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E3 2016

Prey 2 Announced, Now Called Prey

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Bethesda has revealed in a trailer that Prey 2 is being developed by Dishonored developers Arkane Studios, with the “not confusing” name Prey.

The reveal trailer depicts a man living in a bright sci-fi universe filled with cups of coffee, meetings, and clear blue skies. This is at least until things begin to look awry. The blood-red eyes, the shaking coffee mug and audio glitches break away to you being trapped on a ship with a semi-visible black substance that you desperately shoot at, never quite sure if it is even hit. It seems to even begin to invade you, covering your hands with a thick black web-like form. The final shot is like an exclamation point to the body-horror madness as you are talked to by yourself, told “you’re not going to like what I have to say next”.

It seems to suggest a darker and more psychologically-twisted horror game in comparison to the original Prey, as developed by Human Head Studios. The original title involved a mixture of gunfights and puzzles, as your Native American roots gave you supernatural powers to fight against the aliens who have captured you. The trailer of Prey (this Prey, not 2006 Prey. Yep, already confusing) seems to suggest reality twisting, a threat that is hard to comprehend and desperate gunfights against an ill-defined substance/species.

About two and a half weeks ago, there was a leak suggesting an E3 reveal of Prey 2. A Twitter post by aliennoire claimed that on the 14th of June a new Prey game would be announced which would be developed by Arkane Studios. At the time of reporting on Only SP, the prediction (especially of the developer involved) seemed like the resurgence of a 2013 rumour of Arkane Studios’s take-over of Prey 2‘s development. Despite being off by one day, it makes for an interesting prediction/leak.

The current release date of Prey (the new one) is the year 2017, with no information as of yet of what formats.

E3 2016

Obduction Hands-On Preview – Not Your Standard Western

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IndieCade showcased a lot of gorgeous independent games at E3, including award-wining Cyan Inc.’s latest title, Obduction. Featuring a compelling storyline, dynamic characters, and taxing yet intuitive puzzles, Cyan evokes the spirit of Myst and Riven by creating an extremely immersive world that tests your powers of observation, rather than your reflexes.

The premise: an organic artifact plucks you from your serene night-time walk in the woods and transports you to a strange planet, to a small town that juxtaposes scenery of the old west and elements of futuristic technology. Holographic messages that you can play with the simple push of a button dot the town against the natural desert plant life and mine car tracks. Homes and other structures are built along side and into towering walls of red rock. There’s some imagery of Calico (California), Sedona (Arizona), and maybe a few other abandoned mining towns west of the Mississippi–but this isn’t Earth. Far from it.

Most of the holographic messages at the start of the demo were from the town mayor (acting as a sort of tour guide as he welcome you.) These are strategically placed at key points in the main part of town and, much like a self-guided tour of a museum, he’ll tell you about everything–from the people to the water. This part of the demo had a theme park feel to it, as it seemed oddly formal and detailed, and impersonal at the same time. The mayor himself was a little too “excited to see me,” even for a hologram. For as much information as he had about the town, he couldn’t seem to tell me where I actually was. There was something inherently sinister about him.

I did find one hologram of a woman outside the first house you’ll come to–a farmhouse with a porch and a white picket fence blocking in the front yard that could have been caught up in a Kansas twister itself. The woman’s message is friendly, albeit foreboding, as she tells you the name of a man not to trust in the area. There’s a giant laser-beam pointed into the sky, glowing and sparking, and a distinct lack of actual people. I did come across one gentlemen barricaded behind a high-tech vault door, unwilling to set foot outside. We conversed for about a minute or two, and that was that. I wandered away to explore the area further.

By sprinkling little bits of story from several characters right out the gate, it not only aids in creating Obduction’s immersive atmosphere, but it gives the player a mystery to solve–the chance to play detective and to figure out not only where they are and how they got there, but what secrets is this near-abandoned town is trying to cover with cacti and dry heat.

Obduction will be released for PC via Steam on July 26th and will be available for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

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