by Michael DiMauro
Before you say anything at all about Prey 2 you need to talk about the aesthetics. The developer described it as “Alien Noire” which is a little cringe inducing, but also doesn’t do the game justice. How should it be described then? Gorgeous. The city environment you are traversing looks like Blade Runner – not the actual film – the Blade Runner you invented in your mind ten years after seeing it the first time, but before you saw it again and were brought back to reality. It’s dark and flooded with neon lights and grit and the unknown.
Prey was about abduction, but for the sequel Human Head Studios wanted to explore both sides of the predator/prey relationship. This time around you play as Kilian Samuels, a US Marshal who finds himself in the unlikely situation of having a gap in his memory that spans years. Now he is on an alien planet working as a bounty hunter, and has to put the pieces back together.
Unlike the original, Prey 2 is an open world game which should lend itself nicely to the bounty hunter theme. You are free to take on missions that will advance the narrative, scan the streets and bars for bounties or just traverse the beautiful city. In our demo the streets seemed lively, and NPCs acted accordingly, especially if you drew your handgun.
Combat is designed to be fast and fluid and to make the player feel powerful. In our demo the player was sliding into cover and taking out enemies with only a shot or two from their sidearm. There are also around 20 different gadgets to make things more interesting. Everything from a bolo to take down feeling bounties to an anti-gravity wave to flush enemies from cover. There are even shoulder rockets and oh, did I mention hover boots? They seem to come in very handy in the vertical environment.
While Prey 2 seems to only be related to its predecessor in name, it ended up being one of the biggest surprises of E3. It looks absolutely stunning and the game-play and concept look really interesting. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it once it’s 2012 release date comes around.