Prey 2 – First Impressions
One of the first games to stand out for me on the Xbox 360 was Human Head Studios’ Prey. A tale of love and a Native American who gets abducted by aliens and placed on a huge ship called The Sphere before awakening his ancient Cherokee roots to defeat ‘The Mother’. That was five years ago and an awful lot has changed in first person shooters since then, so what can we expect from this long gestating sequel, Prey 2?
During Prey, we were witness to even more abductions as Tommy strained to save his uncle and girlfriend, and it’s through one of these that we meet US Marshall Killian Samuels who happened to be on a captured plane. With ‘The Sphere’ destroyed, Killian somehow finds himself on a strange alien planet called ‘Exodus’, with no memory of the past he begins to piece it all together and inexplicably ends up becoming a bounty hunter in a dark and sleazy city.
It’s apparent that the city is just one huge playground that allows the player to take or miss any mission they come across. Killian traverses the world by utilising his parkour moves to cross rooftops and scale walls with relative ease. Being an US Marshall, he’s able to use many of his skills in the alien world, but this time boosted by loads of alien tech; rocket boots assist long descents or portable jail cells with portal technology that allow easy target capture. The most useful of tech appears to be the HUD integrated into Killian’s visor – the HUD is able to convert all external information into real time threat recognition and also updates Killian about current jobs. As Killian walks into a busy bar the HUD quickly separates the patrons into three groups, green for safe, yellow for be aware and red for danger. Looking at a target will also bring up information regarding whether he’s wanted dead or alive – with a small voice in your ear letting you know the bounties.
Reputation seems to be the name of the game here, so, charging into a busy room with guns blazing will undoubtedly lose you respect. Conversely if you confront the target head on with guns holstered you’ll be offered more options. Sometimes this works and your rep alone will cause them to surrender whereas other times they will flee, leaving you to chase them, or worse case, use the patrons as human shields. The choices don’t end there, even after capture you are able to claim the bounty or take a pay-off and send your target running or even beat an informant rather than paying out the readies. However, you should watch your step, as you’re always under the watchful big brother style “eye in the sky”, who will gladly punish you if you’re way out of line.
Prey 2’s neon city looks amazing with plenty of walkways, rooftops and bright billboards lighting up the dark alleyways, making it easy for Killian to fluidly move and vault around obstacles and break for cover during battle.
If you have not played the first game it is still worth picking up for the great story and single player experience before this potentially blockbusting game hits our shelves in 2012.