Prey 2 is Blade Runner in Space
Killian Samuels is about to go where no man has gone before. In Prey 2 — a sequel just barely connected to its namesake — this air marshal is quite literally “abducted by aliens” while on an air flight, no less. After being taken to the alien world Exodus, via circumstances yet to be revealed, Samuels decides to accept this new life that fate has dealt him and becomes a bounty hunter there, using his skills to take on jobs and generally fight the (good? bad?) fight.
The disparities between Prey and Prey 2 are so extreme that they could be entirely different franchises. The first game was about a Native American who’s taken aboard an alien craft, and who uses portals and differing gravity (on walls, ceilings, etc.) to make his way through a huge alien spacecraft and basically shoot anything that moves. It was a throwback to the early days of first-person shooters (appropriate since it was originally conceived of by 3D Realms, the folks who created Duke Nukem), but despite the upside-down disorientation factor, there was nothing terribly compelling about the game. In order to build it into a franchise, Prey was a game in need of an identity.
Prey 2 departs from the original’s formula in every way, with the sole exception of the abduction scenario. Instead of portals and artificial gravity, Prey 2 puts you in the sprawling, “alien noir” cityscapes of Exodus, where the Coruscant-like structures create an environment that’s more vertical. Samuels will make his way through this landscape using loads of cool gadgets and weapons. Instead of claustrophobic corridors filled with nothing but enemies and walking on walls, you’ll climb up and down and across dark metros filled with NPCs going about their daily lives. Instead of being an average joe trying to get home, you’re an experienced soldier who knows how to handle himself and take care of business, yet living as a member of this alien society.
The “levels” of Prey 2, constructed in an “alien noir” style using the id Tech 5 engine (Rage), are a vast, open world chocked full of choices. You’ll have the freedom to do as you like, reacting to random encounters — like pedestrian muggings or meeting an informant — in whatever way you choose. Walk the path of light, or be as dirty as you want. You’ll take advantage of cover, select from a wide array of clever weapons, and explore the seediest corners of this “Blade Runner in space.”
Ultimately, Killian Samuels’ personal mission is to find out why he was brought here, and what happened after he arrived. It seems there’s a years-long gap in his memory between his original abduction and when he finds himself working as a bounty hunter on the alien world Exodus. The elaborate backstory was constructed by Human Head, the developers behind the game (who also created the first game), so that this time out, they could explore the hunter/prey relationship from both sides of the coin. (Whereas in the original, you mostly served as the prey.)
The original Prey did nothing for me, but I’m actually kind of psyched about this one’s potential.