Since Deathloop was first announced, I haven't been able to stop thinking about Prey: Mooncrash, the exceptional expansion to Arkane's Prey. It follows a similar sort of formula to what the studio have told us about Deathloop, with roguelite elements and permadeath that essentially mean you'll need to start all over again after each run. And now Deathloop has been delayed again, I reckon this is the perfect time to get back into Mooncrash - or give it a try if you missed it.
The Mooncrash DLC is set in a simulation, and each time you go in you essentially take on the consciousness of one of five different characters (which you gradually unlock) who were all on an ill-fated moon base full of Prey's freaky aliens. Your goal is simple: get everyone the hell off of the Moon.
There are a few different ways you can escape, though to tell you what they are would spoil it. It's important to note that you won't escape every time: that's kind of the point. The end goal is to get all five characters off the Moon, but most runs will see you kill at least a couple of them, then it'll reset and you get to go in again. Importantly, you keep any level-up progress though, and some areas you've cleared of nasties will stay cleared. It's the good sort of roguelite formula where, even though you failed, you're still making progress.
Some early stages of the game involve sacrificing runs to make sure you find vital pieces of info, discover how to unlock a new character, or unlock a door that lets another character through. One of the best parts of this is that there's no save-scumming either. Admittedly, I'm an absolute fiend for making quicksaves in Dishonored so I can reload if I get myself in a muddle. Mess up in Mooncrash, however, and you're dead. It makes the stakes feel super high when you're sneaking (or sprinting) past aliens to get one final thing done before you cork it.
Nothing really touches the tension of emerging onto the surface of the Moon from an terror-filled building with just a slither of health left, only to be greeted by bigger, meaner terrors. Ones that are hovering right above the area you need to get to before you die that run. They killed me, of course. But the next go I was filled with steely determination to get back. They killed me a second time, unfortunately, before I found a sneakier route the third time. It's all a learning curve!
Mooncrash may not have a cool 60s spy-fi aesthetic, but I reckon the skills you'll gain from playing it are likely transferable to Deathloop. Remembering where all the important things are between runs? Check. Using weird and wonderful abilities to get around and kill what needs to be killed? Double check. Trying to avoid being murdered yourself? Now that's just good sense. You have until Deathloop's new release date of September 14th to run the simulations and learn the ropes.
Mooncrash truly is a brilliant expansion that builds on Prey's world and you should absolutely take some time to play it. And if you've already played it? Well, redownload that bad boy. You've got a moon to escape.