens.
The only thing these games have in common is the concept: you fight aliens aboard a ship/space station. The execution, story, and gameplay are entirely different. But until we try this new shooter for ourselves, it’s hard to say which is better.
They Prey we’ll never play
Either way, we’re truly disappointed that Prey 2, a planned sequel to the 2006 game, was officially cancelled in 2014. Prey 2 was supposed to be an FPS with cover mechanics set in an open-world, and it looked really promising. Unfortunately, we’ll never get to play it.
Hopefully, the new Prey would help dull the pain.