Its June 2017, Im sitting on the couch across from my wife about to start a game that shares a name with one I played in similar fashion almost 11 years before. And something seems vaguely familiar, almost like deja Vu.
So lets start with where it all began, Its 2006 on a Friday night, I just got home from renting a new game from Blockbuster called Prey for the Xbox360. Im waiting for my Girlfriend to get to my house so I decide to pop it in and see what it looks like on my Magnavox tube television. Its Important to point out that, at this point in my relationship with my Girlfriend, she was very much still dating my “representative” as a friend of mine calls it. Basically she only knew about the sides of me I wanted her to know about. And me playing a lot of games was not something she knew about me. I didn’t want it to affect my cool points I had amassed over the previous months of dating her. Next thing I know I had been playing for close to 15 mins and my door opens up and my Girl friend waltz’s in. What happened next shocked me, she asked what I was playing and began to watch. So instead of going out to see what kind of trouble we could get into we stayed in my bedroom and played Prey for an Hour or maybe longer. I remember before she left her telling me not to get to far because she wanted to know what happened next in the story.
Now Im happy to report that I lost no cool points that night and 11 years later my Girlfriend is now my amazing wife. And while she is sitting near by she is much less Interested in the new Prey. Let me start by saying I was super bummed when I heard that Prey 2 was officially cancelled. Prey 1 ended with a cliff hanger and a assumption that there would be a sequel. At E3 2011 we were given our first look at what this game would look like in the form of a beautiful CG cut-scene filmed in the same style as Mirrors edge or the first Amazing Spider-man Trailer
I remember being blown away by the notion of being a Space Bounty hunter in the Prey expanded universe. The trailer even connected the dots of the old game and showed the main antagonist would be a character that survived a plane crash into the Sphere from the first game. Even the gameplay appeared to have evolved far past the Doom and Wolfenstein esque style of the first game. From the game-play footage it was described as a Cover based shooter in the open world environment known as Exodus. It featured 20 new gadgets and nearly 40 upgrades to let you customize your Bounty Hunter to your play style. In interviews with former Human Head Studio employees it was revealed to have a very interesting plot with an ending very similar to Bioshock Infinite it terms of scope.
After years in Development Hell, it was revealed by Bethesda Vice president that the game was subsequently canceled citing that, “It was a game we believed in, but we never felt that it got to where it needed to be – we never saw a path to success if we finished it”
Fast Forward to 2017 and here I am playing a spiritual successor to a game that brought me some fond memories. It really feels like this game didn’t try to find a way to ground its self to the already established universe that the original Prey layed out. And Im actually releaved that they didn’t. It has its take own the ever popular alternate history. Its unique in its story telling, and I loved that they went a completely different direction when dealing with the gameplay and setting. Instead of the bustling cities filled with a wide variety of Alien species you are treated with a seemingly abandon space station alone with an Alien nemesis that has the ability to morph into inanimate objects.
In alot of ways it reminds me of some older games from last generation, that is in no means a disrespect, Actually if anything its a compliment. It feels like it takes influences from several games like Bioshock, Condemned series, Dead space and even HalfLife 2. Im currently 6 hours in and absolutely loving it. If you enjoy games that are suspenseful, feature Unique weapons, and exploration then this game is for you. It constantly loves to remind you the that each mission has more than one way to accomplish the objective and that your decisions bear weight on how the game plays out and even help decide what ending your going to get when you do finally beat it.
In any case its been nice to take a trip down memory lane with a game franchise that I hope will be around for many years to come.