Developed by Human Head Studios and Published by 2K Games, Prey looks to be one of the most original games to grace the Xbox 360. The story makes use of the legendary Joseph Campbell’s structure: “The Hero’s Journey”. It was famously used by George Lucas for Luke Skywalker’s story arc. The story revolves around a Cherokee named Tommy, a garage mechanic stuck on a reservation going nowhere. While Tommy is in a bar where his girlfriend works, something sets all the car alarms off outside. Before being able to see what is happening the roof is blown off the bar and everything is sucked up by a living space ship.
On this spaceship Tommy is forced to reawaken his spiritual powers from his long-forgotten birthright. These spiritual powers are really something special; from death walking where you have the opportunity to come back from the dead by shooting wraiths with an arrow in the afterlife, to spirit walking, where Tommy leaves his physical form behind and walks around as a spirit. In the spirit walk he’s armed with a spirit bow and can fire arrows to kill his enemies. He can also do stealth attacks as well which adds another element to the game.
Portal technology adds a new dimension to gameplay, allowing enemies to appear out of thin air and create new and completely original puzzles and gameplay styles. The AI is really advanced, for instance when an enemy is close to death it will try and find a health pack to rejuvenate itself — something that we’ve never seen in a game before.
Most of the game takes place on the space ship that took him from earth. This highly organic, living environment can attack Tommy itself. The ship is absolutely massive and is a giant entity that reacts to Tommy’s presence. The game is built on the Doom 3 engine, which was developed by id Software. This engine is unbelievably good at generating breath taking graphics, as we all know from Doom 3, and Prey is no exception. The engine has been enhanced so it will have new features to make it even better.
Tommy always has a weapon in his hand, from his trusty wrench to weird alien creations, like a football sized creature that explodes when its leg is pulled off. All the weapons are really unique, and can be used very easily because a lot of them relate to real life weapons, like a goo gun that acts like a shotgun.
Gravity will be flipped all over the place in Prey. Although the ship is a living creature, it also has switches in the wall that can turn gravity on or off, or even flip it to the side. If this isn’t weird enough then there’s the lighted pathways that have localized gravity. Localized gravity means that instead of using ladders, you can simply walk up the wall.
Tommy has a sidekick in the game, a spiritual hawk that can help him fight enemies and decipher the alien language of the living ship. Having this hawk as a sidekick helps to lessen the heavy story of the game, and let’s face it, who doesn’t want a hawk as a sidekick?
There isn’t a huge amount of detail on the game, but from what we have, Prey looks amazing and is a real breath of fresh air to the genre. The game has come out of the blue and has really gripped us; we can’t wait for its release!