Prey 2 Looks Great, Almost Nothing Like Prey

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Posted by Brad (2849 posts) -
Some people around this office got downright dismissive not too long ago at the prospect of a second Prey game. I'm not one of them, but even if you're someone who thought you'd gone one-and-done with the first Prey, you should at least take the time to study up on this new one. That's because Prey 2 is almost a completely different game. It has so little to do with Prey--that space-bending, spiritually tinged corridor shooter Human Head Studios released in 2006--that you might as well put it out of your head in consideration of its sequel. Here's what I know the new game has in common with the old one: Tommy, the original Native American protagonist, will show up at some point, and they're both called Prey. Otherwise, this is pretty much a completely different sort of first-person shooter. Hell, there aren't even any portals. (Someone else came along and locked up that market anyway, I think.)




Prey 2 is set in the same universe as the first game, but even then, it's far removed from the weird organic alien spaceship where Prey took place. You're Killian Samuels, a US Marshall who's abducted by the same aliens during the same incident that started off Tommy's adventure the first time around. But where Tommy spent all his time orbiting the Earth, Samuels ends up on a faraway planet called Exodus, a sort of grungy alien melting pot that's populated by all the races from the first game and a bunch of new creatures you've never seen before. Prey 2 starts out with a short, linear shooting sequence that depicts Samuels' initial abduction, but then quickly jumps forward a number of years, after our hero has integrated himself as a bounty hunter into Exodus' strange urban society.

It's after that jump in time happens that you realize how different Prey 2 is from the original game. If the first Prey was comparable to a linear corridor-crawling shooter like Doom 3, Prey 2 is much more similar to free-form open-world games like Red Dead Redemption or Infamous (Human Head even cites Red Dead as a very direct influence here). The game is essentially a first-person shooter set in an open hub environment that's full of side missions, ambient character events, multiple pathways, and other stuff to occupy you when you don't feel like advancing the main storyline.

== TEASER ==



Exodus is tidally locked with its star, which means that one side of the planet always faces toward the star, and the other side always faces away. In practical terms, Human Head has used that premise to create three separate urban hub maps on different parts of the planet. Naturally, one is on the day side, the other is over on the night side, and the third is located in the in-between zone of perpetual dusk and potentially weird weather patterns. I only got to see one of those nighttime hubs, but it instantly evokes dingy future-city classics like Blade Runner, with a lot of neon signs and associated puddles to reflect them.

Plenty of various alien races milling about, too, which is where Samuels' new occupation as a bounty hunter comes in. Human Head is emphasizing "player choice" as a major component of Prey 2, and to that end you'll be able to roam around each hub city as you see fit, looking for things to do. If you see an alien getting beaten up or mugged, you can intervene and help him, and he might pay you off afterward. Or you can help out the aggressors and see what they do. Or you can murder everyone involved! You move around Prey 2's world with your weapon holstered by default, and simply drawing and pointing a gun at most NPCs will elicit some sort of reaction. They may feel threatened, they may run, they may attack you. The point is, Prey 2 aims to create the sort of living, dynamic world you see in games like Red Dead or one of publisher Bethesda's own shooters, just with more traditional first-person shooting action at its core.




Like those games, Prey 2 has one linear story thread that spans a sequence of missions from beginning to end, but there are other things to occupy your time too. In addition to the short, randomized world encounters you'll see here and there, you can pull up the "bounty wire," which is basically a virtual job board, to see what side missions are available. Once you take on a bounty, you'll have some choice in how you want to carry it out. In the demo I got to see, the player met up with an informant under the pretense of paying for the location of his target, but it was just as viable a strategy to kill the guy's bodyguard and then point your weapon at him to force him to cough up the info for free (though it was said that actions like this may come back to haunt you later in the game). Other than, say, a guy expecting reparations at some point after you screwed him over, the game won't specifically track your morality or anything, so you're pretty much free to be as good or bad as you want, as long as you can accept the consequences.

Samuels seems like an awfully capable guy. By the end of the game he'll be packing more than 20 upgradable utility gadgets, everything from shoulder-mounted rockets to hover boots to an assortment of grenades that do everything from popping enemies up in the air to imprisoning them in an electric cage. There are plenty of upgradable guns as well that fall into five basic categories, though again, you won't always have to use guns to solve specific missions. Lastly, Samuels will rely heavily on a multipurpose visor that lets you turn on different vision modes for specific situations. You could simply saunter into a bar and engage a mode that scans every character in the area, identify which ones are friendly, which are hostile--and which have an outstanding bounty on their head. Then it's a pretty simple matter of walking up and arresting the target to make a quick buck, unless they decide to fight you or run away. The visor has a neat-looking low-light mode as well, and one that lets you track a DNA trail when you need to figure out which way a target has escaped.





You can't talk about a demo of Prey 2 without mentioning its parkour, or urban traversal, or whatever you want to call it. Basically, Samuels is really good at climbing up and vaulting over ledges and obstacles, so you won't be too constrained by the cities' simple walls and barriers. On the ground you can slide into cover, pop up to shoot over it, and vault over it like in many other shooters. But you can also slide under low-hanging obstacles and keep running, or jump up and climb your way up a sheer wall if it has the right handholds. You can even use the top of a ledge as cover and fire over that if you want. It looks like much of Prey 2's urban environments are built with this kind of quick movement in mind, which ought to come in handy when you have to chase down some of your nimbler bounties. One of the targets in particular in the demo I saw was able to teleport short distances to escape, and it was all the player could do to keep up with him, even using all of his sliding and climbing abilities to their fullest. Open-world games are largely about giving the player mobility, and I'm glad to see Prey 2 retains that aspect, whether it's a first-person shooter or not.

In talking with some of the Human Head guys, I got the feeling that they're nearly as tired of linear corridor shooters as I am, so it's nice to see they decided to do something other than make yet another one. Granted, this sort of open-world action game is one of my most favorite types of games to play, but even given that fact, I think Prey 2 looks especially promising and I'll be really interested to see if it makes good on all those promises when it releases sometime in 2012.
Staff
#1 Posted by Brad (2849 posts) -
Some people around this office got downright dismissive not too long ago at the prospect of a second Prey game. I'm not one of them, but even if you're someone who thought you'd gone one-and-done with the first Prey, you should at least take the time to study up on this new one. That's because Prey 2 is almost a completely different game. It has so little to do with Prey--that space-bending, spiritually tinged corridor shooter Human Head Studios released in 2006--that you might as well put it out of your head in consideration of its sequel. Here's what I know the new game has in common with the old one: Tommy, the original Native American protagonist, will show up at some point, and they're both called Prey. Otherwise, this is pretty much a completely different sort of first-person shooter. Hell, there aren't even any portals. (Someone else came along and locked up that market anyway, I think.)




Prey 2 is set in the same universe as the first game, but even then, it's far removed from the weird organic alien spaceship where Prey took place. You're Killian Samuels, a US Marshall who's abducted by the same aliens during the same incident that started off Tommy's adventure the first time around. But where Tommy spent all his time orbiting the Earth, Samuels ends up on a faraway planet called Exodus, a sort of grungy alien melting pot that's populated by all the races from the first game and a bunch of new creatures you've never seen before. Prey 2 starts out with a short, linear shooting sequence that depicts Samuels' initial abduction, but then quickly jumps forward a number of years, after our hero has integrated himself as a bounty hunter into Exodus' strange urban society.

It's after that jump in time happens that you realize how different Prey 2 is from the original game. If the first Prey was comparable to a linear corridor-crawling shooter like Doom 3, Prey 2 is much more similar to free-form open-world games like Red Dead Redemption or Infamous (Human Head even cites Red Dead as a very direct influence here). The game is essentially a first-person shooter set in an open hub environment that's full of side missions, ambient character events, multiple pathways, and other stuff to occupy you when you don't feel like advancing the main storyline.

== TEASER ==



Exodus is tidally locked with its star, which means that one side of the planet always faces toward the star, and the other side always faces away. In practical terms, Human Head has used that premise to create three separate urban hub maps on different parts of the planet. Naturally, one is on the day side, the other is over on the night side, and the third is located in the in-between zone of perpetual dusk and potentially weird weather patterns. I only got to see one of those nighttime hubs, but it instantly evokes dingy future-city classics like Blade Runner, with a lot of neon signs and associated puddles to reflect them.

Plenty of various alien races milling about, too, which is where Samuels' new occupation as a bounty hunter comes in. Human Head is emphasizing "player choice" as a major component of Prey 2, and to that end you'll be able to roam around each hub city as you see fit, looking for things to do. If you see an alien getting beaten up or mugged, you can intervene and help him, and he might pay you off afterward. Or you can help out the aggressors and see what they do. Or you can murder everyone involved! You move around Prey 2's world with your weapon holstered by default, and simply drawing and pointing a gun at most NPCs will elicit some sort of reaction. They may feel threatened, they may run, they may attack you. The point is, Prey 2 aims to create the sort of living, dynamic world you see in games like Red Dead or one of publisher Bethesda's own shooters, just with more traditional first-person shooting action at its core.




Like those games, Prey 2 has one linear story thread that spans a sequence of missions from beginning to end, but there are other things to occupy your time too. In addition to the short, randomized world encounters you'll see here and there, you can pull up the "bounty wire," which is basically a virtual job board, to see what side missions are available. Once you take on a bounty, you'll have some choice in how you want to carry it out. In the demo I got to see, the player met up with an informant under the pretense of paying for the location of his target, but it was just as viable a strategy to kill the guy's bodyguard and then point your weapon at him to force him to cough up the info for free (though it was said that actions like this may come back to haunt you later in the game). Other than, say, a guy expecting reparations at some point after you screwed him over, the game won't specifically track your morality or anything, so you're pretty much free to be as good or bad as you want, as long as you can accept the consequences.

Samuels seems like an awfully capable guy. By the end of the game he'll be packing more than 20 upgradable utility gadgets, everything from shoulder-mounted rockets to hover boots to an assortment of grenades that do everything from popping enemies up in the air to imprisoning them in an electric cage. There are plenty of upgradable guns as well that fall into five basic categories, though again, you won't always have to use guns to solve specific missions. Lastly, Samuels will rely heavily on a multipurpose visor that lets you turn on different vision modes for specific situations. You could simply saunter into a bar and engage a mode that scans every character in the area, identify which ones are friendly, which are hostile--and which have an outstanding bounty on their head. Then it's a pretty simple matter of walking up and arresting the target to make a quick buck, unless they decide to fight you or run away. The visor has a neat-looking low-light mode as well, and one that lets you track a DNA trail when you need to figure out which way a target has escaped.





You can't talk about a demo of Prey 2 without mentioning its parkour, or urban traversal, or whatever you want to call it. Basically, Samuels is really good at climbing up and vaulting over ledges and obstacles, so you won't be too constrained by the cities' simple walls and barriers. On the ground you can slide into cover, pop up to shoot over it, and vault over it like in many other shooters. But you can also slide under low-hanging obstacles and keep running, or jump up and climb your way up a sheer wall if it has the right handholds. You can even use the top of a ledge as cover and fire over that if you want. It looks like much of Prey 2's urban environments are built with this kind of quick movement in mind, which ought to come in handy when you have to chase down some of your nimbler bounties. One of the targets in particular in the demo I saw was able to teleport short distances to escape, and it was all the player could do to keep up with him, even using all of his sliding and climbing abilities to their fullest. Open-world games are largely about giving the player mobility, and I'm glad to see Prey 2 retains that aspect, whether it's a first-person shooter or not.

In talking with some of the Human Head guys, I got the feeling that they're nearly as tired of linear corridor shooters as I am, so it's nice to see they decided to do something other than make yet another one. Granted, this sort of open-world action game is one of my most favorite types of games to play, but even given that fact, I think Prey 2 looks especially promising and I'll be really interested to see if it makes good on all those promises when it releases sometime in 2012.
Staff
#2 Edited by autobzooty (96 posts) -

Hmm


Only played a little of the first one. I remember its visuals blowing my mind at the time.
#3 Posted by ThePhantomnaut (6067 posts) -

High contrast...

#4 Posted by ShadowFire01 (47 posts) -

I wonder if this'll get my attention more than the first Prey

#5 Posted by MisterMouse (3531 posts) -

wow could be pretty cool.

#6 Posted by MooseyMcMan (9712 posts) -

This sounds sick! Though I am a little saddened by less Tommy though. 

#7 Posted by wrecks (2125 posts) -

So they're using the name for Marketing only. Sounds pretty cool, but have some balls and start a new IP.  

#8 Posted by Sin4profit (2867 posts) -

open world? blade runner? sounds good to me...little confusing as to why they'd use the Prey franchise name. Doesn't seem like it would help it any if it's changing this much. Unless there's a marketing secret where if you put a number on the back of the title it'll sell more copies.

#9 Posted by Sorasha (87 posts) -

Dem sexy-ass aliens.

#10 Posted by Poki3 (524 posts) -

Thanks to this article I'm now totally uninterested in Prey.
Well, here's hoping that Prey 3 actually continues Tommy's story.

#11 Edited by MeatSim (10588 posts) -

This game is now on my radar.

#12 Posted by DrMadHatten (118 posts) -

Dude

If this works

I will not leave my home

#13 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I... I don't even....

HOW CAN THIS SOUND SO AWESOME YET BE CALLED PREY 2??? Is it the same people making it?  Fallout meets Red Dead meets Brink meets Batman: AA, taking place in Coruscant sounds like one hell of a combination. This is now very high on my watch list.

#14 Posted by ThaMilkMan (339 posts) -

like red dead redemption you say...you had my attention at red.

#15 Posted by SpartanAmbrose (831 posts) -

I loved the first Prey, but the fact that the sequel barely resembles its predecessor initially had me worried for Prey 2. Thanks to this preview, however, I'm totally on board. Thanks, Brad!

#16 Posted by JohnPaulVann (209 posts) -
@MordeaniisChaos: Prey was a fucking awesome game. Don't slag it unless you've played it.
#17 Posted by Jeffk38uk (710 posts) -

I' actually genuinely interested in Prey 2 now because its not Prey, odd really as it seems to be for everyone.

#18 Posted by CitizenJP (983 posts) -

Waaah I can't believe it's real! I was one of the few (amongst my friends) who actually enjoyed the first one so I'm actually pretty surprised to see this came up! Definitely interested. ;o

#19 Posted by NickLott (790 posts) -

This is getting closer to my Blade Runner dreams.

#20 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2480 posts) -

I was a pretty big fan of the first Prey, and wouldn't mind at all if they continued that story.  Having said that, this still sounds pretty cool, looking forward to seeing more of it as time goes on.

#21 Posted by theodacourt (510 posts) -

I found the first prey super boring and this sounds really exciting, so this sounds like good news to me. I think with the success of Red Dead and Mass Effect, and games like this and Brink coming out, I think we'll see a move towards a new sort of shooter as being the most popular. I could see the new studio working on Call of Duty could be doing something in this vain too. It's even more likely with Gears looking finished after 3 and Halo is done. Not sure about Killzone. Maybe Battlefield 3 will be the last hurrah for that type of game.

#22 Posted by PixelGorilla (35 posts) -
@Sin4profit said:
" open world? blade runner? sounds good to me...little confusing as to why they'd use the Prey franchise name. Doesn't seem like it would help it any if it's changing this much. Unless there's a marketing secret where if you put a number on the back of the title it'll sell more copies. "
Because it takes place in the same universe. The beginning of the game is an actual event that happens in the first, just from the perspective of this new protagonist.

@MordeaniisChaos said:
" I... I don't even....HOW CAN THIS SOUND SO AWESOME YET BE CALLED PREY 2??? Is it the same people making it?  Fallout meets Red Dead meets Brink meets Batman: AA, taking place in Coruscant sounds like one hell of a combination. This is now very high on my watch list. "
It's the same team.@Poki3 said: 
" Thanks to this article I'm now totally uninterested in Prey.Well, here's hoping that Prey 3 actually continues Tommy's story. "

Tommy's story had a pretty great ending and there's no telling what kind of role he'll play in Prey 2. He could be some big hero in the Prey 2 storyline that you help out.

But really, don't you hate when games drag out the storyline over sequels or worse, be the same fucking game with a number at the end of the title? The direction Prey 2 is heading seems great. It takes elements fans would know from the first like the universe, aliens and presumably the weapons and acts as a starting over point for newcomers.

Sequels like this are awesome.

#23 Posted by Undeadpool (4865 posts) -

This sounds INCREDIBLE, but there's still one burning question: Do we still get the awesome Art Bell segments?

#24 Posted by Afroman269 (7388 posts) -

Sounds pretty awesome. I was going to dismiss this game before.

#25 Posted by Khann (2608 posts) -

This actually sounds.... good?

#26 Posted by JeanLuc (3518 posts) -

 Sounds like Far Cry 2 meets Mirror's Edge, expect a lot better then those games.

Call me excited.
#27 Edited by BraveFart (298 posts) -

getting a Bladerunner feel from this. And it really looks sick.

oh Brad already said it :P

#28 Posted by Abendlaender (2595 posts) -

Is that a Twi'lek?
Anyway looks really great, and the infos sound interesting too, but seriously whyis it called Prey 2?
Its not like Prey is such a well known and popular franchise, right?

#29 Posted by Claude (16251 posts) -

I liked the first Prey. Prey 2 sounds like fun.

#30 Posted by RazielCuts (2711 posts) -

Mass Effect?

#31 Posted by 1337W422102 (996 posts) -

I love the shit out of the first Prey and I was skeptical when I heard they were changing shit up for Prey 2.  I'm interested now, for sure, but I would have liked to find out more about Tommy's story.  Did he move the Roadhouse Bar to Exodus, or something?

#32 Posted by Sin4profit (2867 posts) -
@PixelGorilla: so it's justified because there was an alien abduction at some point? does that mean the movie Fire in the Sky is a prequel to Prey?

I haven't played Prey so i don't know what deep mythology that universe has but it came across as just an "alien abduction" to me.

anyway, no desire to play Prey (played the demo; done with it) but Prey 2 sounds like my kinda thing in a big way.
#33 Posted by SleepyDoughnut (1177 posts) -

So its like that GTA Blade Runner that Vinny was saying should be made? That sounds fine by me. I bet other people have said similar things, but they should totally rename this game then if its going to be really as original as Brad's saying it is.

#34 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6268 posts) -

The thing I most fondly remember Prey for was its excellent use of Don't Fear the Reaper at the beginning of the game. The rest is a hazy blur of shooting infinite blue arrows and butthole-corridors.

#35 Posted by SSully (4060 posts) -

Sounds very interesting. I never played the first prey, but they sure have my attention for this one. 

#36 Posted by Mordi (553 posts) -
@wasteguru said:
"  Sounds like Far Cry 2 meets Mirror's Edge, expect a lot better then those games.
Call me excited.
"
I shall call you expited.
#37 Posted by Koobz (364 posts) -

Mass Effect: Gaiden - Blade Runner's Reckoning is so interesting to me that I almost want to play the first Prey just to see how the two games fit together.  Spaceship anuses and portals existing in the same world as parkour jet-boot Boba Fett make the Preyaverse (oh yeah) a lot more intriguing.

#38 Posted by Jimbo (9708 posts) -

Weird, this actually sounds quite good.  Prey is one of the very few games I bought and never played. 

Wait, Prey has an 83 metacritic and Jeff scored it a 7.5 'Good'?  When did Prey become bad?  Maybe I should play it after all.  I'm so confused.

#39 Posted by NegativeCero (2924 posts) -

Okay, the parkour part was totally unexpected and could make this game for me if they do it well.

#40 Posted by Jackel2072 (2226 posts) -
@Jimbo said:
" Weird, this actually sounds quite good.  Prey is one of the very few games I bought and never played.  Wait, Prey has an 83 metacritic and Jeff scored it a 7.5 'Good'?  When did Prey become bad?  Maybe I should play it after all.  I'm so confused. "
its not that it was bad. it was just extremely standard. 
#41 Posted by Tebbit (4435 posts) -

They have done exactly the right things to make me really excited for this game. I hope it has a shorter development time than the original!

#42 Posted by Ramone (2931 posts) -

The naming thing reminds me of Far Cry 2. Anyone think it's worth playing the first Prey at all?

#43 Posted by SpicyRichter (496 posts) -

This reminds me a lot of that old Jedi Knight level where you're on Courisant - same kinda look

#44 Posted by selbie (1777 posts) -

Fuck yes. Sci-fi shooter with Assassins Creed / Mirrors Edge parkour and Red Dead open world.
Hopefully they make the story good as well.

#45 Posted by awesomeusername (4056 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan: @wrecks: @Sin4profit: @Poki3: I don't know if it said this in this article because I already read this earlier on GameInformer but HumanHead said that Tommy comes into the story eventually. You won't play as him but he has some sort of role in this game. And the guy you play as in this game was the pilot for the airplane you see in the first Prey, while going up an elevator if I'm not mistaken, that is about to crash. The game actually starts off when that plane crashes and he starts looking for survivors. That explains the live action trailer they showed awhile back.

I don't know which video is the one where you see the plane coming down so I'm not sure if it's this one but it shows a plane at 5:17, so maybe that's the plane.

  
  
#46 Posted by Nokterian (61 posts) -

I don't understand human head studios,they should not name this game Prey 2 it has nothing to do with the original one. And i am not exctited about it. Since all the influcens of other games does not excite me,be original but they are not,it's such a shame that they dont have creative input for them selfs. I am more excited about Battlefield 3 and even Brink that is new and innovative. 

#47 Posted by crusader8463 (14295 posts) -

Holy big articles Batman. Two in one day? What have you done with the Giant Bomb I know, and who is this monster?

#48 Posted by Soundwave123 (36 posts) -

I had a feeling they wouldn't bring back this decidedly average game unless it was gonna be a total deviation from the first. And if Rockstar ain't gonna do GTA in space then lets see if they can pull it off.

#49 Posted by Hexogen (766 posts) -

I saw Prey 2 in the title and was about to scroll past it, then I saw the almost nothing like Prey part and decided to read it. And this sounds kinda awesome. I do have a thing for open world games though (or, more accurately, games that create an immersive world, i.e. most open world games/Half-Life 2/BioShock series/etc.).

#50 Posted by HatKing (5553 posts) -

This sounds amazing.  I can't wait.

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