This Is How You Will Shoot The Bad Things In Prey

Bethesda are at Quake Con, showing off their new toys to people who love to shoot guns and bunny hop. One of their most intriguing toys is Prey [official site] (a re-imagining of the original) which is being made by Arkane Studios, the folks behind the Dishonored games. They announced it at E3 a couple of months ago but now they have finally given us a glimpse of what it would be like to shoot all the things. Come have a gander.

You play Morgan, a human replica of Graham who has been the subject of GHASTLY EXPERIMENTS on board the space station Talos I. The alien life form used to improve him has broken out and is causing major gripes. With your new-found powers, you need to find the aliens, who can masquerade as chairs and other inanimate objects, and murder them with guns.

Reporters at RPS fansite PC Gamer have also told tales of a demo at Quake Con which showed off some of Graham’s Morgan’s powers, including the ability to turn himself into a coffee mug and fling himself through small holes. Yes. Good stuff. There are also weird weapons, like a gun that covers enemies in quickly-hardening glue, freezing them in place, and a grenade that sucks everything towards it – enemies and collectible materials.

Meanwhile, another video hints about the space station, with Raphael Colantonio, Creative Director at Arkane Studios, suggesting that Talos I was a place the player would get to explore in an open fashion.

“The station can be explored in a contiguous way,” he said. “This is not… mission after mission after mission. Everything is contiguous, you can always come back to where you were before [but] the context might have changed.

“You can also visit it outside, in zero-g, and go from different airlocks to different airlocks to find shortcuts.”

Don’t worry, we’ll likely be hearing a lot more about Prey and its, er, unique powers by the time it comes out next year. But what’s increasingly clear is that you won’t be doing any bounty hunting. Sad times.

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  1. laiwm says:

    Is Prey set in an alternate history? 2034 seems like an optimistic deadline for building all the things we see in the trailer. We’ll be lucky if we’ve landed people on Mars by then.

  2. Catweasel says:

    Gameplay trailer, featuring no gameplay.

    • Sarfrin says:

      Nonsense. It’s clearly a game where you watch cutscenes and occasionally shoot… things to a constant narration by your own character.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        Just like life.

        • Sarfrin says:

          Or a Telltale game with shooting instead of dialogue choices. Just like life, if you’re an American.

          • Somerled says:

            But I’m American and I don’t own a g- OH MY GOD I’M AN NPC!!

          • Kelvin says:

            Get a gun, you might get to become an enemy before the game goes full release. I hear they’re really pushing for non-violent stealth gameplay so this is really the safest time to be a mook.

  3. Rich says:

    So they bought the IP to Prey and the only thing they liked was the name. It’s probably going to be an interesting game anyway, but it irks me a bit that they’ve trashed everything from the original.

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      hemmer says:

      Exactly this. It’s probably gonna be a good game, they’re a competent bunch. But so far we’ve seen no indication that it’s even remotely tied to the previous Prey game. It’s certainly not a reimagining by any stretch.
      At most there’s going to be some nods to acknowledge it’s set in the same universe maybe?

      It’s just so unnecessary because the game could’ve been sold on the premise, trailers and Arkane’s name alone no problem.

    • Czrly says:

      My best memories of Prey (the original) involve the awesome way it messed with space and gravity – fixed portals into spaces within spaces, or spaces with reversed gravity or whatever. It was gamey and it was imaginative and it was fun because it made the game feel less like a mob-maze.

      This looks positively mediocre. Copy-paste content. Nice effects on the monsters but, essentially, still copy-paste.

      Also, just about the only “gameplay” in that whole gameplay video is an overly long reload animation – doesn’t exactly inspire me.

    • skorpeyon says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who was frustrated and/or annoyed with this. My favorite thing about the original game was actually the copious amounts of swearing and violence, the portal/gravity screwiness, and the fact that you eventually discovered you were basically taking down a wholly organic version of Unicron from the inside. So yeah, let’s ditch all that and have enemies that are shadowy things that turn into chairs. Cool. I guess.

    • TheSplund says:


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    Lars Westergren says:

    Sure, the bounty hunter trailer stuff looked cool, but it was probably all just pre-rendered stuff. Building something that would have fulfilled everyone’s fantasies about rich Blade Runner like world, with the movement of Mirror’s Edge, a universe the size of Mass Effect, and the interactivity of Deus Ex, would have been prohibitively expensive.

    I’m really anticipating this though, Arcane is such a good studio. I hope plays less like less Doom or Prey, and more like their interpretation of System Shock or Half-Life. Because their interpretation of Thief was fantastic.

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      Jekadu says:

      With Chris Avellone involved I am super hyped for this game.

    • Faults says:

      Nope, not quite. What Human Head had going was a vertical slice that was running in-engine and playable. This was confirmed by multiple sources. Now while you don’t have to look far to demonstrate that vertical slices are generally a pretty poor representation of what the finished product will be (Hey there Ghost Recon Future Soldier!), there are a lot of screenshots of Prey 2 out in the wild that are definitely running in-engine, and demonstrate, at the very least that Human Head were making decent progress on the game.

      I love Arkane, but it’s definitely worth paying attention to Human Head’s pedigree as well. A lot of the founders of the studio worked on Hexen, as well as Rune and the original Prey, all of which were pretty ambitious projects for their day and made good on said ambitions.

      • gabrielonuris says:

        I’ve just googled those screenshots, and you’re right. Actually they were accomplishing a cyberpunk world that we’ll never see again (maybe with Cyberpunk 2077, I don’t know). Said that, I must say that now I hate this new Prey. It’s like being promissed to be taken to the park, but instead you’re taken to the dentist.

  5. KeeperKrux says:

    While it’s in no way Arkane’s fault (despite lying directly to RPS back in 2013), what Bethesda did to Human Head Studios was unforgivable. Attempting to bankrupt them while misleading the public about the quality of their work. They’re letting Arkane carry that burden because they’re too cowardly to address their past actions. Sad to see histories treated this way.

    Human Head’s Prey ended with a touching tribute to a developer who passed away during development. Now, nothing in the past, not even a decade of commitment to the licence, will be honored in any way.

    I’m not surprised to see that Donald Trump’s brother is on the advisory board at Zenimax!

  6. Kefren says:

    The atmosphere at the beginning was impressive (perhaps because it reminded me of Soma’s opening). Then the ink blobs appeared. Oh my, flashbacks to the Xcom Bureau rebooty thing which originally had ink blobs as opponents and just looked silly. The _idea_ of enemies that can disguise themselves sounds good and conjures tense ideas; then you see it happened and it just looks like a random texture swap mid-battle. You realise that it will probably be a gimick during battle, and part of one or two heavily-scripted and forced “tense” scenes.

    By the time the character took a camcorder with needles that punctured skin next to the eyes it just seemed puerile. I’ll never forgive Bioshock for the part near the start where you find some massive needle of nasty chemicals that resembles Top Secret’s “Anal Intruder” more than a medical implement, and just jam it in your arm, immediately shattering the illusion that you are trapped in this situation, and instead revealing itself as a scripted game that it took a long time to redeem itself from.

  7. DarkFenix says:

    Looks interesting, clearly some inspiration from the likes of Dead Space and System Shock in there. The devs have proven themselves at least capable of making a good first person game in terms of both gameplay and narrative. One to keep an eye on I think.

    • Turkey says:

      Yeah. The level structure he described reminded me a lot of System Shock. Which shouldn’t be much of surprise seeing as Arkane is pretty much just the modern equivalent of Looking Glass at this point.

  8. TechnicalBen says:

    There is a way to make this suspenseful and a real “jump scare” way. Similar to how Xcom 2 does it.

    I wonder if they will do it well, or miss the opportunity entirely.

    In fact, any indie devs out there have a real chance to beat them to the punch with the “enemy hides in plain sight” mechanic. Plus one special way to make you jump out of your skin, but I’ll leave figuring that out to the developer, I’ll not give them the idea for free! ;)

  9. Turkey says:

    “I keep staring into the black between the stars. There’s something there.”


    • shrieki says:

      yup the narrative of the “black between the stars” and the smoky monsters seems to be really groundbreaking science fiction horror material. dark matter comes to life yay – since dark slime was already covered by SOMA now we have dark smoke. hallelujah.

      • Pelaf says:

        But dark smoke was already covered by The Solus Project. I personally believe it’s a dark vape cloud.

  10. shrieki says:

    prey had such a cool 80´s vibe to it… they could at least have tried to preserve that.

    what Prey also had was very fun game-play and outrageous exaggerated environments. they could have tried to preserve that too …
    why the hell not ?

    oh they have a fancy logo extracted from the game. wow
    really ?
    shakes head.

    • skorpeyon says:

      This is very true, I had kind of forgotten the bit of 80’s-ness that existed in that game. Honestly, this video preview just makes me appreciate the original more, and makes me long for a more appropriate sequel/re-imagining/remake.

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    UncleBAZINGA says:

    Looks really interesting and sounds just like we may get some kind of a 3D Metroidvania/Metroid Prime from the beautiful people which brought us Dishonored? WANT!

  12. Tempus Fugit says:

    Prey: the SERIOUS BUSINESS remake.

  13. crazyd says:

    The thing that turns me off is lame, indistinct shadow monsters. They don’t look particularly visually interesting or fun to fight.

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    Qazinsky says:

    I see that hands still of the trailer and now I want to play a Venom game.

  15. Faults says:

    Either somebody in Bethesda’s marketing team needs fired, or Arkane are just phoning this one in. My suspicions lie with the latter since they know fine well they’re inheriting a poisoned chalice here.

    What a waste.

  16. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Man, all kinds of snark going on in the comments section. I’m 100% on board for Arkane’s version of System Shock.

    • Distec says:

      I agree. As somebody who is sympathetic to the anguish of losing the original Prey universe (and what was promised with Prey 2), I share in some of the disappointment. But if you strip the “Prey” name away, consider that this is likely attempting to be the kind of System Shock game we haven’t even seen attempted by AAA studios, and acknowledge that Arkane has clearly demonstrated some chops, then this looks potentially promising.

      So it’s kinda disheartening to see some people outright dismissing this as “eww smoke monsters” and “Arkane is being lazy”. I know Dishonored wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but you’d have to be really digging your heels in if you wanted to consider it a failure of any kind IMO.

      Audiences can be mighty fickle, I guess.

  17. Jakkar says:

    Well. This all looks and sounds remarkably boring.

    Strange to think back what.. twenty years? To when Prey, the original, was going to be the first 3d game with destructable terrain. Or ten years ago when it actually came out, and at least provided a wonderfully entertaining monster-romp, taking Doom/Duke Nukem in new directions with its portals, scale shifts and walking on the ceiling.

    This just looks like someone has decided another gloomy ‘deserted space station/sub-marine city full of monsters and audio recordings’ is exactly what the world wants to throw money at right now.

    Or at least that it’s cost-effective to make such things.

    Big props, on that subject, to We Happy Few, for taking an interesting setting and chaining it to the same tired gameplay loop as the above just to make sure its players cannot possibly smile like its antagonists.

    • Distec says:

      Do we actually know anything about any gameplay loops at this point? This seems premature, unless I’m missing something.

      RPS’ WOT of We Happy Few seemed mostly critical of the survival busywork; namely stupid “Needs” meters requiring constant checking and worry. So far I haven’t seen anything indicating that Prey is including those kinds of features, which is for the best.

  18. TheSplund says:

    I’ve discovered that you can type your origonal Prey key into Steam and activate it there – saves the hassle of installing/patching/adding nocd crack, though I did have to find the disc in my crate of old agmes in the garage first