Hands-on with Prey: 2017's gaming surprise package?
The sci-fi action game is out in May.
A sci-fi thriller where you are seemingly alone on a space station infested with aliens is not an original concept for a video game – the team behind Prey would probably admit as much themselves.
But sitting down with Prey, the reboot of the mid-2000s game of the same name, you actually find something original that instantly intrigues.
One of the core elements of the gameplay though comes in the form of ‘neuromods’. These are enhanced skills humans are able to give themselves through implants administered through your eye.
There are three main skill sets – hacking, engineering and combat – and they bring an element to role-playing to Prey that is a happy surprise, as players can now plan ahead based on the skills they believe they’ll need to survive, whether that be more ability to craft useful items, be faster at opening doors or straight up fighting off foes.
The broader control system and first person view is familiar and easy to get used to – you’ll have played games that mechanically work like this before and it means you can focus on Morgan’s story.
Prey thrives on the mystery it creates from its opening scenes, in our relatively short preview time we encountered several big plot twists – including one of the biggest and best in the game that dramatically shifts the player’s perspective of the universe in which they are immersing.
For storytelling, Prey should be applauded for the way it happily misleads, startles and engages with the player from the very beginning. It turns an overly used premise – that of being alone on a space station – into a fresh and exciting experience.
Crucially, it’s also one that is fun to play and as such, Prey might be the biggest surprise of 2017.