When Raphaël Colantonio took to the stage at Bethesda’s E3 showcase, I figured he’d be talking about Dishonored 2. He’s one of the creative directors of the studio, alongside Harvey Smith, and we knew we were going to see more of their stealthy sequel.
Instead, Colantonio said he’d be working on something else, with a second team within the studio. A game in the same tradition as Dishonored – an immersive sim – but with an extra pinch of horror. It’s Prey.
Just as DOOM is not Doom 4, Prey is no longer Prey 2. That makes sense, given that it doesn’t appear to be a sequel to its ten year old predecessor in any way. The only real similarity appears to be in the basics of the setup – there are aliens and they want to kill you.
In Prey, you awaken aboard Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032. You are the key subject of an experiment meant to alter humanity forever – but things have gone terribly wrong. The space station has been overrun by hostile aliens and you are now being hunted. As you dig into the dark secrets of Talos I and your own past, you must survive using the tools found on the station, your wits, weapons, and mind-bending abilities.
If you remember seeing anything of Prey 2 before it was cancelled, you’ll recognise that Arkane’s game doesn’t appear to have a great deal with that game either. From bounty hunter to the subject of horrific experiments, the protagonist has been placed firmly on the back foot.
Given how powerful Dishonored can make the player feel, I’ll be interested to see if Prey is taking an entirely different route. If its survival horror aspect is as strong as I’m hoping, married to the Looking Glass legacy of immersive environments and abilities that Arkane are attempting to uphold, this could be a very special game.
Further details are thin on the ground at the moment but I’ll find out what I can in the coming days, and Bethesda will be sharing more at QuakeCon this August. Chris Avellone has confirmed he’s working on the game and Arkane have said that players will able to choose the gender of protagonist Morgan, seen as a miserable man in the trailer above. You can follow all our E3 2016 news here.