Hands-on with Arkane Studios’ PREY + Q&A with Lead Designer, Ricardo Bare

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prey

Prey is an upcoming first-person shooter game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game was announced on June 2016 and is a reimagining of the 2006 hit game of the same (check out the announcement here). The player will take the role of Morgan Yu, a human aboard the Talos space station with hostile aliens. With Prey releasing in three months, Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks held an exclusive, hands-on event led by lead designer, Ricardo Bare, to promote the game.

The event was held in the Panorama Ballroom at the Andaz Hotel located in the heart of Hollywood, California. Upon entering the ballroom that is located on the top floor, fans immediately saw the gorgeous view of Los Angeles through the window wall. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the view because I was distracted by the food they had laid out. I also forgot to take a picture of the food because I was busy stuffing my face. It’s safe to say that Arkane and Bethesda spared no expense on getting the fans fueled for the first experience with the game.

The ballroom was set up with several dozen computers, each complete with a headset, a controller, and a Shogun Flame. The Shogun Flame was used to record our gameplay and is arguably the easiest device I’ve ever used to record. After a brief introduction on what to expect in the game, the guests did not hesitate to put their hands together and Prey.

The game begins with Morgan waking up in his apartment and receiving a phone call from his brother, Alex Yu. Alex tells Morgan to suit up and get ready for some tests. The tests were meant to ensure that Morgan is ready for his mission to the Talos space station, but things go awry. The coffee mug of a tester transforms into an alien and attacks the crew. Morgan is knocked unconscious with sleep gas in the testing room before he can do anything to help. Upon waking up, Morgan wakes up in his apartment again, but something seems off. After walking around and talking to an anonymous advisor over the phone, Morgan discovers that he is in fact on the Talos space station. He discovers the stage sets that simulated his apartments and testing, but also runs into the same aliens that attacked the tester. The aliens are called, “Typhons” and the one that was disguised a coffee mug is a specific breed called, “Mimics.” As Morgan explores Talos, he unearths the horrors of the alien takeover, enhances himself with the Neuromods, and realizes that his brother Alex has not been completely honest with him.

After playing the game for an hour, the floor was open for a Q&A with lead designer Ricardo Bare. Ricardo noted that fans of previous Arkane games, such as the Dishonored series, will be happy to find that Prey will have the same full immersion and free exploration. Unique to Prey, the free exploration takes place both inside Talos and outside the space station in the vacuum of space. According to Ricardo, this was not an easy feat to simulate. One of the interesting facts of the game was the inspiration for the mimics. Ricardo mentioned being a fan of Dungeons and Dragons and one of its monsters, the mimic. In Dungeons and Dragons, a mimic is a monster that looks like a treasure chest and will attack players that attempt to take the treasure inside its mouth. Essentially, it’s a creature that is hidden in plain view as an object. Ricardo took this concept and thought, “What if the creature can be any object at will?” Taking that concept one step farther, Ricardo stated that the mimic A.I. is random and has a mind of its own. In other words, if you die because of a mimic that was disguised as a trash can, it may be a different object when you respawn. The mimic can sense the objects in the room and can choose what object to imitate. Guests had a fun time telling how the mimics they encountered popped out and took them by surprise. The best tip that Ricardo gave to spot a mimic, was to look for a double. For example, the Talos crew would probably not put two trash cans in one corner of the room.

Overall, Prey is an amazing game with an incredible amount of detail and depth. Arkane and Bethesda went above and beyond to give players an unforgettable game. Prey is set to release May 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.

Keep a look out of FanboyNation’s exclusive Prey gameplay and our first impression review of the game.

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