For a game that was only officially revived a few months ago, Bethesda is making a concerted effort to remind us almost every week that a new Prey is on its way. A complete revival of the series after it’s troubled sequel development, Prey is taking on a new feeling. A new feeling that is very much like other games under the Bethesda umbrella, which could be good news if you’re a Dishonored fan.
Because quite frankly, it’s hard not to draw parallels to the sandbox, steampunk stealth title when looking at fresh new Prey gameplay straight out of Gamescom. The shooter has you trapped on an abandoned space station that is overrun with alien life forms, and has you struggling to survive using a combination of space engineering tools and special abilities. The setting gives off some strong BioShock vibes, but its gameplay falls somewhere comfortably between Dishonored and Dead Space.
Just like Dead Space, guns are a rarity on this space station. Instead you’ll be using almost every day items to combat your foes (like the shape sifting Mimics above). The Gloo Cannon, for example, does a great job of locking enemies in place for easy grouping, while a fire ability let’s Morgan, the game’s protagonist, light them up with the snap of a finger. The Gloo Cannon can also be used outside of combat according to Bethesda, letting you craft solid pathways to reach normally inaccessible areas.
Speaking of inaccessible areas though, Prey leans heavily on the ability for Morgan to absorb alien traits. Not too unlike powers in Dishonored or plasmids in BioShock, Morgan will be able to use a host of alien abilities both in combat and during exploration to progress. A good example is his ability to also Mimic arbitrary objects in the world, allowing him to transform into a coffee mug and roll through a small opening to bypass a locked door. It’s a sample of some of the more complex abilities you’ll get in the game, but a good indicator that your grey matter will be taxed just as much as your trigger finger.
I think the most frightening aspect though is the Mimics themselves, who can launch jump scares from literally anywhere given their affinity to disguising themselves as normal, every day objects. It gives Prey a sense of fear without the reliance on being grotesque, transforming it more into psychological horror that plays on you around every corner. It’s out for Xbox One, PS4 and PC next year.