We've finally got our first look at some Prey gameplayand all the yes to that please (trailer's below if you've missed it). What we've seen so far looks a lot like Bioshock meets Dishonored in space (and there are more hidden Prey details if you look closely). However, there's another game influencing its design. Well, two.
Metroidvania, specifically. That's the name for Metroid and Castlevania type games where the entire world is open from the start but gated by your abilities and equipment. "I’ve heard people use that term before describing our game," says lead designer Ricardo Bare.
However, while the space station setting is open in terms of how you explore, don't expect an actual open world. "[That] might have the wrong associations," explains director Raphael Colantonio. "We kind of call it of open structure. If you think Dishonored, [it's] mission after mission and you never go back because the story advances. In [Prey's] case you can always come back to and the context might have changed. So it’s like one big mission but the level of crafting and the level of detail is zoomed in enough".
As for how you navigate Prey's Talos 1 station - which Bare says is "roughly the size of skyscraper floating in space" - there are a number of ways your progression might be affected. "There are natural barriers," explains Bare. "One of them might be an alien that you’re not ready to handle. Another one might be an elevator - something’s wrong with it and you can unlock the elevator and once you do you can get into a bunch of other spaces".
It's an nice twist on a game that has a very Bioshock-y feel - shifting away from prescribed levels to a more freeform approach to tackle how you want. What will be interesting is how much freedom and variety that gets you depending on the gear you unlock, alien abilities you learn or people you meet. Whatever the answer, admit it, you're excited.
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