E3 06: Prey Preshow Report

Prey is at E3 2006 and we have details about what you can expect from this portal-hopping sci-fi shooter from Human Head Studios and 2K Games.

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At E3 2005 we got our first look at the newly resurrected Prey, a portal-hopping sci-fi shooter that was originally announced way back in 1995 as a PC title. The game is currently in development for the PC and Xbox 360 at Human Head Studios, whose previous work includes the Rune games as well as Dead Man's Hand. Earlier this year we brought you our hands-on impressions of the multiplayer aspect of the game, but with hoping to learn more now, as Prey is set to make an appearance at E3 this year.

So far, we know that the game revolves around a hero named Tommy, a Cherokee mechanic living on a reservation. One day Tommy and his girlfriend are abducted by aliens and taken to a complex, organic, and downright creepy mothership that is orbiting the Earth. It seems that these aliens have plans to destroy Earth, and it's up to Tommy to stop them.

The primary setting for Prey is the alien mothership, which is actually an organic, living entity that grows, changes, and reacts as a living creature. As a result, Tommy literally has to fight against his environment. As if that weren't enough, there are plenty of bizarre, alien creatures for Tommy to fight. Most of the enemies we've seen are fairly standard sci-fi fare, including insectlike aliens, mutated humanoid creatures, and imposing machines. The weaponry Tommy has at his disposal is as varied as the enemies he has to fight. Some guns appear to be made out of some sort of alien flesh or other organic material, while others look like heavily modified shotguns of some sort. Tommy will also be able to use a bow and arrow.

Beyond the setting, there are several other unique elements in Prey. An important gameplay mechanic involves portals, which allow Tommy and his enemies to teleport from one area to another. As a result, you never know when a portal might open up and start spewing enemies, but you also have no idea what you might be walking into when you jump into a portal. In addition to portal-hopping, there are some other interesting abilities that affect the gameplay in Prey. For one thing, exploration isn't limited to one level of each room, because you can walk on walls and ceilings just as you can on the ground. You can also use a pet hawk to assist you in combat and decipher cryptic text as you explore the mothership. Prey also features multiplayer modes, which should be interesting provided the unique single-player game design.

The game is based on the Doom 3 engine, and it shows. The environments are similarly dark and creepy, with detailed lighting effects throughout. The character models look detailed and lifelike…well, as lifelike as hideous mutant robo-aliens can look.

Prey is scheduled to ship later this year, but while you wait be sure to check out the recently posted screenshots from the game on the gamespace. And be sure to check back often, as we'll be bringing you more details before the game's release.

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