5 things to know about Prey
Prey is going to be the game System Shock fans have been waiting for. A huge, complex undertaking for the studio behind Dishonored, Prey is whisking players away to Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in 2032. It’s here where you become the key subject in an experiment designed to alter humanity forever, but it’s only as something goes horribly wrong (doesn’t it always?) that you are thrust into a brutal life or death fight.
With the Sixties-inspired space station overrun with strange, hostile aliens, you will find yourself hunted, with whatever you can find aboard the station your only tools for survival against the Typhon. This is a considered and expansive approach to science-fiction, with Arkane bringing player choice to the forefront of the experience to create something truly unique for each and every player that dares engage in such a creepy and challenging adventure.
It’s first-person, but it isn’t a shooter
Don’t assume that Prey is an FPS – at least, not in the traditional sense. Much like the Dishonored series, Prey has been designed in such a way that stealth is the standard but the array of supernatural powers and heavy-duty weapons to be found in the game world will let you build your own preferred play-style. Lean towards action, double-down on stealth or run a blend build of the two as you look to uncover the mysteries of Talos I and the strange extraterrestrial experiments performed on the citizens onboard.
Diligent decision-making will define your game
If Dishonored was the spiritual successor to Thief, then Prey is the direct descendant of System Shock. Combat is slow and deliberate, while the atmosphere is tense – it also happens to have a wrench. But there are twists to come, and Arkane is promising that everything you do will build towards the end state of the game in some way. For example, there are other survivors to be found on Talos I and whether you aid or abandon, kill or incapacitate them will have a real impact on your progression and eventual success or failure.
It features a deep and progressive upgrade system
The progression and crafting systems of Prey are far more robust and versatile than those of Dishonored 2, with a stronger focus on character builds. Should you enjoy sticking needles and serums in your eyes – and want to enjoy Prey’s sweet blend of offensive action – you’ll want to spec in improving enemy Typhon powers, such as Kinetic Blast, which creates a physical blast that radiates outwards from your person. If you favour stealth instead, you might instead want to pour points into upgrading critical damage or the strength of your wrench to help you take out enemies swiftly from the shadows.
Prey is essentially one huge mission
While the Dishonored games featured self-contained areas, Prey is essentially one huge adventure where everything is linked. In classic Metroidvania style, some areas might be blocked off or require certain items to progress (not too dissimilar to the navigation model used in BioShock), but backtracking is always encouraged as you spend more time on the sprawling space station. History, progression and the ending is actively created in your personal playthrough, with the way in which you encounter elements all ultimately building a unique, nightmarish experience.
There are multiple ways to progress
You’ve arrived at a locked door and don’t have the code – what do you do? Most games would have you running off in search of the digits, but not here. While that is an option, Arkane is just as happy for you to craft an EMP bomb – any item can be created via a Fabricator, so long as you have the resources and blueprints – and blast your way in. You could attempt to bypass the door entirely by jettisoning out into zero-G areas, or you could transform yourself into a coffee cup using the enemy Mimic power and simply roll on through the small security window.
Read our hands-on impressions of Prey and our exclusive interview with Arkane in games™ 185, on sale now