E3 2011: Prey 2
by Ozzie Mejia, shacknews.com, Jun 10, 2011 11:00AM PDT
QUICKTAKE: Human Head Studios tries to reinvent the Prey series with Prey 2. Now being published by Bethesda, Prey 2 shifts the focus towards bounty hunting and interacting with a world filled with shady and mostly-violent aliens. It may resemble Prey to some, but this upcoming shooter looks to be doing something fresh, placing players in the role of a new protagonist.
THE DEMO: U.S. Marshal Killian Samuels was on a passenger flight that has crash-landed onto the Sphere; the alien ship featured in the original Prey. After getting knocked out by some hostile aliens, Samuels wakes on the alien world of Exodus with with no memory of his abduction. The only thing he now knows for certain is that he is a bounty hunter. The demo sees Samuels hunt down several aliens and collect bounties, showing off different methods of capturing aliens-on-the-run. The demo ends with Samuels paying the price for collecting a certain bounty, as he is confronted by a giant alien boss.
DETAILS: Human Head has stated that their mission for Prey 2 is to convey a sense of one player versus the world. While Prey is the title of the series, the team's concept was to make Samuels into a great predator. To accomplish this, Samuels is equipped with several different weapons and a badass reputation. One of the most important items in Samuels’ inventory is the scanner, which highlights various points of interest. While none of Exodus’ aliens are innocent, hostile aliens will appear highlighted in red, while characters of interest will be highlighted yellow.
Prey 2 is an open-world adventure, in which the player can run through missions and side bounties in practically any order. Using the scanner, the player can identify any alien with a bounty on his head. Players can also find direction by using the Bounty Wire, a comprehensive menu filled with available story-based missions and side bounties.
AI reaction is a key element of Prey 2. Human Head addresses a curious convention of FPS titles: protagonists constantly keeping their weapon out of its holster. Samuels’ weapon must be taken out manually and NPC's will all react if Samuels takes out his weapon at any point. For example, an informant offered to sell an essential piece of information for $2000. Rather than bend to the terms, Samuels took out his weapon and shot the informant's friend, causing him to reconsider his asking price. Taking a hostage is also an option when going into a mission, but enemies will react differently to hostage situations. In one instance, Samuels took a lieutenant hostage in an effort to lure out a bounty. Enemies simply responded by casually blasting the lieutenant’s head off before taking aim at Samuels.
Players are presented several different methods of capturing bounties. Some bounties will come with "dead or alive" directives, but others will strictly order for one or the other. The bounties encountered during the demo all attempted to run, leading to several exciting chase sequences. Samuels has the ability to vault over objects, slide underneath tight spaces, and quickly jump across ledges. Players can also opt to accept bribes from captured bounties; however, the Human Head rep warned that double-crossing a client would lead to consequences.
Finally, Human Head hasn't forgotten about original Prey protagonist Tommy Tawodi. The Human Head rep noted that Samuels will cross paths with Tommy in the middle of his adventure, shattering his belief that he is Exodus' only living human and tying this game’s story with the original Prey.
I was left impressed by the Prey 2 demo, particularly with the vast freedom of choice scenarios. I love that there are multiple ways to play through the game and several different methods to collect bounties. It's a new direction for Prey and it looks to be a positive one.
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