It’s been a long and hard road for the Prey franchise. After launching a well-received shooter in 2006, the series fell off the map thanks to a difficult development period on a potential sequel that ultimately would never see the light of day. While rumors had indicated that Prey 2 had shifted over to Arkane Studios, Bethesda finally revealed the newly remade Prey to audiences at its E3 press conference this past Sunday night. As fans watched the debut trailer, many wondered if any elements from Prey 2 were still present in this new entry.
Speaking at E3 earlier this week, Bethesda vice president Pete Hines confirmed that Prey has been completely built from the ground up at Arkane and doesn’t contain a single element of Prey 2. After being handed the project, Arkane Studios in Austin essentially broke down the franchise into the core concept of being hunted by aliens, and built the new experience up from there.
Like Dishonored, Hines revealed that Prey would be an open-level, systems-based game, giving the player lots of choice and freedom in figuring out how to deal with situations. While many gameplay details have yet to be revealed, Arkane has confirmed that it is planning a psychological element to the game as hinted at by the debut trailer, instead of being a true horror style game similar to a franchise like Dead Space.
Originally developed by Human Head Studios, Prey 2 appeared to be a sharp departure from the first game. When the gameplay demo was first revealed at E3 in 2011, players were introduced to U.S. Marshal Killian Samuels, who had become a bounty hunter several years after the plane he was on crash landed on an alien world. After that reveal, the title dropped off the radar with cancellation rumors seemingly arriving each year. It wouldn’t be until 2014 at PAX Australia that gamers would get the truth, as Pete Hines went on to confirm that Prey 2 had been cancelled outright.
After its cancellation, rumors again began circulating that Arx Fatalis and Dishonored developer Arkane Studios had been given the franchise. Evidence began piling up in the weeks leading up to E3, as the long-dormant website was given an update to redirect users to a Facebook page, resulting in a message saying the content wasn’t available yet. As fans now know, Bethesda was simply laying the groundwork for a big reveal a few weeks later.
What did you think of this brand new take on the franchise? Are you disappointed the alien bounty hunter approach has been scrapped? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.
Prey is scheduled for release sometime in 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.