Several interviews about Prey 2, the canceled sequel from Human Head Games, have revealed some exciting plot details and twists previously thought left to gather dust on a shelf at Bethesda Softworks. The publisher closed down Human Head’s development of Prey 2 sometime around 2011, with the game reportedly near a pre-alpha state. Now, years later, Eurogamer has managed to learn new Prey 2 story details and share with fans who’ve long been asking, “What if?”
Those familiar with Prey 2 will recall that it featured an entirely new protagonist and was entirely distinct from its predecessor. However, somewhere during development that approach changed somewhat, and eventually Human Head decided that Prey 2 protagonist Killian Samuels, an amnesiac bounty hunter stranded on the planet Exodus, would ultimately discover Tommy of the original Prey. In the game, Killian ultimately works with Tommy to destroy a second sphere, a War Sphere counterpart to Prey‘s Harvest Sphere.
The revelation of a second Sphere built to attack and Tommy’s return are both intriguing plot points in their own right, but there’s more. Prey 2‘s most clever element ties together both story and gameplay. In the game, Killian is a clone, and Each and every time the player dies and awakens within the game’s safe-house, that’s a new clone.
Human Head also conceived a moment later in the game where Killian is within the Sphere and comes across many clone corpses. But that’s as far as the developers ever got.
Although the major twist would have been revealed much earlier, Prey 2 still had one last trick up its sleeve. After Killian defeats the final boss and ends the War Sphere, he’s thrust into space. As a last ditch attempt to save himself, he uses a device he typically uses to teleport captured bounties to their final destination and ends up back on Earth.
Prey 2‘s ending shows Killian living out a happy, peaceful life on Earth. He grows old and dies a bearded, grey-haired old man. But then he wakes up, young again and in that same safe-house back on Exodus.
Prey 2‘s twist combines a clever story element with a core gameplay mechanic that so many video games simply expect players to suspend their disbelief for. When the player dies they awaken as an entirely new person – a clone – not just a save file removed from context. Even the final sequence of the game adds a new layer to this clever twist.
Prey 2 would have thrust the player back into its open world to complete unfinished tasks as a new clone – a continuation of the same story told up to that point. As a result, there would be no backtracking, no change of protagonist (kind of), and no breaking the story’s linearity.
It may not be the game initially pitched, but a new Prey has released, successfully rebooted by Arkane Studios. While Human Head Studios is not quite what it once was, but is rediscovering its footing. Prey 2, however, is sitting on a shelf in Bethesda’s storage somewhere, holding a lot of cool ideas that never came together.