What promises to be one of the biggest games of the year so far launches this Friday as Prey hits the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
The first-person action-adventure game has been developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda - the firm behind giants such as Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Doom.
With that pedigree expectations are understandably high and early gameplay videos and beta access to Prey has only served to ramp up the anticipation.
The player controls Morgan Yu while exploring the moon-orbiting space station Talos I, where research into a hostile alien collective called the Typhon is performed - yes I know sounds like a familiar storyline doesn’t it?
As the Typhon escape confinement, the player uses a variety of weapons and abilities derived from the Typhon to avoid being killed by the aliens while looking to escape the station. The station is presented as an open world to the player, with progression through the world after obtaining key items or abilities - the foremost turning into objects to access areas of the game that would otherwise be impossible.
This adds a massive layer of intrigue to Prey, in the gameplay walkthrough I have seen, the player takes on the form of a coffee cup to roll under a gap into a locked room - how cool is that?
Rather than a sequel/prequel this is more a re-imagining of the original 2006 Prey developed by Human Head Studios after Prey 2, a sequel to the 2006 game, fell into development hell following transfer of the intellectual property from 3D Realms to Bethesda Softworks, and was eventually scrapped in 2014.
According to reports Arkane’s version does not use any of the planned sequel assets, and only incorporates the name and the broad theme of the protagonist being hunted by aliens from the previous games.
Another interesting thing to note is that Prey takes place in an alternate timeline where United States President John F. Kennedy survives the assassination attempt in 1963 and directs more funding into the space program, allowing it to flourish. This is not without consequences, though, as the human activity in space attracts other lifeforms and provokes attacks on Earth.
Prey can go one of two ways, flop after all the hype or live up to it and put itself in the frame for game of the year. With Bethesda’s pedigree I’m banking on the latter.