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Previews

Prey 2

PREVIEW: Human Head goes bounty-hunting

In a dimly lit strip club on the embroiled planet Exodus, we're surveying the seedy scene from the bar. Several different breeds of alien are relishing the view
of neon-highlighted dancers gyrating.

You could call us lonely as the only human in attendance, but we've come to this exotic club for reasons other than carnal pleasure. As bounty hunter Killian Samuels, every step in Prey 2 leads you closer to a potential jobsite or deathbed.

A quick scan of the dingy area reveals a scumbag wanted dead or alive. We try to make our way closer to him without attracting glances. The effort is short-lived, as our target senses danger and bolts for an exit.

Zoom

Chasing him full speed down the street, we launch our electric bolas and drop him like he's hot. When he starts struggling to free himself, we plug a few holes in his head to finish the job. It's survival of the fittest - and how you make a living in Prey 2. "If Prey was Luke Skywalker's story, Prey 2 is Boba Fett's," says project lead, Chris Rhinehart.

Our first glimpse of Prey 2 shows Samuels waking after his craft "crashes" onto the aliens' ship. You are the only known survivor. The rest of your fellow passengers have either died or been taken away by the ship's aliens. Through a skylight on the ship, a distant Earth hangs in space - but you won't have much time to admire your home planet, as alien gunfire quickly begins courtesy of the Hunters, who return from the first game.

Luckily, lawman Samuels was on an assignment when his plane was confiscated, so you're armed with a pistol - but you only get enough time for some brief trigger-pulling before Hunters surround you and the screen goes blank. We're told that at some point following this sequence, a chunk of time passes and Samuels wakes up with a major case of amnesia.

He's unaware of who he is, where he is, and what's happened to him. It's eventually revealed that he left the Sphere and took to a life of space bounty hunting.

Think twice

Just because you're the only known bounty-hunting human on Exodus doesn't mean you don't have competition for jobs. Sometimes you're up against other bounty hunters, and other times you're the one being pursued. In our demo, we select a mission to track down a goon named Dra'Gar, who is wanted alive and kicking. There's no info on where we can find him, so we set out to ask one of our informants.

We manoeuvre through the city and approach our shady guy-in-the-know, Krux, but he won't give up the information without payment, so we enter into one of the game's decision mechanisms. Asked whether we want to comply with Krux's request or threaten him, we select the latter and blow off his guard's head. Krux tells us where Dra'Gar is - free of charge.

Zoom

When we get to our destination, a quick scan of the area reveals Dra'Gar's lieutenant milling about. We creep up and surprise him, holding him hostage. We drag him up some stairs and use him as a shield in the ensuing firefight. Dra'Gar hears of our pursuit and uses a transport ability to escape the mayhem. Human Head's mantra during development has been that "missions are violent, messy, and don't always go as planned." So even if a job appears cut-and-dry, it'll likely be anything but.

When we do find Dra'Gar, he offers up a counter-proposal to let him go, but we decide to decline and instead ship him off to our client. Shortly after, a massive Dra'Gar-associate bursts on to the scene as we run for our life, and the screen fades to black. Cliffhanger! From this taste of Prey 2, we're left wanting more. What's in store for Samuels next? We don't know, and that's what has us gripping our controller tight.

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