As I sat watching the new Prey video, I was reminded of how much it differs and resembles 2006's Prey, a game I adored. There was a magic in the first game that I've always struggle to pinpoint. Whether it was the use of portals, the gravity paths, or the alien environment, I just couldn't put the game down, and to this day I can recall a certain “feeling” the game left with me. Perhaps this feeling came from experiencing a bit of Cherokee mythology, something that was unfamiliar in gaming in 2006. The isolation of space and the ever-present, lurking danger was also a deadly, yet irresistible cocktail.
2017's Prey certainly looks amazing, and I can see that not so subtle hint of something that might just be a little bit different than the usual space action game. On the other hand, Dead Space filled that role when it released in 2008, and it's still king of the genre in my opinion. I would love for Prey to set a new standard for sci-fi shooters.
Like the 2006 game, the new Prey does seem to have a few very peculiar and fascinating features. What intrigues me the most so far, (without having yet played it), is the fact that some of the aliens can do things like morph into say a chair. The developer, Arcane Studios, demonstrated this in the August 2016 gameplay video. As I said then, I've not yet seen anything like it – the office chair can be your enemy! What I've gathered so far, and I am speculating, is that the “ecology” studies aboard the Talos 1 form the basis of the game. Ecology is “The branch of biology concerned with the relations between organisms and their environment,” and explains the ability of the creatures to morph into environmental objects.We also know that “There's a full ecology, each of them has a purpose, and it's only later that you'll understand how they come together,” explained Raphael Colantonio, president of Arkane Studios.
Then there's exploration and environment, and from what I've seen so far, 2017's Prey will outdo anything we've seen so far in sci-fi shooters. I dare say it will even be a better experience than 2006's Prey. The neo-deco interior of the Talos 1 is in stark contrast with the biotech theme, and to add another layer of exploration; there's “the cold vacuum of space.”
The player has a multi-layered playground, each with a unique 'feel.' I think we might find different aliens lurking in particular environments – each resembling some kind of symbiosis.
The gameplay experience will definitely be different depending on your location. Space with its zero-gravity vs. inside the space station. Maybe the various laboratories will offer something unique to it. We know that Morgan has different powers that he (or she) will use when in specific situations – like shrinking to crawl through a small space. The Talos 1 itself offers many different types of locations – labs, cafeteria, executive suits and so on – now remember, the Typhon aliens can mimic any object. Oh, the scares locked up in every prop …
I also find it fascinating how Morgan acquires and applies the super powers – you'll need to “harvest” it from the aliens, and inject it into your eyes.
Lastly, it does also look like 2017's Prey will have some kind of interesting path creation mechanic. The GLOO Cannon can be used for building new traversal paths.” We'll just have to wait and see what exactly that means. Maybe it won't be a gravity or portal thing, but more like a hook. Talking about guns, Prey will include a variety of unique weapons that you'll only find on a research space station from 2032.
In summary, 2017's Prey might be different from the 2006 game in all but one thing; offering a unique experience. Gamers have become so spoiled, and it's a tough order for any game developer to try match the previous experience players had, let alone surpass it. Prey might do just that.
Prey releases on May 5 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
“When you awaken aboard Talos I, an immense space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032, you find yourself as 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. As you dig into the dark secrets of Talos I and your own past, you must survive using the tools found on the station, your wits, weapons, and mind-bending abilities to defeat the Typhon alien.” Press release
More about Prey
- We try pry loose some secrets from Prey's announce trailer
- A peek at Prey's Gorgeous Neo-Deco Future
- Arkane shares new details about Prey's gameplay and story