Skip to main content

E3 2011 First look: Prey 2

A good trailer can take you a long way, but a good trailer that is backed up by amazing graphics and enticing gameplay can make a game a household name. Bethesda’s upcoming Prey 2 has all of the above.

Last week when the trailer for the long awaited–or perhaps long forgotten–sequel was released, it caught people off guard. It has been five years and two publishers since the original, so the game had been written off by most. And why not, the original (although a solid early title for the 360) wasn’t exactly legendary. But the trailer was fairly jaw-dropping, and turned enough heads to make it a game worth checking out. Bethesda let us do just that at E3, which is almost a shame, because now we are forced to wait until next year to play what may turn out to be one of the best games of 2012.

Although the game is in pre-alpha, and despite the fact that it is running a modified id Tech 4 engine rather than the id Tech 5 that is powering RAGE, the graphics look amazing. The game takes place in the alien planet of Exodus, a high tech civilization with a run down, almost slum-like flavor. The detail on Exodus gives it the feel of a real place, with dirt, grime, advertisements and citizens wandering around the open world. Prey 2 is mostly a sandbox game, so you will get the chance to explore the alien planet as you hunt down bounties for cash.

This time out the protagonist of the game is Killian Samuels, a U.S. Marshall who was on board an airplane that was abducted by the alien Sphere, the device/space station from the first game that travelled the galaxy looking for specimens. Several years have passed since his abduction, but Samuels is missing huge chunks of his memories including how he got to the planet Exodus, and what happened to him after the abduction. He does, however, remember how to capture people, and so using high tech weaponry he becomes a bounty hunter.

The former hero of the series, Tommy Tawodi turns up, and he and Samuels know each other from the time that the Marshall can’t remember. While he tries to piece together his past, Samuels continues to go after bounties, which is a good thing for us, the gamers, because the game has a lot of potential as you hunt down all manner of aliens.

The overall plot will continue throughout the game, but the path you take as you learn about your past is up to you. You will be offered missions that you can take or pass, and the level of difficulty on the bounty is your choice. If you want to go for the high dollar target, you can, but it won’t be easy.

Choice is a major component to Pray 2, and your actions will have ramifications as you progress through the game. When you capture a bounty, you may be offered a bribe by the target to let him/her/it go. You can accept and possibly receive a higher price than you would have otherwise received, but the people that hired you may not take kindly to it. You may also need to get information from a particular person/alien-thing, and how you treat them could come back to haunt you. If you decide to scare them a bit like by, oh say, shooting several people dead around them, they may not be as friendly to you later in the game then if you had just bribed them. Granted, the violent option is probably way more fun, but the choice is yours.

The sense of freedom through choice is also present in the bounty missions themselves. There is no right way to proceed, so you can do the job however you like. If you prefer the stealth route, you can do that for the most part. If you prefer to get the most out of your shoulder mounted heat seeking rockets, go for it. And besides just the ability to use incredibly cool alien weapons, sometimes those weapons will be the right tool for the job, other times it may take some experimenting to find a way to trap your prey that works.

The demo Bethesda showed was sadly brief, but the potential of this game is huge, and everyone knew it. Of all the games displayed at E3 this week, Prey 2 was one of the most talked about. Not bad for a game that most people didn’t know existed a month ago. Keep an eye out for Prey 2, and expect to hear a lot more about it before it is released for Pc, Ps3 and Xbox 360 next year.

Editors' Recommendations

Ryan Fleming
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ryan Fleming is the Gaming and Cinema Editor for Digital Trends. He joined the DT staff in 2009 after spending time covering…
Here’s what E3 2023 could look like without Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft
Playstation character wall at E3 2018

Let's start with the good news: E3 2023 will be held in its in-person format once again after three long years of digital events necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, this time with ReedPop at the helm. The bad news is that Sony, Xbox, and Nintendo -- gaming's "Big 3" -- may not show up at the industry’s biggest convention this summer.

This is according to a report from IGN citing multiple sources, who claimed the companies won’t be a part of the show or make appearances on the floor at the Los Angeles Convention Center in any way. Their absence from this year’s E3, especially Nintendo’s, may come as a shock to the gaming community, but it's not such a surprise when looking at the past few iterations of E3. Even before the pandemic locked everyone down in 2020, Sony and Xbox had been hosting their own E3-style livestreams, so it was more likely they would do it again this year anyway. Nintendo, on the other hand, managed to show off its upcoming games via Nintendo Direct streams and at its booth, console kiosks and all.

Read more
Summer Game Fest returns just before E3 2023 next June
The official artwork confirming Summer Game Fest's return on June 8, 2023.

Geoff Keighley has confirmed when Summer Game Fest will return in June 2023. It will begin with a live kickoff show on June 8, 2023, placing Keighley's game announcement alternative less than a week before E3's grand (intended) 2023 return.
Unlike past years, Summer Game Fest Live Kickoff 2023 will feature a live audience, like Geoff Keighley's The Game Awards. It will take place in the YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park, with tickets going on sale in early 2023. It will still be livestreamed across platforms like YouTube and Twitch, though. It's currently unknown who's participating, how long Summer Game Fest will run afterward, or if it will feature a Summer Game Fest Play Days-like element for fans. Still, Keighley says all of that info will be revealed ahead of the event next year, teasing what people can expect. 
"In keeping with tradition, we'll have tons of exciting announcements from the developers that are pushing the games industry forward, and will once again highlight other publisher digital events, demos, and more surprises to be announced in the coming months," Keighley says in a press release. 
That June 8 start date, and the other Summer Game Fest events likely to follow, put Keighley's show just ahead of E3 2023. The ESA and ReedPop plan to bring E3 back between June 13 and June 16, 2023. With five days of lead time on E3, Summer Game Fest can coexist with the long-running gaming conference and encompass the plethora of publisher showcases that tend to precede E3.
Geoff Keighley made it clear that he wants Summer Game Fest and E3 to coexist for a while. "We've had extensive conversations with ReedPop about E3," he said in an interview with Epic Games Store. "I think it'll kind of fit together and flow kind of from what we're doing into what they're doing and stuff. E3, to me, is this kind of master brand that represents gaming news in June."
With the start date of Summer Game Fest confirmed, the coexistence of these two summer gaming events is a reality. Summer Game Fest returns on June 8, 2023.

Read more
E3 2023 returns in June with separate business and consumer days
The logo for E3 2023.

E3 2023 will return as an in-person event from June 13 to June 16, 2023, as announced by ReedPop today.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) already revealed that E3 will return in 2023, but now we know exactly when the event will take place, along with several other key details. E3 will once again take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center after a four-year hiatus, but will incorporate separate days for industry professionals and general consumers.

Read more