Arkane Announce Prey: Immersive Horror Sim

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.

From this site

41 Comments

  1. Anthile says:

    It seems to resemble System Shock quite a bit which only makes sense. After not-Ultima Underworld and not-Thief, we now have not-System Shock as well. Arkane are the masters of off-brand game development.

    • Henke says:

      Crossing my fingers for not-Terra Nova next! :D

      • LexW1 says:

        That really needs to be a thing. First person suggest Titanfall 2 is it gets thrown in the brig.

    • Unsheep says:

      Well, every game is inspired something else. Pick any major franchise and you can easily trace it back to games made in the 90’s.

      So it’s not really “off-branding”, but the inevitability of shared mechanics; you can’t make an FPS game today that does NOT play like any previous FPS game.

      BioShock is as much an “off-brand” of System Shock as Prey 2 is, and Dishonored is as much an “off-brand” of the original Thief games as the 2014 Thief game. Mass Effect is also just an “off-brand” of the KOTOR games, Dark Souls of the King’s Field games, and so on and so on.

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        Very true, although Dark Souls has always been there and will always be there, appeared to us like a 2001 obelisk and we shall never be the same again, ever. Amen.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Sure, but the corrupting female computer voice is more than just a bit of a subtle nod.

  2. Spacewalk says:

    The other one is the one I wanted. I am counting the minutes until the next disappointment the industry has in store for me.

  3. HeruFeanor says:

    Am I the only one disappointed to see them drop the Native American angle? The first Prey was one of the very few games I’ve seen that seemed to have a good, solid, respectful depiction of modern Native Americans and their traditions and mythology, which turned what would otherwise have been a completely bland and cliche alien invasion story into something actually unique and interesting.

    • Anguy says:

      Yes that was the first thing I noticed. I’m not sure how respectful the game must feel for an actual native american but it at least tried.
      It’s also rather disappointing to see this turned away from the amazing premise of a bounty hunter detective game into a (at least in my opinion) bland horror shooter with some creatures running wild in a facility.
      A real shame

      • HeruFeanor says:

        The Wikipedia article contains a section on it’s depiction of Cherokee culture, which indicates that it was pretty solid:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        It’s not perfect, still falling into some “Indian mysticism” stereotypes, but it does so as a way of exploring the protagonist’s relationship with his culture, and introducing a number of interesting game mechanics. So I think that’s pretty acceptable.

        And to be fair, this new Prey does look like a pretty interesting game. My disappointment only comes from comparisons to the previous one.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I really don’t understand what’s going on with the Prey name. Who believes it has any value to attach to things and draw an existing fanbase when every game that’s had it has been different?

        1. Fairly obscure cancelled ’90s shooter with a crazy fully-portal-based engine.
        2. Different lacklustre shooter with some portal bits, which is about as close as two iterations of the name have been.
        3. Cancelled Space Precinct-y bounty hunter shooter with no portals in sight.
        4. System Shock with the serial numbers filed off.

        • Alien426 says:

          Exactly.
          Who (apart from people who read RPS) even remembers Prey? Those who do probably expect a similar game.
          Is the name by itself descriptive of System Shock gameplay? I’d image people might expect a game like Shelter. Or a horror game.
          You can’t even get the game on digital distribution.
          I’m perplexed.

        • Turkey says:

          What if the hype of the cancelled Prey 2 game is the thing that makes the name more valuable than any other generic title? That would be weird.

  4. Alien426 says:

    They should rename it to DOOM!!

  5. Shazbut says:

    Things that jump at your face, noooooooooooooooo

    • Raoul Duke says:

      And are a blackish smoke-ish blob that teleports around. It’s like we as a society have learnt nothing from X-COM: The Bureau Declassified (or whatever it was called).

      • LexW1 says:

        Seriously, that is not a game you want to put people in mind of. That said, this is Arkane, so I could see them getting this right where that went so horribly wrong.

      • mugsgame says:

        I’m with you Raoul, I don’t at all see the interest in shapeshifting goo enemies.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        You make it sound like Dishonored: Opposing Force or something…

  6. Williz says:

    I want my space bounty hunter game back, that looked amazing.

  7. Matt_Ceb says:

    Quote from the article: “A game in the same tradition as Dishonored – an immersive sim – […]”

    … What?

    In what way has Dishonored ever even come close to be anything like an immersive sim? It’s a well crafted FPS with a richly detailed world, but in not one single way like a “simulation” of /anything/.

    • Unsheep says:

      Yes, that is quite an exaggeration, or perhaps even a misuse of the word ‘sim’.

      To me, games that deserve to be called “sim stealth” are games like Operation Flashpoint, the original Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, Sniper Elite, SWAT 3 and so on.

      • KenTWOu says:

        You can’t call the original Splinter Cell a “sim stealth” game. Only Chaos Theory really deserves to be named like this.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      It’s an “immersive sim” on the same continuum as your original Thiefs and Deuses Ex – and it’s not much less a simulation, I’d contend, than those games were. (which may be “not especially” depending on how tightly you’re using the term)

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Yeah, I think you’re breaking down the term a bit too much. The RPG tag is applied to loads of games that don’t really involve playing a role (or perhaps more accurately, all games involve playing a role, so why do RPGs have to be stat based?).

      Anyway, Dishonored plays very much like every other game in the “immersive sim” genre. I.e. relatively open level design, A.I. led systems, and the player is given an array of tools with which to mess with said systems. Dishonoured is more immersive sim than the Deus Ex reboots imo.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Immersive sim =/= hardcore simulation. It’s a design philosophy that’s been around for 25 years.

  8. Unsheep says:

    Going for slow-paced and stealthy gameplay is very disappointing, the first Prey game was a fine example of awesome level design, cool combat and neat ideas.

  9. Seboss says:

    System Shock 3 and now this. Well, I guess two games are better than one.

  10. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Ah, shame, that revamped Prey 2 looked amazing. Was hoping they’d managed to resurrect it. Still, an Arkane led immersive sim is still a very exciting prospect.

  11. Premium User Badge

    yhancik says:

    And of course it has the exact same name as its predecessor, and bwoaaap in the trailer, as well as obligatory gratuitous glitch effects.

  12. int says:

    Groundhog Day but in space!

  13. Xiyng says:

    So after this the Prey series will have two games: Prey, and Prey. I’m glad we managed to clear that up!

  14. Tempus Fugit says:

    I know it’s too early to tell, but the mood of the whole game is making me skeptical. The original Prey had a “kitchen sink” thing going on and tied with it a weird sense of humor. This new one looks so deathly serious. Jeez.

  15. mercyRPG says:

    The engine looks super strong, but the orig. Prey 2 trailer had waay more fun than this skinshader and fluids tech-demo.