Over the weekend, the reboot of Prey was finally given an official reveal, having been stuck in development hell since its predecessor released way back in 2006. The big announcement also brought news that a well-qualified individual has been tapped to assist with the game’s narrative.
Chris Avellone will be familiar to many PC gamers for his contributions to some of the most impactful games of the last twenty years, including Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. He’s known as one of the best writers in the industry, and his abilities should help the Prey reboot realize its potential.
They announced that game I'm working on helllllls yesssss#BE3 pic.twitter.com/fjnMNwPQ8M— Chris Avellone (@ChrisAvellone) June 13, 2016
Avellone confirmed his involvement with the sequel on Twitter after Bethesda officially unveiled the game at an early E3 event. However, the designer didn’t mention how long he’s been involved with the project, or give any indication as to the extent of his role.
The first Prey told a simple but effective story of a human plucked from the planet and forced to adapt to a harsh and unfamiliar environment. From what we’ve heard about its sequel’s beleaguered development process, it seems clear that the follow-up will put an even stronger focus on narrative.
Yesterday’s reveal trailer gave us some intriguing hints to what Prey is all about. We know that we’ll be playing as Morgan Wu, a new character who finds his day-to-day life cast asunder when he’s kidnapped and made the subject of bizarre experiments — and that’s just the start of his journey.
Two potentially major elements of the story are hinted at in the trailer. One is Wu’s increasingly bloodshot right eye, which might have something to do with the resemblance between the game’s logo and an optical scanner. The other is the moment where the protagonist addresses himself via video screen, warning the player that they aren’t going to like what he has to say.
Something strange is certainly afoot, and this kind of mindbending narrative seems like the perfect subject matter for someone as talented as Avellone. Things not being quite as they seem in this near-future setting calls to mind Duncan Jones’ 2009 film Moon.
There have been several incarnations of Prey 2 since the project entered development, with various different strengths and weaknesses. However, based on what’s teased by the trailer and the fact that Avellone is involved, there’s every reason to believe that the narrative of the finished product with be one of its strongest elements.
Prey is set to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2017.