Last week, we got our first decent look at Prey’s gameplay. This isn’t a direct sequel to the 2006 game. It’s a reimagining of the IP. That means the same name, but different story and gameplay. The trippy walk-walking of the Prey (2006) is gone. At least, we haven’t seen any evidence it is returning.
What we did see is the mimic ability in action. I touched on the mechanic in my post a couple of days ago, but today I want to dive deeper into the gameplay and talk about how it plays from the brief snippet we’ve seen. Check out the trailer below if you missed it.
Mimic ability and others
This appears to be the big gameplay hook for Prey. We see both the enemies and the players take advantage of this to ‘mimic’ objects in their surrounding environment.
A pair of enemies morph into a chair and trash can while the player transforms into a cup to get to an area that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Enemies are drawn out of their mimics as soon as they take damage. And we can assume the same works for the player.
But how does mimic work from a strictly gameplay/resource perspective? In the teaser, we see abilities such as Mimic cost ‘PSI’ to use. We see Mimic and Superthermal in action in the short gameplay video.
Superthermal I –Place an explosive proximity trap that creates a column of super-heated plasma that deals 80 fire damage to enemies within 3 meters.
Superthermal I costs 25 PSI to use. What we don’t see in the video is how the player earns PSI back. Is there a resource pickup? Does it recharge on its own? It doesn’t appear to recharge since we see the PSI meter stay at 75 before the player uses Mimic.
There also appears to be an upgrade system in place based on the ‘I.’ Plus, abilities can be mapped on the D-pad. Or, you can access them through the ability/weapon wheel as we see in the gameplay teaser.
We also see a short cool-down before the ability can be reused.
Mimic Matter I – Camouflage yourself by taking the form of a nearby object.
Mimic Matter I costs 15 PSI to use. What’s interesting here is that it’s not a static cost. The 15 PSI is for the initial cast. After that, PSI ticks off quickly as you continue using it. We see the player go from 75 to 40 in a hurry.
As with Superthermal, Mimic Matter also appears to be an upgradable ability. These upgrades would probably revolve around how much PSI ticks away while the ability is being used. Or, the type of matter that can be mimicked.
I’m curious to see how far Arkane Studios pushes Mimic Matter. What kind of limitations are there? Is it just small items? Or could players mimic small vehicles?
What is clear is Mimic Ability will play a big role in Prey. The gameplay applications could be vast. From puzzling solving and stealth to offense. I can’t wait to see how far the developers push it.
The last snippet of gameplay shows the player exiting the space station and heading outside. There’s not much to parse here. The player moves around via a spacesuit with thrusters and has a limited supply of oxygen. We do see loose objects floating around. Can Mimic be used out here?
Less is more. Arkane Studios uses the weapon/ability wheel to keep the main UI from becoming needlessly cluttered. Nothing is worse than a game with a cluttered UI. Ammo counters are displayed on the weapon while health and PSI are tucked away in the bottom left corner.
We do see what looks like a sprint meter in the bottom-center part of the screen at 0:32. Prey doesn’t strike me as the kind of game that needs one, but hey – maybe some of the environments are much larger than what we’ve seen so far.
The short gameplay teaser has definitely piqued my interest. And after Wolfenstein and DOOM, Bethesda shooters are quickly becoming my favorite. Let’s hope Prey can approach the bar set by those two.
I’ll be keeping this post updated with Prey gameplay details we get them (and with any changes). Noticed anything I missed? Let me know in the comments.