Prey - Second preview (a little further in the adventure)

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I was once again fortunate to be able to discover before the official release a new hour of the AAA game from Arkane and Bethesda Softworks, Prey. On this occasion, I learned a little more about the skill trees and I went to face alien monsters, still on this space station around the moon.


The pitch

Prey is a first-person shooter with RPG elements where you play as Morgan Yu, exploring a space station. To help you out, you have a wide variety of alien weapons and abilities to avoid getting killed while looking to escape. The station is an open world, with a Metroidvania progression, with items obtained in certain parts of the world or abilities unlocking places as you go, always offering several potential ways to progress in the game.

Prey is a reboot of the original released in 2006, developed by Human Head Studios. The sequel, Prey 2, had been planned in 2006 but, after much upheaval, was finally canceled in 2014. This new version of Arkane takes up the name and the general theme (the player being chased by strangers), thus offering the same universe, with the same type of story. But everything else is completely revisited with Arkane sauce.

I learned on this occasion a little more about the story of Prey which takes place in 2032 in an uchronia where JF Kennedy would have survived the attack in Dallas and would have continued the space program. The Russians have for their part discovered an alien race, the Typhoons, during their space adventures. All these events will of course have changed the fate of humanity, putting it in danger today.

If you want to know more about the first hours of the game, I invite you to read my discovery, but it remains a simple introduction and I had not really been able to test the real gameplay of the game. This was the case in this news session which takes place around 2h30 after the start of the adventure and thus puts us in front of the opportunity to develop extraterrestrial capacities and to test a rather particular helmet.


A little gameplay

During this new session, I was able to test particularly 4 things: the progression tree system, the alien abilities scannable with a special helmet, different types of alien threats and the moral choice / reward system.


The progression tree system

The player evolves in the game and improves his skills in different trees thanks to neuromodes injected into the eye (yuck). Depending on his choices, this influences the continuation of the adventure and the way to pass the puzzles of the game and / or the different elements he will face from the alien threat to a door that does not want to open. We are in classic Dishonored.

These trees are of 2 types: the human tree which allows you to improve your strength, ability, resistance or ability to hack or unlock doors ... It is the easy way of adventure, known without danger, with less risk taking. Three possible paths: the engineer, the scientist or the security expert.

On the other hand, you will be able to use the neuromodes to improve the extraterrestrial skills that you will have discovered thanks to the helmet that you get in the part of the adventure that I was able to test. This headset, the Psychoscope, is used to scan the elements around you and to analyze the special powers of living beings. There are a dozen alien powers that can then be developed in the talent tree.


Different types of alien threats, new powers to discover

During this test, I was confronted with mimics, the smallest enemy alien element that can transform into any object and thus take you by surprise when you least expect it. Its transforming power can be reclaimed and thus gives tremendous possibilities for infiltration gameplay.

The second unit, the Phantom, which I encountered quite quickly, is much more dangerous and you have to avoid being directly confronted with it as much as possible because their psychic attack is lethal. This attack can also be borrowed and reused to your advantage but I chose not to.

Indeed, while your human abilities are classic and harmless, learning alien abilities completely changes the gameplay of the game. So while it may make your confrontations easier, they change you so profoundly that it can go as far as, can. -be, create new enemies ... But I do not tell you more ...

I also came across some repair bots who spoke nicely to me and fixed my suit, but will they do that later in the game? Nothing is less sure.


A real moral choice with a reward system

In this demo, I was faced with a classic moral first choice asking me to choose if I should save a station member. Having chosen to save him, he opened the armory to me and I was able to rebuild my stock of weapons and ammunition and better understand the fight that awaited me against an alien a little stronger than the others. If I had chosen to sacrifice it, I might not have had to fight the alien ... Answer in the game in May!

So I was also reassured on this aspect: there will be many moral choices in Prey, potentially different endings depending on your choices and an evolution of your character depending on the choice of your powers in the skill tree. To be or not to be an Alien will therefore be the big question of the game that I will have to solve, because the powers are really tempting.


Excerpt from my video experience

Like last time, I was able to record pieces of my adventure in Prey, so here is a little best of with stupid deaths, mysterious encounters and my discovery of the inventory, skills ...


My opinion on this hour of play

      • you can always die very stupidly (beware of electric shocks)
      • a little oppressive (yes I still freaked out)
      • there are moral choices ... and that's great
      • a confusing story, well introduced and a universe teeming with information
      • more and more pleasant gameplay with quite innovative ideas
      • Both an FPS, a survival horror and a role-playing game ...

After this second session, I am completely thrilled by the world of Prey. The first hour had left me a lot on my end, giving only a very thin glimpse of the possibilities and being blocking at many levels. After 2h30 of play, the world opens up, Morgan gets new skills and the player can then really orient their choice of gameplay according to their preferences. The Aliens are really creepy and the musical theme that accompanies them greatly contributes to this atmosphere. And since we are behind closed doors in a space station ...

Prey's universe and background is very much in line with what Bethesda and Arkane do best. We will surely be entitled to many twists and turns in this intrigue which promises to be gold and already very mysterious. The gameplay has exploded since the first hour of play, the weapons all very varied and each offer their style of play and interesting gameplay ideas, the opportunity for the player to resolve situations in many different ways. The powers, which I hardly discovered, are an important point at the center of the gameplay and surely of the endings of the story.

If Prey indeed succeeds as he suggests his fusion between survival horror, FPS and role-playing game with all the ingredients of Bathesda / Arkane sauce and his inspirations like System Shock or Deus Ex, you will spend hours trying to survive in the space...

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