After Prey 2 was cancelled in 2014, many believed the series was dead in the water. But now, fans are delighted to see the series reimagined under the helm of Dishonored creators Arkane Studios.
TrustedReviews has rounded up everything you need to know about the game as well as our brand-new preview from February.
Bethesda has confirmed that Prey will launch on May 5, 2017 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Take a look at the brand new gameplay trailer of Prey below:
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Bethesda has revealed that players who pre-order Prey will receive the exclusive Cosmonaut Shotgun Pack. The pre-order bonus includes Morgan Yu’s family heirloom Margrave shotgun and some extra gear including: three Neuromods players can spend to acquire new abilities, two Medkits, a Fabrication plan to create the Shotgun and Ammo, a starter kit for building tools and weapons, and a unique upgrade to help players preserve their limited resources.
Available from May 5 on PS4, Xbox One and PC
Playing games of all shapes and sizes for many years means it becomes increasingly difficult for them to surprise you. Much like movies, the plot points (or for games, the mechanics) can often be spotted from afar: the princess is actually in a different castle, that friend is the bad guy, that door is definitely going to be locked with a big boss behind it. That’s why we need more games like Prey, because within just 20 minutes of its opening hour, it had completely swept the rug from beneath me.
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Prey is in a unique position: it comes with great anticipation and excitement, but is also a total mystery. After the original Prey 2 looked set to be Star Wars meets Blade Runner, before getting canned in 2014, the franchise seemed dead in the water. Then at last year’s E3 conference Bethesda revived it under the stewardship of acclaimed Dishonored developer Arkane Studios. What was equally surprising was that the game would be arriving within a year.
With a complete reimagining of the series, we didn’t know what to expect, and having played the first hour, I still have so many questions – but the answers I did get had me very excited to find out more.
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Prey takes place in an alternate reality where John F Kennedy survives the assassination attempt, and then invests heavily in the US space program, leading to significant advancements in the field. With its jumping point being the '60s, Prey has a beautiful aesthetic reminiscent of that era.
Morgan Yu, the brilliant scientist and lead protagonist, wakes up in his – or her, as you can choose whether Yu is a man or woman – room in the year 2032, and everything seems grand. Prey operates in a very similar way to Dishonored, with hints of Half-Life, so you can wander around with almost complete freedom and autonomy as well as pick up and loot everything Yu’s hands can grab.
After raiding the room of scrap and booze, I check emails and discover that today Yu is to visit his brother, Alex, for some routine tests at Transtar research facility.
The tests involved seem a little odd. It appears that Morgan is imbued with some sort of supernatural abilities, but they’re so deeply repressed that he's unable to access them. One test involves standing in a small room with glass walls, with nothing but a chair, and being told to find somewhere to hide from the observing scientists. After I've panicked and held the chair between myself and the examiners, hoping this would act as sufficient camouflage, the scientists appear confused and frustrated by my failure.
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During the final test everything goes wrong. The scientists stood behind the glass pane are attacked by a strange spectral creature, and the whole operation is shut down. Sleeping gas is pumped into the test chamber and Yu awakens back in the hotel room like nothing happened.
What proceeds is an unbelievable series of events that leads to a twist that genuinely made my jaw drop. I won’t spoil the finer details for you, but all is not as it seems, and Morgan has been deceived by everyone around him in incredible fashion.
The story of Prey is gripping. For Prey to present one proposition then completely flip the script had me engaged and desperate for more. And it is how this was done, with so many references to familiar titles, that kept the smile on my face.
Prey is littered with so many nods and inspirations from all the best sources that it becomes a wonderful melting pot. The '80s electronica-esque soundtrack reminds me of Drive, the plot moves swiftly from The Matrix to The Truman Show and back again. It makes for an exciting prospect, all within the opening salvo.
And now, it was time to dive into the actual game.
Prey is pretty similar to Dishonored, realised as a first-person shooter with even more RPG elements. Morgan will pick up various items and weapons along the way to help survive on board Talos 1 – the spaceship in which the game takes place.
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At first Morgan has only a wrench, but is soon armed with a shotgun and also a Gloo Gun. The Gloo Gun is a good example of not only Prey’s arsenal having multiple uses but also Arkane’s ingenuity. It can be used to shoot enemies to slow them down, and eventually freeze them in place, but it can also be used to shoot solid lumps of glue onto walls for Morgan to jump onto and reach higher ledges. In the demo, there was a broken elevator shaft that would've required improved engineering skills for Morgan to fix, but with the Glue Gun it was a doddle to climb.
The main enemy are these dark, spectral creatures which can take different forms. I came across two types: Mimics – small, spider-like creatures which can hide within any object in the environment, and Phantoms – tall, daunting enemies which are tougher to take down.
However, Prey’s combat, at least in its opening hour, feels a little basic. Neither enemy proved much of a threat, and weapons lacked enough punch to make engagements feel very interesting. Being so early in the game, though, I’m hopeful the complexity will evolve as more weapons are picked up – plus there’s plenty of depth elsewhere to make up for the combat’s shortcomings.
As you’d expect, there are plenty of upgrade trees to focus on along the way, too. Morgan can earn “neuromods” which, rather disgustingly, have to be injected into his eye with a gun, much like a Dead Space upgrade. These improve certain skills, be they medic, hacking, weaponry proficiencies or others.
Once you locate Morgan’s office within Talos 1, you can also recycle scrap to earn more useful items, as well as 3D-print new items and weapons with said materials.
There’s incredible depth on offer, and the layout of the ship feels very much like a Metroid game, with the lobby and your office acting like a central hub.
I was very impressed by what I saw of Prey. Its narrative immediately intrigued with an excellent twist, and while its RPG elements are initially complicated, using them to evolve Morgan as a character they slowly made sense.
The combat lacked the punch of other shooters and even Dishonored, but with the strength of the story on offer I’m willing to give it a chance. Perhaps this isn’t the game for someone looking for a solid shoot-'em-up, but if you’re hopeful of a gripping tale, Prey certainly looks set to deliver.