Bethesda isn’t a fan of pre-launch reviews anymore. Their new policy last year made that clear. But they also understand many folks aren’t too keen on throwing 60 bucks at a game that hasn’t been critiqued by anyone. Bethesda’s solution? A pre-launch demo. That’s a phrase I haven’t heard in a long time. A long time.

On April 27, we’ll all get a chance to try out the first hour of Prey. Great news, right? Not completely. The demo is limited to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Sorry, PC owners. You won’t know if the PC version of Prey is a pile of garbage or not until you drop $60 at launch. At least, refunds are a hell of a lot easier on Steam these days.

Here’s a trailer teasing the demo.

The exclusion of a PC demo won’t ease worries about Prey. It’ll do the exact opposite. People will just assume you’re trying to hide something. Unwarranted assumptions, perhaps. Prey is being developed on CryEngine, not a custom in-house engine. Still, I would wait for the first batch of PC impressions before buying.

No reason buying Prey until you know for sure.

The lack of a PC demo could be Bethesda not wanting folks data mining the game and revealing story beats or features they want to be saved for launch. Another potential reason is piracy.

Hopefully, this marks the beginning of a new demo trend. Publishers throw out trials of games all the time. But those usually come well after the game is released. Surely tossing demos out pre-launch translates to more sales than a demo months after launch.

The demo does suggest confidence in Prey 2. Throw in a soundtrack by Mick Gordon, and it’s hard for me not to feel confident already.

I’m crossing my fingers for DOOM-quality. We’ll see when the demo hits on April 27, one week before Prey’s release on May 5.


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