Prey 2 Preview

When I walked into E3, there were a ton of games on my radar as must-see. Even at the Bethesda booth, my mind was completely set on Skyrim and RAGE. But little did I know Bethesda had another game that would have me eager for its release and instantly declaring it a Best of E3 Nominee. With its beautiful game world, impressive design, and an interesting take on first-person shooter gameplay, Prey 2 numbers among 2012’s best. If you haven’t heard of it yet, be sure to keep reading so you don’t miss out on one extremely promising title.

The player will take the role of Killian Samuels, a U.S. Marshal whose space transport has crash landed. Samuels is the lone survivor, but is stunned and awakens stranded on this strange new world as, to his knowledge, the only human inhabiting it. Believing his old life is over, Samuels decides to make a living on the world of Exodus as a bounty hunter.

Human Head Studios, the game’s developer, says that Prey 2 will have an “alien noire” style, fitting well when they first showed the world of Exodus. The massive city-planet doesn’t spin, thus leaving one half of it in perpetual darkness. This leaves the streets of Exodus, a city on the border between light and dark halves, flooded with neon lighting, giving it that noire vibe. Aliens of all different walks of life can be found going from place to place, begging for money, or looking to beat down an unsuspecting innocent. The hovering vehicles traversing the skies and multi-leveled streets gives the player a feeling of being on the Citadel in Mass Effect or Coruscant in Star Wars. Given the great level of detail and polish in Exodus’ visual appearance, it’s definitely a place you want to explore; and explore you will as Prey 2 will be an open world experience.

Gangs of aliens corner and beat on a civilian for money, for fun, or just because it looked at them funny. You can step in and take out the troublemakers, saving the civilian and getting its thanks. If this isn’t worth your time, you can also just watch the beating continue or go on your merry way. Say you’re walking along and someone gives you a dirty look, or you just feel like being a rebel, you can push that person over a ledge or murder the individual by other means. Doing so however will draw the ire of the city’s security force, so be sure not to get too carried away.

When you want to know who amongst the populous may have a desire to shoot you in the face or not, you have the option of seeing who’s hostile via a color scheme. Anyone who is highlighted in yellow is someone who could become hostile if you shoot first, green means that the person is friendly or non-hostile, red means you will be shot at, and blue means that target is your bounty. Once you identify your bounty and decide to move in, you will have the option for some of them to bring them in either dead or alive.

There are some features that help to make both immersion and traversal easier. For starters, in any civilization, you would be frowned upon and likely arrested if you walked with your gun drawn. Samuels will walk about with his gun holstered. Should he draw his gun, hostile enemies will quickly open fire while innocents and bounties flee like bats out of hell.  But not every gun draw can cause this reaction, given the right circumstances. If you have someone in a secluded part of the street or are up in their face, you can pull your gun to threaten the individual. This technique can get you valuable information regarding a bounty’s location or more. Just be sure to put the gun away before you turn around unless you want an instant firefight.

Getting by, over, across, and around the multiple levels of Exodus are made easy thanks to what Human Head called Prey 2‘s “agile combat.” If you need to get down to the lower levels of the city quickly, Samuels will have access to hover boots that allow him to descend in a gliding fashion, and parkour style ground-based movement streamlines vertical and horizontal exploration. Both look to eliminate a lot of the hassle that would have come with exploring a world this large with the standard means of traversal in first-person shooters.

However, the best use of Samuels’ parkour is chasing and shooting bounties and their cronies. Players will be able to vault over objects, shoot over ledges, and perform running slides either in the open or under low-hanging objects. It gives an entirely different, fresh take on FPS combat that feels very similar to what was done in Mirror’s Edge, but not as likely to induce nausea. It creates fast-paced and frantic shootouts and chase sequences that will get your adrenaline pumping.

If you find yourself in a confined space, surrounded, and with nowhere to really take cover, Prey 2 does give the player the ability take a hostage. With your meat shield in place, you’ll be able to fire a pistol from behind them, as is standard fare with games that allow the option. During my demo session, we were made aware of when a hostage was no longer of use when the aliens fighting Samuels popped the poor creature in its head, causing its cranium to explode.

When you feel that it will take more than your guns to take down a bounty, you will have over 20 gadgets at your disposal to fill the void. These include shoulder-mounted rockets, a deployable shield, and night vision. They all look to prove useful and vital in certain situations, helping you stay alive long enough to kill your bounty or trap it in a floating stasis sphere. The device will lock the bounty’s arms and legs, but won’t incapacitate it. This allows the player to interrogate the bounty for extra information, but doing so runs the risk of killing your new prisoner.

With all of this taken in, Prey 2 was most definitely one of the most pleasant surprises at E3 this year. The intriguing and open world of Exodus, agile combat, and intense shootouts and chase scenes make it a title that could very well be one of the best of next year. Keep an eye out for it when it lands sometime in 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

One Comment on "Prey 2 Preview"

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.