Update: Prey 2: Not Id Tech 5: Has A Hat: OK?

By Alec Meer on March 15th, 2011 at 10:26 am.

And they say John is the best investigative journo on RPS

Contrary to the entire games press’ presumption yesterday, semi-unexpected sequel Prey 2 is not going to use the very shiniest, newest version of id Software’s graphics engine, id Tech 5, after all. Bethesda’s Pete Hines waggled his finger at IGN to correct the misconception, claiming that Prey 2′s been on the drawing board for so long that id Tech 5 essentially turned up too late.

Also below: your first-ever image of Human Head’s sci-fi shooter reboot. It features a man with guns. And a hat. Waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

“This game has been in development for quite a while and id Tech 5 is still in progress (until Rage ships, and probably even after). So it really wasn’t an option,” said the man who says things about things.

HUMPH. The press release that went out yesterday probably shouldn’t have said “the cutting edge id Tech engine from id Software”, to be fair, but I guess “the no longer cutting edge id Tech engine” wouldn’t have gone down too well.

While we don’t yet have confirmation that it’s id Tech 4 in there, it seems extremely unlikely that the Quake III engine is about to make such a bold comeback. Or maybe it’s the Doom 1 engine? I’d like that a lot.

If it is, as seems probable, id Tech 4 powering this sequel, don’t get all panicky – Splash Damange’s upcoming Brink has that at its core, and that looks frankly pretty tasty nonetheless. Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

So what will Prey 2 look like? There aren’t any in-game screenshots, but the artwork provided to Swedish games mag Game Reactor for its cover perhaps gives a few hints:

(thanks, DerFeef)

Hat alert! Hat alert! HAT ALERT!

Now, let’s all go ahead and bitterly presume a whole lot of stuff about exactly what we’re 100% sure the game will be like, based solely on one pre-rendered posey image that was probably primarily picked because someone thought it looked cool and might sell more magazines. Yes, that’ll be useful.

How many polygons do you think are in that hat, anyway?

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96 Comments »

  1. Longrat says:

    Did anyone ever care if it was gonna be in Id Tech 5? I thought this was like, announced yesterday or something.

  2. Lewie Procter says:

    I seem to recall a bloke from Bethesda saying that the reason that id wouldn’t be licensing id tech 5 was so that Bethesda published games could have a competitive advantage.

    If Skyrim and Prey 2 aren’t using it, I wonder what games they were talking about…

    • Optimaximal says:

      I guess they mean ‘all games following Rage’…

    • NukeLord says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. They’ve got this brand spanking new engine from a company which prides itself on producing great engines and they’re using it for….nothing, except for Rage.

    • Starky says:

      They WILL be using it right now for other games, but remember development of id tech 5 isn’t done yet and any game ever remotely close to release has already been in production for 2+ years.

      Any game Bethesda are working on that will be using tech 5 will be 2 years at least from release.

      Even if Bethesda started a game the same week that they purchased id – it will still be a good 18 months before you’ll see another tech 5 game.

      Game development just takes that friggin long.

    • boar_amour says:

      So far they’ve announced it’s being used in Doom 4 (of course), and whatever Machinegames is working on.

      They also haven’t announced anything about Arkane’s next game (which might be a fit, although they haven’t used id engines in the past), or whatever their new Japanese studio is working on (which doesn’t really seem like a fit, but we’ll see I guess)..

    • Mo says:

      id Software have always shipped their flagship game before licensing the engine. They do this to ensure that the engine actually works top-to-bottom.

    • Josh W says:

      Start changing engines just because a nicer one came out and you are preparing to never finish your game:

      “Ok, we’ve got the first three levels going again, and we have the loading system sorted out so we can move between them. The AI’s still a bit funky thanks to hinging on types of data that don’t exist in this engine, and we can’t get characters to move the same way. But it’s basically playable!”
      “Brilliant, but I’ve noticed we’re drawing a lot of NPCs and we don’t have auto-morphing crowd-faces in this game, so I’m thinking we should move to the new Speiltech engine.”

      The only tiny saving grace is when you change to an engine that is specifically nicer at doing the stuff your game focuses on, and is better enough to compensate you for rebuilding the whole thing out of a whole set of new digital atoms.

  3. SuperNashwanPower says:

    I predict this game will feature a man, shooting guns, in the future, whilst wearing a hat.

  4. konrad_ha says:

    It does not use the very latest in still unreleased and unfinished graphics-technology? Pah, I won’t even look at it!

  5. Hunam says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s not going to be cracking wise any time soon.

  6. Optimaximal says:

    Don’t id actually consider their engine one flowing evolution from one to the next – you can probably trace a lot of the design principles, if not the actual code, all the way back to Wolf 3D.

    That would make their statement sortof correct.

  7. Anthile says:

    Not sure what to think of that. I thought Id Tech 5 was all the rage these days!

  8. Orija says:

    Brink does use id Tech4 but the engine has been overhauled as well as some feature of id Tech5 added to it, MegaTextures being one of them.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Megatextures have been in ID’s engine for a while, was in Quake Wars which i believe is tech4 (not sure however)

      Probably been improved now but don’t think its exclusive to 5

      [EDIT] Had two windows open at the same time and got confused by them :P

    • Orija says:

      Right, megatextures were used for the first time in QW:ET. Anyway, the Brink engine is an overhauled version of QW:ET which was an overhauled version of id Tech4.

      “We started from the ground up with id Tech 4 again,” Wedgewood said, “rewriting the renderer, rewriting the network model and all the other bits and pieces.

      “It’s still probably about a third id Tech 4, and then a whole bunch of rewritten stuff and then some additional code id Software have shared with us. But it’s absolutely based on that id Software platform, which is why it feels so solid when you land and when you hit stuff and all that kind of thing.”

      http://www.videogamer.com/xbox360/brink/news/brink_game_engine_about_a_third_id_tech_4.html

    • sbs says:

      “which is why it feels so solid when you land and when you hit stuff and all that kind of thing.

      this is actually the main thing i like about those engines. They just feel right.

  9. Hunam says:

    Another way to look at this is to say it’s using the same engine as Brink. Makes me feel much better :)

  10. _Jackalope_ says:

    Hmm. Hope RPS are right about that pic having nothing to do with the game. He doesn’t look very American Indian to me. I liked that aspect of the original, Tommy was a really interesting and original main character. I also liked all the little touches such as the Art Bell radio transmissions.

  11. GenBanks says:

    Wasn’t the protagonist of the original native American?

    • Starky says:

      Yes, but no reason why it has to be the same character.

      Frankly I hope they dump the pseudo spiritual crap of the first. I like the idea of what they tried to do with it, they just did it badly, it didn’t come off as native American spiritual, but as crappy star wars rip off.

  12. Bennus says:

    Clearly this man is descended from the Green Beret (who also had a HAT!). Therefore we have a Commandos in space stealthathon.

  13. Mister_Inveigler says:

    That’s not a hat! How would you doff it to a passing lady?

  14. BrendanJB says:

    I hope it’s just a concept….

    I want to play as the long haired native american wearing jeans who uses a wrench to wallop aliens! Not grizzly mc beanie face.

  15. Carra says:

    On the plus side, it might still run on my 3 year old pc.

  16. Eclipse says:

    In reality we’re talking about a “ID Tech 4.5″, it’s not the very same thing of Doom 3 and Quake 4. ID Tech 4 took a long road of improvements ( remember Quake Wars? And that average Wolfeinstein reboot? and then Brink)
    It features things like HDR lighting and soft shadows that weren’t present on Doom 3 days.
    No megatextures maybe, but Fear 1 was all about weird alienship environments full of corridors, and I’m not expecting huge outdoor levels from this one.

    Even the first Prey used ID Tech 4, but it’s just not the same thing

    • Hunam says:

      id Tech 4 does support megatexture as that’s what the environments used in Quake Wars. Well the natural environments, buildings etc didn’t, hence why they looked terrible.

  17. Gabe McGrath says:

    Aussie vidgame journo David Wildgoose had the best reaction to this.
    “Why is Sam Fisher in Prey 2?”

    As for me, I wanna know why Tommy’s gone anglo, lost his wrench AND had his lovehandles photoshopped off?
    (Surely FPS blokes don’t need to have their ribs removed a-la-Barbie?)

  18. Greg Wild says:

    The cover looks shit. The use of an authentically Cherokee protagonist, and native indian spiritual themes gave it a lot of character.

    [Bit about how it's just a cover, wait till we know more etc etc.]

    • Starky says:

      As I mentioned above, i thought it actually botched that aspect of spirituality – the way they handled it just smacked of “wouldn’t it be cool if” rather than a real attempt to merge Cherokee spirituality with modern technology.

      But then I might be spoiled by the like of White Wolf doing that with Werewolf: The Apocalypse to such a quality degree as to make this look laughable.

  19. stahlwerk says:

    I too demand that my games depict native americans only as stereotypes. Where are the feathers? Less Reno Raines, more Bobby Sixkiller, please!

    • _Jackalope_ says:

      There was nothing sterotypical about Tommy in the first game and he considered all the spiritual stuff to be mumbo jumbo. Yes, the game does utilise the spirtual themes and turn them into “special powers” but I think it did it without being too condescending. He certainly didn’t wear feathers.

    • Eclipse says:

      not to mention he rocked hard at the rhythm of “(Don’t fear) the Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult.
      Prey 1 possibly had the best alien encounter scene ever seen in any videogame

    • stahlwerk says:

      Guys! Guys*! Hey, guys! Sarcasm, ok? I thought the “Renegade” reference was enough over the top to indicate that, but here I am yet again, fallen prey to the shortest coming of the internets.

      *) also: girls.

    • ross_angus says:

      How do you feel about the endoscope levels? Prey is one of the most … biological games I’ve ever seen. Everything looked like it had passed through a digestive system.

    • _Jackalope_ says:

      Ah sorry stahlwerk, wasn’t familar with Renegade!

    • stahlwerk says:

      Whatever floats your gigantic space ship, I presume…

      Edit: ^^^^ does not compute. ;)

    • oceanclub says:

      Prey 2 will presumably have more cowbell.

      P.

  20. Earl-Grey says:

    Maybe I’m just paranoid, but for some reason that cover image makes me think Prey 2 will be 3rd person.
    Maybe it’s all the gizmos and doodads on the character, who knows.
    But then again, I haven’t been taking my medication lately -don’t tell Nursey!
    The character looks mind numbingly boring though, like a drawing made by a schoolboy in a math class.
    On the other hand, had thay opted for a peacock hat and a feather boa the character would have been bedazling.

  21. poop says:

    FUCK YES WHEN I WAS PLAYING PREY I STOPPED AND SAID TO MYSELF “MAN I WISH MY PROTAGONIST WAS A BALD SPACE MARINE AND THAT MY GUNS WERE BRICKS WITH HANDLES”

    THANK YOU BETHESDA

  22. Hellraiserzlo says:

    Well the first game had a serious business story with evil space invaders violating your GF, your ancestors spirit realm and are about to rape earth too, so the grim-brooding expression makes sense, also I think that from the different proportions in the art they aren’t going to try something photo realistic with the graphics.

  23. Eclipse says:

    I demand a Blue Oyster Cult soundtrack or GTFO

    • Eclipse says:

      and why isn’t Prey 1 on Steam? :( Madness!

    • Rob Maguire says:

      It is on Steam. Er, was on Steam. Or, it’s not sold on the Steam store anymore because Valve ran out of keys during the holiday sale, and (somehow) haven’t received more from the publisher yet. You can still buy a copy dirt cheap elsewhere and register the CD key through the Steam client, though.

  24. razorblade79 says:

    P.R.E.Y.2 – Splinter Gear of Duty ?

  25. TsunamiWombat says:

    Please don’t tell me they’re replacing Prey’s brilliantly voiced Native American protag with some emo white guy..ugh.

  26. stahlwerk says:

    His hat, it has three corners,
    three corners has his hat.
    And had it not three corners,
    it wouldn’t be his hat.
    Which makes it one triangular polygon, the rest is done in the fragment shader.

  27. playthatfunkytuba says:

    Two things MUST stay the same:
    1) The death/no death mechanic that apparently loads of people hated, but was the only reason I was able to finish the game.
    2) Those disgusting bumholes on the walls that were sick on you.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I agree with point 2 and say “nay” to the first. Loved the vommie bumholes but really disliked the shoot a ghost to un-die thing. Quick load is ok for me :)

  28. Rond says:

    By the looks of this man, they’re hopefully ditching all this ridiculous injun bullshit and concentrating more on the spaceship weirdness.

  29. Shatners Bassoon says:

    This time they only stole half our sleeves! The bastards.

  30. mbp says:

    Pleased to see this getting a sequel despite the less than stellar performance of its fore-runner. The game managed to be very old school and yet very innovative at the same time.

    I vote
    0. Yes to the Spirit World but
    1. No to the shoot a ghost to un-die mechanic. It effectively makes you invincible and removes all challenge from the game.
    2. Yes to the garbage vomiting
    3. Yes to the portals
    4. Yes to the anti-gravity stuff.

  31. Tizoc says:

    There will be no polygons, it’s going to be a 2D platformer and it will feature the cutting edge technology used in Commander Keen !

  32. Moni says:

    When you posted that screenshot of Prey yesterday, I was convinced it was a new screenshot. So I think the old idTech 4 still holds up, graphically at least.

  33. Madlukelcm says:

    Yay, first I heard of this sequel! Prey was my first new gen game and I loved it!

  34. Deekman says:

    The hat wasn’t a problem for me it’s the fact that things like the spirit walking and living weapons were such a HUGE part of the original and it starred a self hating native american. This guy just looks generic and he’s got a shotgun and a pistol. Wow so edgy

    • Rond says:

      Living weapons? Oh come on, they were so dull compared to living alien weapons in System Shock 2. Even Half-Life’s Hive Hand was more impressive and unusual. Prey’s “living weapons” were pretty much retextured machine guns and grenade launchers.

  35. Oak says:

    Okay guys, here’s my conclusion about Prey 2 based on this magazine cover.

  36. JibbSmart says:

    The engine isn’t a big deal. I mean, it’s newsworthy here because yesterday we were told it was a different engine.

    But I can’t imagine the choice of any relatively modern engine would affect gameplay in the slightest, or the visuals to a noticeable degree — it’ll affect whether we see megatextures (which we already know id Tech 4 has) and tessellation (for those with the hardware). But graphics in games are dictated by art direction and shader programming, far more so than the engine.

  37. Gabbo says:

    I don’t care one way or another what engine it uses (though not using UE3 is a nice surprise), I’m just disappointed they chose to use a guy vying for a spot in the next Tom Clancy game over Tommy to put on the cover.

  38. Sardaukar says:

    Uh, anyone else notice that shape on his forehead, just under the hat? That seems important.

  39. Dhatz says:

    heres a bold assumption: its a hybrid of nom parasite and a hat!

  40. Navagon says:

    Brink uses id tech 4. Which looks a lot better than id’s own id tech 5 Rage. So that’s not something I have a problem with.

  41. TheTourist314 says:

    Prey had a Native American for the protagonist. Who the hell is this guy?

  42. hanneswall says:

    nvm

  43. Tei says:

    Modern Warfare 2 was made using heavily modified Quake 3 engine (I refuse to use these id tech number names)… so any game can be made using any modified version of any quake engine.
    Nexuiz is made based on a modified Quake1 engine, and will looks very good.

  44. sinister agent says:

    That is clearly not a hat. I am contacting my solicitor.

  45. pilouuuu says:

    If they wanted to make the protagonist look like a Cherokee and modern at the same time they should have made something along the lines of Mortal Kombat’s Nightwolf.

    And please no more IdTech4! I hate that engine by now. I’d rather play anotehr game with Unreal Engine 3.

  46. Spliter says:

    Please don’t let it be a consolified PoS
    Please don’t let it be a consolified PoS
    Please don’t let it be a consolified PoS
    Please don’t let it be a consolified PoS!!!!!!!

    I loved the first one and played through it many times. I just hope they remember it works best as a PC game so they don’t try to “make it more accessible” (AKA Dumbify) for consoles.
    oh, and by the way: WHY THE HELL A CHEROKEE WAS SUBSTITUTED WITH THIS GENERIC LOOKING PoC??

  47. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Does the hat have tesselation? A tesselated hat would really be the thing

  48. Jezebeau says:

    The real question is, “Will we get that hat in Team Fortress 2?”

    Edit: I also wonder how it would look on a zebra unicorn.

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