ByFrank Fields, writer at Creators.co
Storyteller. World builder. Bant loyalist. My life for Aiur, Magic, and esports.

Prey is Arkane Studios' upcoming first-person-shooter. Arkane Studios is the developer behind the games Dishonored and Dishonored 2. Prey is a different kind of FPS game that involves powers and a lot of puzzle solving in the same vein of System Shock 2 or Bioshock, but adds Arkane's flavor that we saw in the Dishonored games.

'Prey' Release Date

Prey is being released May 5, 2017 on PC, PS4, and XBox One.

They officially announced the release date with their trailer in January.

'Prey' News, Leaks, And Rumors

Arkane and Bethesda have been pretty forthcoming about some of the foundational elements of the game, and there haven't been a whole lot of leaks to supplement the steady stream of information.

However along with all the public information, Now Loading was invited to a hands on every where we got to play the game for an hour and then participate in a Q&A with lead designer Ricardo Bare.

Is This A Remake Or Sequel To The Previous 'Prey'?

Nope. This game is completely stand alone. In the words of creative director Raphael Colantonio, it is more of a re-imagining of 'Prey,' set in its own universe, with new characters and a new setting.

The original Prey wasn't even developed by Arkane Studios, and the games have very few similarities apart from some overarching themes. To quote lead designer Ricardo Bare, "'Prey' is just a really cool name for a shooter."

The Story Of 'Prey'

At the beginning of Prey you take control of the protagonist Morgan Yu as you get ready to work in your first day as part of TranStar in preparation for space exploration. You have a meeting with your brother Alex Yu before participating in some pretty benign tests.

Then everything goes wrong. Aliens called Typhon, have broken out of containment and overrun Talos I; the space station that you are on. How you got here or how long you have been here are completely unknown as its clear that you don't know the truth about who you are, or what's going on. Your main goal is to survive, but you also have to discover the truth of your past, and the secrets of Talos I.

'Prey' Gameplay, Powers, Chaos System, Moral Choices

Prey is similar to previous Arkane games Dishonored and Dishonored 2. It's a first-person narrative driven shooter this time around instead of simply an action / stealth game.

  • Available / Known of Weapons

There are a myriad of weapons available to you, including:

  • Pistol
  • Shotgun
  • GLOO Cannon
  • Crossbow
  • Disrupter (Stun Gun)

Most of these weapons are pretty standard to FPS games, but the GLOO Cannon is one of the more unique features of Prey that we know of so far.

The GLOO Cannon fires out a projectile that freezes whatever it comes into contact with in a huge sheet of glue like material. It can be used to immobilize Typhon before eliminating them later (or fleeing) first-and-foremost, but it can also be used for a variety of utility purposes. For example, it can be used to extinguish flames or plug holes in burst pipes. It can also be used to navigate terrain by using it to climb vertically.

From gameplay demos we also know about the Recycler. Even though the Recycler is used for creating materials for Fabricators, it can also be used as a weapon, since it essentially creates a black hole and turns all objects caught in the radius to be compacted to a minuscule size.

  • Available / Known Powers

In our one hour long demo, only human powers were made available to use, but we got a glimpse of the tech tree.

There are three tech trees: Scientist, Engineer, and Security.

Among the human powers are:

Scientist

  • Hacking - Bypass computer systems
  • Metabolic Boost - Doubles well fed bonus and health gained by eating
  • Physician - Increases effectiveness of Medkits

Engineer

  • Leverage - Pick up and throw heavier objects
  • Repair - Fix certain objects or items

Security

  • Conditioning - Increase Health and other attributes like run speed
  • Combat Focus - Time slows for you

There are additional skills in each tech tree, but we were unable to see them in this demo. It's also worth pointing out that these trees are very much a work-in-progress since the game is not finished entirely.

In addition to human powers you will get alien powers, but we don't know much about those yet. In a gameplay demo we get a glimpse into three alien powers: Mimic, Superthermal, and Psyonic Blast.

Mimic is used to squeeze into a small space to get into an otherwise inaccessible area, Superthermal is used to destroy a group of Typhon who are frozen by the GLOO Cannon, and Psyonic Blast is a burst of energy used against a Phantom who attacks Morgan Yu.

While we don't know the other alien powers, we do know the the tech trees:

  • Energy
  • Morph
  • Telepathy

Again, this could change as the game is still in development and Arkane has showed off a product that is still subject to change.

  • Chaos System

Arkane has done away with the Chaos system for this game. If you recall from the first two Dishonored games, the Chaos system was based around your decision to kill or not kill, and who you chose to spare on your quest for vengeance / justice.

But this doesn't mean that Arkane feels choices shouldn't matter. Lead Designer Ricardo Bare stated in our Q&A that choices will matter in the short and long term. Whether other humans you encounter live or die will have dramatic short term or long term consequences.

There are also slight differences in the story based around other choices you make, such as the tests in the opening part of the game, or what gender you choose—that doesn't mean that content is gated from you based on these choices, but that your experience is slightly different.

How Does the 'Prey' Crafting System Work?

Similar to the Bonecharm crafting system in Dishonored, there is a system for creating equipment and parts in Prey based on Recyclers and Fabricators.

  • Recyclers: Essentially miniature black holes that suck up everything around them and output materials to be used in Fabricators.
  • Fabricators: Basically 3D printers of the future; can be used to make any number of an item, provided you have the requisite parts.

Resources are extremely limited in Prey, similar to a survival horror game, so in order to make the most use of the crafting system, you'll want to figure out your playstyle and create items that will help you most in playing that way.

"Play Your Way"

Like both Dishonored games, Prey is designed with Arkane's "Play Your Way" philosophy. There are many solutions to each problem you encounter, whether through stealth and subtly, brute force, or calculated problem solving. The tech trees in the game embrace this, and allow customization for your character to play in the ways you most want to.

This is very similar to Dishonored where the game allowed you to go through with all sorts of stealth, but also had a very robust combat system, and incredibly creative ways to use powers together.

In our playthrough of the demo there were several points where we had to make choices about how to proceed through different puzzles or problems, this changes based on how you skill up your character.

For example:

When faced with a door you don't have a keycard or code for you can:

  • Find the keycard
  • Attempt to find another route
  • Hack the door (if you have the hacking skill)

As you can see, even for something this simple, there are multiple ways to solve problems.

About 'Prey's Open World

Unlike Dishonored or Dishonored 2, Prey is actually an open world game—there are no levels or stages. The space station is just one big level that you will be spending a lot of time in exploring, backtracking and learning more and more about as the game progresses.

The world is divided into sections that you have to go through a loading screen for, but you can pass through these at any point, and they aren't gated by anything arbitrary other than your ability to figure out how to traverse them.

The station is also fairly massive. When asked about the sheer size, lead designer Ricardo Bare actually couldn't say precisely how it compares to Dishonored 2, but he was confident it was much larger than Dishonored, and possibly close to Dishonored 2 in scope.

Pretty impressive either way.

Types Of Aliens And Enemies in 'Prey'

Initially we didn't know much about the Typhon, but we are learning more as we get close to release. We do know that there are many different types (at least):

  • Mimics: Small Typhon that can morph into objects
  • Weaver: Small Typhon that creates 'coral' to reproduce
  • Phantoms: Larger Typhon that can teleport instantly
  • Telepath: Larger Typhon that has insane psychic abilities
  • Nightmares: Massive Typhons with incredible strength

The rarity of each tends to flow from smallest to largest, with Nightmares appearing very rarely so far. Creative Director Raphael Colantonio has said that there is an ecosystem and some kind of order to the Typhon, but he did not want to reveal what that meant since it would involve spoiling some of the mysteries of the game.

Later at PAX East, Lead System Designer Seth Shain said:

"So in the case of the Typhon ecology, what we wanted to make sure of was that there was a logical purpose for every sub-species of Typhon. They all have a role. They're not just there because gameplay. That's also true, but we construct it in a way that advances the narrative of the world, that fills out the details of the world, and is internally consistent."

So the Typhon seem to evolve over time as they become more dominant in a particular habitat. But it's safe to assume there is still much about the Typhon we don't know.

From what we've seen, there are also robots on Talos I that regard you as hostile, but there is also machinery that has come to your aid. In the hands on we played, once you get to your office, there is a mobile turret that attacks and takes down any Typhon who come your way, making it a (relatively) safe haven.

Travel, Vehicles, & Navigation

It's not certain whether there are any ways to quickly or instantly traverse the station, but one thing we have seen plenty of is exploration in the black of space.

Once you have the required parts and items, you can actually make an EVA (or space walk) and use that to go from air lock to air lock to travel around Talos I faster.

'Prey's New Game+

This feature didn't ship with Dishonored 2, but it was so highly demanded by fans of the game that it was eventually implemented post release. Ricardo Bare stated that he knows its an ask from the community, but he couldn't comment on whether it would be in the game at launch. He did however say he knows it's important to fans, and it's on his radar.

Judging from Arkane Studios's track record, we think they'll add it at some point, even if it isn't included at launch—but only time will tell.

'Prey' Trailers

E3 Reveal Trailer

Gameplay Teaser Trailer

Gameplay Teaser Another Yu

Gameplay Trailer 2 & Release Date

History of TranStar

8 Minutes Of GamePlay

Typhon Research Team

First 35 Minutes Of The Game


Did you like Dishonored 2? Are you excited for Prey?

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