The Aliens Are Already Here: Prey’s Alternate History

We don’t know a great deal about Prey [official site], severed as it seems to be from the previous game called Prey and the half-formed sequel that died on the vine. The player character can be a man or a woman, there are shadowy, goopy aliens, you can turn into a mug, and it’s being made by Arkane, the studio behind Dishonored. Prepare to learn a whole lot more.

A new video, using rather fetching animation, tells us the backstory of the space station Talos I (the game’s setting), the corporation that owns it, and the creatures that live there. To get to the future though, we need to go back to the mid-twentieth century and an alternative cold war.

Government-owned extra-terrestrial quarantine facilities are problematic, sure, but I’m betting privatisation is going to be The Bad Guy in Prey. Never trust a space corporation that brags that it can exploit horrors in a more timely fashion than in its competitors.

I suspect we’ll see more of these, since marketing campaigns rarely fire a single shot and the whole framing device that sells the video has a leaked file seems like it has legs. Since this is supposed to be a leaked file, I assume the majority of people in Prey’s world don’t know about the aliens at all? Or perhaps they just don’t know about government tampering with the aliens? Whatever the case, TranStar are definitely bastards, I’d bet my life on it.

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  1. A Wanderer says:

    Because Big Evil Corporation in Space is an incredibly original concept.

  2. Vivian says:

    A) prey in general looks nice, but B) Arkane really really need to get better writers.

    • RedViv says:

      Hey now I will hear no bad words about Cara.

    • TaylanK says:

      I don’t think the writing is bad, especially considering how little we’ve seen of it. Not terribly original, yeah, but then again almost nothing is. Some of the greatest examples of sci-fi shine not through original writing but brilliant execution of old ideas. Alien is a great example of that.

      • Vivian says:

        Alien had pretty great writing though. Sparse, but good, and with incredibly solid characterization. I guess I’m going to base this on the two arkane games I’ve ever played (Arx and Dishonored), but whoever is doing their dialogue has a tin ear. There’s no life to it, it’s just barely-elevated exposition.

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          FhnuZoag says:

          I don’t think the two are that comparable. I mean Alien is a character piece, that’s a different sort of story than you can deliver through little vignettes. I did like a lot of the lore in Dishonored – it felt unsettling in a way a lot of games don’t. And much of the Heart stuff was very good. For example, that prostitute at the brothel…

    • HeavyStorm says:

      Jumping in on the thread: the plot may be weak, but what is mostly strange here isn’t that the “leaked video, will prosecute, etc” only contains what it seems to be public information?

      Or rather, if not, the tone of the voice over make it looks like an ad for the e Corp there.

      • Zekiel says:

        Agree about is sounding like an advert.
        Disagee about it seeming to only contain public info – I thought the idea was that the general public *didn’t* know the space station contained aliens. They presumably did know it existed, but not what was inside it, or why it was abandoned.

        I like it. I’m a sucker for alternate-reality history.

  3. GernauMorat says:

    That was aggressively dumb

  4. kikito says:

    I really want to like this. I have no problem with the story and the alternative reality.

    The enemy design is what itches me. It looks so lazy. Shadow spiders. Uuuh. What is the main character doing, pest control?

    Give me an opponent who looks more intelligent than a rat.

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    FhnuZoag says:

    I can sorta see what this basically implies – layered level settings. On the exterior you have the TranStar part of the station, for the 2030s. Then as you go deeper into the interior of the station you effectively travel back in time, to the US era, then to the joint Russia-US era, and finally back to the original Russian 1950s stuff. Sounds interesting!

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      particlese says:

      Ooo, I like the sound of that! Barring a kamikaze/”join us in founding the Prey ship” conclusion at the center, an escape back through the layers could be neat, too. Maybe with new areas opened up Metroid-style and revealing Things about the various levels’ stories you didn’t necessarily know before…

      And a Prey-themed Devil Daggers arcade cabinet minigame for good measure. Which you can turn into. Become the Devil Daggers. @_@

  6. kud13 says:

    I’m getting a strong TriOptium vibe from this TranStar…

    Also, why name a satellite “Vorona” (“Crow”)? Russians think crows and ravens are bad luck.

    • Faults says:

      “Also, why name a satellite “Vorona” (“Crow”)? Russians think crows and ravens are bad luck”

      Hey, it’s still a step up from us English-speaking countries continually naming our spacefaring vehicles Icarus! I mean sure, crows are unlucky and all, but at least such naming portent doesn’t immediately imply A FIERY DEATH HURTLING TOWARDS THE SUN.

      Oh, science fiction naming conventions, when will you ever learn?

      • tnankie says:

        Pedantic mode on
        Icarus fell away from the sun. That and the name is an implicit warning against hubris and complacency. Seems fairly reasonable really.

        • klops says:

          Icarus crashed in the sea. Naming a spacecraft after him is far from reasonable in my mind. Also naming a spacecraft to remind of shame and negative emotions is also something I don’t see reasonable.

          But we all have our own spaceship naming tastes. I’d prefer something like The Fire Cock.

          • thelastpointer says:

            The Neon Dick

          • A Wanderer says:

            Mistake Not My Current State Of Joshing Gentle Peevishness For The Awesome And Terrible Majesty Of The Towering Seas Of Ire That Are Themselves The Mere Milquetoast Shallows Fringing My Vast Oceans Of Wrath.

  7. JFS says:

    Well, well, well. What could possibly go wrong with reviving a multi-failure space research station. Let’s hope the game itself is actually good.

  8. Faults says:

    I must say, absolutely nothing about the marketing or press so far is instilling any confidence that this game is going to turn out well.

    Multiplatform Cryengine release, hackneyed spooky space station location, almost no actual gameplay footage, ‘spiritual successor to System Shock’ despite almost no evidence of any immersive-sim elements, dull visual design, incredibly boring looking enemies, and now a story trailer that at best could be described as rote.

    The only distinguishing thing shown thus far is the lead character’s ability to turn into household objects. I’m still maintaining my stance that this is just being used as a dumping ground for all of Arkane’s ideas that didn’t work for Dishonored, and Bethesda have attached the Prey IP to hope it shifts a few hundred thousand copies. I hope I’m proven wrong.

  9. faircall says:

    Who are the press sneak fucks who leaked this?

  10. theblazeuk says:

    To counter the negativity: I am enjoying what this looks like so far.

    IDK what world people are saturated with creepy sci-fi horror on a spacestation but it’s not the one I live in. There’s System Shock and then there’s Alien Isolation.

  11. Otterley says:

    Will we be seeing British politicians trying to reverse the privatisation? Will they be slumming it with the victims to show us how badly TrainStar is coping?

  12. immaletufinishbut says:

    Holy shit, do you people actually react positively to anything?

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