Killian The Name Of: Prey 2

By Adam Smith on August 24th, 2011 at 11:26 am.


Prey 2’s Game Director, Chris Rhinehart, has been talking through the events seen in the early trailers for the game. There are three separate commentary videos, the last of which hit the internet yesterday. Here’s some thoughts and analysis on what we see, what we’re told and what remains totally unclear. Before you start watching though, one thing that doesn’t remain unclear is the ending to the first game, so if you’re planning to play through first, come back when you’re done.


I definitely wouldn’t have figured out that was Prey 2 unless I’d read the name of the video beforehand, which I guess is the point. It’s more like a faster moving reboot of Lost or Cloverfields on a Plane. The rather flimsy connection to the opening of the first game is fine by me since it allows for a big dramatic setpiece. However, I’m not a believer in live action trailers for computer games. Primarily it’s because they are clearly unrelated to the game in terms of visual fidelity but, more than that, despite the fact that today’s AAA title is more expensive to make than a cinescreen extravaganza, the actual actors used in these sequences are usually less convincing than animated characters.

We are told here that knowledge of Killian’s personality is transmitted to us by two important details. The first being that he is a man of the law. The second, that if is he on a plane which is being torn asunder by a tractor beam and invaded by aliens, he will instantly and calmly open fire. It’s almost as if he was expecting it. And that makes him a maniac.


Post-abduction, Killian has rapidly established himself as a bounty hunter with a plethora of crazy gadgets, all of which are among Chris Rhinehart’s favourites. The way he looks at his old badge as he suits up is, again, suggestive of someone who just loves to hunt alien scum. He adjusts well to new environments one might say. I still think he’s a maniac.

As for the chase itself, it’s exciting and slick but it’s not ingame footage. There’s an inverse Mirror’s Edge feel about it, with Killian the pursuer rather than the pursued, and it’s difficult not to be reminded of Assassin’s Creed. The enemies being painted with targets and dispatched in a blur suggests twitch gaming and it’s hard not to imagine a sequence like this being on rails to a considerably large degree. Oh, and Rusty Cage is great but stick with Tom Waits and use The One That Got Away. Puts a whole new spin on proceedings.


Part three and it’s business as usual for Killian. Shooting, throwing gadgets, jumping, chasing and then sending the target “off to the client”. That looks like a particularly unpleasant process but I’m presuming this was a particularly unpleasant alien. Gadget-wise, the gravity wave is a fine thing and it should be in all cover-based shooters. In fact, gravity wells should automatically appear beneath anyone who crouches behind the same piece of cover for more than 30 seconds. Then there’s the final proof that Killian lived a broken life on Earth and only ever craved the sweet satisfaction that abandonment on an alien hellhole could bring; when a monstrously large and well-armed alien decides to pick a fight with him, he grins. Because it’s wanted DEAD. It’s the smile of a man who feels no fear, only the joyous anticipation of violent affray and murder.

To be honest, that’s probably exactly what Prey 2 needs. A man who enjoys the thrill of the chase. The world looks fun to navigate and combat looks satisfying. Whether much if any of the ingame action will be at this breakneck pace, it’s hard to say and there may be a lack of variety, but a game based around pursuit as much as firefights has its appeal. We certainly know a lot more about the ideas behind the game now but as for the actual game, not so much.

Chris says it was important to the team not to put any gameplay in the trailer that couldn’t be replicated in the game. That’s a good and noble idea, but what do we actually see? A man jumping onto a train, sliding under a walkway, shooting aliens and throwing gadgets. Oh, and slamming into aliens. It looks exciting but it’s not new and we don’t know how streamlined or freeform these chases will be. If missing that train leads to a “mission failed, target escaped” popup everytime, the pursuit becomes much less cinematic. The claims of an open world are far from meaningful if the missions themselves take place on a predefined obstacle course.

On the whole though, I’m just keen to see more, which is a good thing at this stage. Gameplay footage is available but it would be helpful to see different targets with different abilities, more gadgets and some environmental variety. And hopefully, next time, it’ll be running in-engine.

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30 Comments »

  1. JackShandy says:

    I realize I’m alone, but I really like the way games handle trailers. What other medium would release short films that fill in the backstory? Film trailers are disposable, completely useless after you’ve seen the things they’re promoting. Trailers like the Sarif and Purity First trailers from HR or the Meet the Team videos are fantastic things in their own right, something you can enjoy no matter how much you’ve played the game. They’re often misused, of course, but they can be amazing when done right.

    • Dyst says:

      I kind of agree with you a bit sort of vaguely. I love this type of thing, with short films and cg animations filling in bits of the story in a cinematic and entertaining way. It’s shit like Rage that I can’t stand where they just recycle old footage and tell us things we already know over and over again. I’m also sick of publishers announcing their games 2 years in advance and then giving us Rage-esque trailers.

      Human Revolution has had a wonderful ad campaign, what with the initial teaser, then the news report, then the propaganda thingy.

    • zontax says:

      Yeah your right.

      but it’s not that game trailers are that good.

      movie trailers just suck.

    • woodsey says:

      Generally I’ve found that game trailers are pretty good at conveying what you can do in the game, what the characters are like, and what the tone of the game is (maybe not all at once, but most seem to hit at least one of them).

      Ironically, if they’d stuck in-game footage from cutscenes it, we most likely really would be looking at stuff we could never do whilst playing.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Film trailers are disposable, completely useless after you’ve seen the things they’re promoting.

      Sometimes the other way around as well. :)

  2. Sidorovich says:

    Erm…wasn’t this chase trailer released yonks ago? Well done RPS, last with the news again.

    I do wish to be a bounter hunter tracking down alien scum, so I hope this game turns out well.

  3. Bilbo says:

    Excellent title, Adam.

    …You’ll do well, here.

  4. MadTinkerer says:

    I already like Killian better than Tommy. But then again, I like the Postal Dude better than Tommy.

  5. aethereal says:

    Not enough alien vagina doors for this to be a Prey game.

    • Radiant says:

      retweeted

    • Ross Angus says:

      Also not enough dung. Most of the levels of the original Prey seemed to be made out of glossy manure. I’m sure Rock Paper Shotgun used the article title “Call of Doody”, when covering it.

  6. hosndosn says:

    “Agile combat” seems like yet another solution to console controls that, on the PC, nobody really needs. Same crap as in that new Splinter Cell game.

  7. Radiant says:

    RPS – “I heard you like commentary. So we put a commentary on your commentary; so you can comment whilst you pass commentary.”

    If there is any kind of subtext within this trailer then somewhere someone is listening to some reeeeeally slow music whilst talking to Leo DiCaprio .

  8. elnalter says:

    it kinda looks like a 2005 game

  9. Navagon says:

    “And hopefully, next time, it’ll be running in-engine.”

    The last line sums up my hopes for the next batch too. Some of the gunplay looks like it could just boil down to targeting the enemies and then letting the game play itself. Which isn’t encouraging. I’d prefer some bullet time to that.

    Other than that potential gripe, this is looking very promising indeed.

  10. DOLBYdigital says:

    Personally really liked these trailers and from the in game screenshots released it looks like they are trying to stick close to the look/feel portrayed in these trailers. I’ll admit that I’m concerned about the controls since a fast paced game like this would be hard to control with thumbsticks… therefore it may have some lock ons or rail like gameplay. However if its just a button that you hit to lock on and is optional then I’ll be happy, I just won’t use the lock on button to test my skills :)

  11. BoZo says:

    GOD DAMNED HUMANS WITH MAKE UP

    STARFISH ALIENS FFS SCI-FI WRITERS