Prey’s initial reveal (opens in new tab) showed something very much like a Dishonored or Bioshock in space: the hero Morgan Yu using a range of adopted alien powers to fight a the creatures that have over run the Talos 1 space station.
It got weird pretty quick when developer Arkane showed off the Mimic ability which lets you become anything in the game (opens in new tab). So for example when Morgan come to a sealed security barrier he turned into a coffee cup and bounced it through a small gap to get past.
These abilities interact. Another option during my gameplay demo had Morgan turn into a grenade and use that to roll stealthily past some alien patrols. That's right: a stealthy grenade. Once past, he was able to use another ability - a kinetic blast - to create an explosion that blasted the grenade up to another level of the space station. It’s all very reminiscent of Dishonored, where a few combinations of Corvo’s original powers were as much by accident as design.
Other things on display in the Gamescom demo were a ‘Leverage ability’ - basically being able to pick up heavy things - that was used to hurl a giant crate at an alien. That was the ‘level 3’ power, suggesting even more variety as you upgrade stuff. I also saw the foam-spiting glue gun used to freeze darting spider-like mimics before the kinetic blast shattered them (it can also be used to fire climbable globs onto walls).
There’s also a Fabrication system, which looks like it could have a radical impact on gameplay options. If you have the parts and plans, this 3D printer can make anything (in this case a jet pack to manoeuvre through space) but it’s easy to see how you could, for example, have made the coffee cup from before.
While there’s been plenty of shooting in trailers and demos, director Raphael Colantonio says that weapons are rare, implying it’ll be more down to you to come up with creative use for your powers. And from the sound of it, you'll be able to get very, very creative.