Prey is coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC on May 5, and developer Arkane hosted a press event last night offering the chance to play a second demo of the upcoming sci-fi thriller. While the first demo we got our hands on involved the opening hour of the game, this slice takes place a few hours after that.
Below are the thoughts of two iDigi writers who have played both demos, and are both very excited to play the final version of Prey.
Hot Take #1 - Bob Fekete
The latest Prey demo takes place a few hours into the game, and revolves around players obtaining a device called a Psychoscope. This gadget is incredibly helpful, as it opens up the ability to install Typhon-based neuromods. In other words, it lets you get alien powers.
Seeing as how our previous time with Prey only included the opening hour, this was the first time I’d experienced the alien abilities. Despite being a new feature at this point in the story, the game didn’t clearly explain how to actually use these new powers. Unfortunately, by the time I did start figuring things out, I had already cleared my way through the short slice of gameplay.
That being said, Prey is still a great-looking game and one I’m incredibly excited for. The world-building feels very similar to Fallout, with players having the opportunity to read emails sent between coworkers and friends. Audio logs also help piece together the story of what happened onboard the Talos 1, as do the occasional living people you run across.
At one point, I was looking around a laboratory area when I found an experiment with a living person in an observation tank. What’s amazing is that in a world where you are pretty much the only human, and everything else is machines and alien creatures, is how uncomfortable it becomes to stumble across other humans. You’d think I would be happy to see one of my own kind, but I immediately grew suspicious and distrustful. When everyone else I’ve seen up to this point has been a corpse, why are you still breathing?
Of course, my suspicions were confirmed when I found this person was a convicted felon with a number of terrible charges to his name. What’s the right call here? He’s offering to help me if I let him out, but can he be trusted given his history? That choice is yours to make, and yours alone.
Hot Take #2 - Mo Mozuch
Like Bob, this was my second time playing a Prey demo, and I also felt it was a bit more constrained than the first. I think it’s because the story is very compelling, and story tends to be easier to access during a brief demo than a complex combat skill tree with all sorts of abilities and power-ups. The second demo seemed to be about showcasing that side of things in Prey and, like almost everything else we’ve seen so far, it does seem incredibly cool.
For me the stand-out moment of this demo came when I finally experienced the feature that made fans go “oooo” at E3 2016. I became a coffee cup. I had to navigate a few menu screens and spend some power ups to do it, but I turned myself into a coffee cup and used my newfound smallness to sneak into an otherwise inaccessible area. Once there, I found lots of great guns and ammo and gear. Very satisfying. And it was only one of like three or four moments in a one-hour demo where I thought to myself “this is good ass level design. Shit.” (I’m not very articulate when I game.)
So while I may not have experienced as much story in this demo, I did start to see the surface of what looks to be some very complex, engaging level design. It’s worth remembering that the game is contained to Talos 1, a big space station with all sort of shafts and hallways and laboratories. We haven’t experienced any of the zero-gravity stuff either, which is sure to be a major component in exploring Talos 1. So while the game isn’t a huge open world, it is a deep and complex environment that requires you to rediscover parts of it again and again. It reminded me of the original Resident Evil and how you would find yourself backtracking to rooms you thought you fully explored only to discover that they had changed in your absence. Prey’s environments feel impressively alive.
So what do you think? Do these two dorks have you interested in Prey? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.