The Average Gamer

Prey 2 – Tommy Is Integral To the Story

Prey2_LogoAt this year’s Eurogamer Expo I interviewed Chris Rhinehart, co-founder of Human Head Studios about the characters, story and reasons behind Prey 2’s new visual style and shift to open world gameplay.

Prey was a first-person shooter in which you controlled a character called Domasi “Tommy” Tawodi around an alien spacecraft in search of his abducted girlfriend and grandfather. The game featured tons of reality-bending portals, huge amounts of violence, guns, gore and some really clever set pieces. Prey was a surprisingly good game given how long it had been stuck in development. Rhinehart was the project lead and said that “it was fun to work on it and a huge learning experience because Prey came out in 2006 and started in 2001 and it was really a long project.”

One of my favourite moments is the time you find yourself on the surface of a planet in a display case. When I mentioned this particular scene to Rhinehart he did reveal that “you don’t get shrunk in Prey 2 at all [laughs]. There is some crazy stuff that happens throughout the game. Some of it’s dark, some of it’s kinda of funny, some of it is grim.”
Prey 2 - Bar
When Prey 2 was shown off for the first time at E3 2011 it surprised many people, including me, with its striking visuals and open world gameplay. This was a big change from the first game. Rhinehart commented that the game “really gave us an opportunity to explore other parts of the Prey universe and kind of gave us a blank cheque to go what type of things we want to do in a sequel and open up the world not only for this sequel but for future games as well in the Prey universe.”

In this second game you also get to play a new character. A US Marshall called Killian Samuels. Rhinehart commented that “in Prey 1 Tommy was the hunted, in Prey 2 you get to be the hunter. You get to explore both sides of it.” So I asked him if Tommy, the main protagonist of Prey had a major role to play in the sequel. Rhineheart responded with “I can say it’s not just a cameo. He doesn’t just show up once. He is integral throughout the storyline you do run into him multiple times throughout the game. Part of the mystery of the game is uncovering what Killian and Tommy were up to before the game starts off because there are kind of 2 entry points to the game. There is the initial entry point where Killian is abducted and then there is a second entry point when he wakes up on Exodus and uncovering what he’s been up to on Exodus for several years.”

Rhineheart also spoke about the overarching plot which he said is “about a protagonist who has unfortunate circumstances that he’s under at the beginning and the world is kind of dark and full of shades of grey. No one is truly innocent. There isn’t necessarily full good guys or full bad guys, everyone kind of out for themselves. It’s about the player trying to make his part of the world better. That the core story that we are telling. It’s been an interesting challenge to stay true to that.”

Even with a new lead character and open world gameplay Rhinehart said that Human Head Studios are “definitely trying to appeal to Prey 1 fans but we are also trying to appeal to shooter fans. We’ve kept the game very accessible, very easy to play, very fun, visceral and exciting.” Prey 2 features a new cover system, that is easy to use and as Rhineheart says “it’s interesting because if you want to play the stop and pop and hunker down behind cover and stay there you can. We’ve built in systems where it is more advantageous to take cover, kill a few guys, move to another piece of cover, pop up, kill a few more guys and move around the world feeling really powerful and agile.”

Human Head Studios may also be out to scare the crap out players that suffer from vertigo as Rhinehart mentioned that “we just knew that a vertical world would be awesome, getting up high and looking down from these dizzying heights.”

If you want to see the game in action then take a look at the gameplay demo that was shown at E3 and Gamescom this year. It’s very cool.

Prey 2 will be released in 2012 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.