The first Prey game completely passed me by and I've been waiting to pick it up in the bargain bucket for a while now, in fact I'll probably grab a copy when I get back to the UK, so I wasn't really sure what to expect from Prey 2 when I stumbled into Bethesda's press presentation. Needless to say it's impressed me greatly and I'll be running out to the shops first thing in the morning on release day to make sure I get a copy, although I guess I could save myself a lot of time and effort by pre-ordering it. First things first though, it's time for me to fill you in on what I got to see!
Prey 2 plonks you in the shoes of U.S. Marshal Killian Samuels, who was part of the same abduction event in the first game, and was sat aboard the passenger flight that ended up crashing into The Sphere. Immediately following this he weaves around the wreckage dispatching a load of hostile aliens, before he's overcome and savagely knocked unconscious. We then jump forward several years to discover that he's become a bounty hunter and is currently looking for tagets to capture on the planet Exodus. Killian has no idea what's happended in the interim and you'll have to piece together his back story as you make your way through the game. The developers wanted to create another game that made you feel like you were taking control of one man, who was up against an overwhelming force, and it's also got a unique alien noire theme to it.
The game looks great and the brief glimpse of Exodus that I got to see was incredibly impressive, in fact it reminded me of an updated version of Nar Shaddaa from Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. It's a gritty, urban environment, populated with a range of inhabitants, who can be fairly harmless to downright nasty, and there are plenty of colourful neon signs littered around the various shady establishments you can visit. This one's got an open world for you to take a look around and there are plenty of choices lying in wait for you, so it's pretty expansive and offers up near limitless possibilities. For example their are situations in the street that you can intervene with if you feel the need to, or you can simple choose to keep your head down and walk away. You need to be careful though because your actions'll come with consequences and there's a reputation system in the game, so if you piss off the wrong people you'll find it hard to make your way through certain areas without having to dive into cover as a hail of bullets come your way. Do bear in mind though that there are no truly innocent characters, so there's nothing stopping you from changing your allegances if you discover some sinister information about somebody you're working for.
Your first point of call should be to the bounty wire, which is where you can accept all the jobs you've come across on your travels. Then your search begins and it's probably best to drop in on an informant, most of whom you can either pay or intimidate for critical information, just bear in mind that they're usually backed up by body guards, so it's probably best to keep an eye out for somebody to grab and use as a human, or I suppose alien in this case, shield which is possible to do in-game. When you've managed to get a lead though, it's probably best to check it out after you've stocked up on weaponry, just to be on the safe side.
Taking down your targets is extremely difficult, particularly if your client's asked you to deliver them alive, after all nobody likes to have their freedom taken away from them, so it's a good job you've got a choice of over twenty weapons to convince them to turn themselves over to you. The pistol was featured in the majority of the demo and it's a pretty meaty addition to your inventory that packs a nice punch and can put your enemies down with a single carefully aimed head shot. If you're looking for something a little more explosive then you can pick up a grenade or two from street vendors, who are more than happy to sell you their wears, and it's definitely worth picking up a couple of anti gravity grenades because they'll cause hard to reach and hard to kill enemies to helplessly rise up into the air, at which point you can fill them with lead to your heart's content. Rockets are another good alternative for clearing spaces that are swarming with hostiles, but you'll have to be careful not to catch your target in the crossfire, unless of course they're wanted dead or alive!
Killian's arsenal's not the only advantage he's got, he's also incredibly agile and has no problem scaling buildings to get to hard to reach areas, or sliding across the floor to get to cover when he gets into a deadly game of cat and mouse. Now we've seen these sorts of actions before in video games and they usually work incredibly well, however what makes Prey 2 special is the fact that you can still fire your weapons whilst your performing these actions, a little bit like Wet but infinitely cooler. There are also gadgets you can pick up to make things easier on yourself and the night vision you can equip'll add a nice orangey, yellow glow to the proceedings.
When you finally catch up to your bounty, and believe me it took us a while seeing as the guy we were following had decided to leave a trail of proximity mines in his wake and was also using a short range teleport, you'll get to capture them in what looks like a holding bubble. Of course choice comes into play at this point too! Your targets'll often try to buy their freedom and in most cases they'll offer you more than your being paid to capture them, so you'll have to decide what you want to do in these situations. You can also interrogate them before shipping them off to your client, but be careful how hard you push them because you can kill them, which won't go down well if you're meant to be bringing them back alive.
I don't really know what more to say other than this is a very ambitious title and I only got to see a very small glimpse of Exodus, however it was enough to know that I want this game NOW and in my opinion it's shaping up to be one of the stand out games of 2012, which is when it'll be making its way onto the Xbox 360, PC, and PS3. Finally, it could also pave the way for loads of outstanding bounty hunter games, LucasArts I'm looking at you here to deliver us an exceptional Boba Fett game!