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Developer Reveals Prey 2′s Radical Departure From the Original

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Posted on October 11, 2011 AT 01:03pm

THE BUZZ: Most sequels take the faster path to fame, opting for a bigger, better, more explosive version of the original concoction, but Bethesda’s Prey 2 takes a slightly different approach, drastically tweaking the familiar formula toward something that’s more Mirror’s Edge than Prey—but despite rumors to the contrary, EGMi: The Digital Magazine’s recent discussion with project lead Chris Rhinehart revealed that this was the team’s plan from the get-go.

As he tells it, “some people had surmised that we were working on a completely different game and then slapped Prey 2 on it. That’s not at all what happened. When we first met with Bethesda, from the get-go, it was what we wanted to do with Prey 2.”

The Human Head co-founder went on to say that, more than anything else, the studio wanted to deliver something different in this stunning sequel—and for them, that meant breaking the mold.

“We didn’t want to do more of the same. We didn’t want to do a linear shooter,” he explains. “One of the opportunities we had was to explore more of the Prey universe. You play through the first game, and you blow up the entire ship, and that whole space is gone. Right off the bat, we can’t set the sequel there. So, this was the opportunity to go and explore other parts of the Prey universe.”

It was this desire to do something markedly different that led to some wild ideas from the dev team, and according to Rhinehart, Prey 2’s current vision continued to grow from there.

“It all just kind of started building on itself,” he explains. “We want to take the player to a new space. We wanted to give the player something new and something different to experience, and that was a really big thing with Prey. We took the player to a space they really hadn’t seen before, gave them gameplay there, and we wanted to do that again with the sequel.”

Last but not least, Rhinehart says it’s about more than a desire to make use of an open world and parkour elements to deliver a new gameplay gimmick—Human Head wants to fundamentally change your role in the sequel:  “Another thing we really wanted to do was explore the predator/prey relationship. In Prey, you’re the hunted. In Prey 2, you get to be the hunter, and that’s where the idea of a bounty hunter came from—and everything else just builds upon those core ideas.”

EGM’S TAKE: The original Prey went out of its way to challenge gamers to see their world in novel ways, but Prey 2’s focus on vertical gameplay and a host of futuristic gadgets has us even more amped for the sequel than we ever were for the original.

Set for a 2012 release, Prey 2 is still a ways off, but Chris was kind enough to give us a ton of new details in the full interview, so be sure to download the latest issue of EGMi: The Digital Magazine for even more juicy tidbits!

Brandon Justice, Executive Editor
Brandon Justice spent the last 17 years in the game industry wearing hats as an annoying retail weasel, an overly opinionated journalist, and game-development ninja—until he got tired of the all the caviar and groupies, returning to the ring as a rowdy, rambling writer in 2010 for EGM Media. Follow him on Twitter @jokeontheworldMeet the rest of the crew.

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