wears its inspirations on its sleeve; if you look closely, you can see embroidered in allcaps: System Shock 2
. Yes, the legendary cyberpunk series is finally getting both a remake of its first outing and a third installment, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And while we did see something of a spiritual successor in the BioShock
seems much closer in both tone and mechanics to those great originals, at least based on my experience so far. If you're a fan of shooters with role-playing elements, Prey
is likely going to be up your alley.
Take, for instance, character growth and inventory management. First off, you don't have bottomless pockets or the ability to hold tons and tons of random stuff. Inventory is handled via a grid-based system, just like in System Shock. But while what you can carry is important, what you can do is perhaps more so. A series of special trees govern Morgan's abilities in Science, Engineering, and Security. By utilizing special (read: horrific) devices called Neuromods, Morgan can instantly learn a skill, increase proficiencies, and more. But what's so horrific about the Neuromod, you ask? The medium through which that knowledge is forcibly imparted is a needle. That you stick through your eye and into your brain.
And that's hardly the most unsettling thing about Prey. You remember how I mentioned that the Typhon have special powers? Well, one of the most common Typhon organisms is capable of camouflaging itself to resemble any inanimate object. From your first encounter with a Mimic, the entire experience is completely suffused with dread. You will trust nothing. That suitcase in the corner? That coffee cup on the counter? That discarded banana peel on the floor? All of those have the potential to transform into a spidery mass of black goo and try to kill you. Have fun.