Bethesda’s Prey is a pretty good game that bears almost no resemblance to the 2006 title that bears the same name. In fact, it’s one of the rare quality reboots/sequels in gaming history that you can’t just easily recommend to fans of the original.
Prey is such a departure from the conventions established in 2006’s Prey that some fans may be shocked to hear that there was a time when the project was referred to as Prey 2. Of course, that version of the game is a bit different from the one we eventually got.
Over the last few years, a series of design documents which showcase the various changes Bethesda’s Prey has gone through during its prolonged development cycle began circulating across various torrent sites and online forums. According to the design documents, Arkane Studios’ original plans involved a character named Danielle Sho – a play on System Shock 2‘s Shodan – who would either get caught up in an incredible series of circumstances that occur on a crashed alien space ship or a tropical island that harbors a secret military bunker.
Even though Arkane abandoned most of those ideas – there is still a character named Danielle Sho in Prey – it’s remarkable to see just how early the team laid the groundwork for the final product. The mission statement for Prey 2 states that it is intended to be a spiritual successor to System Shock 2, does not have to be directly connected to the original Prey, and should emphasize explorable areas. The game’s creative director, Raphael Colantonio, even requests that the team avoid “M-rated” gore and obvious movie cliches from titles like Alien and Blade Runner.
That last bit is particularly interesting when you consider that Bethesda eventually ran special screenings of films that helped inspire Prey. Of course, Alien and Blade Runner were not among the films screened during those events.
It’s worth noting that this wasn’t the only idea for Prey 2 which didn’t quite come to pass. Way back in 2007, it was rumored that Human Head Studios – developers of the original Prey – were working on a direct sequel that would cast players in the role of a bounty hunter whose exclusively tracked down aliens. That title was reportedly canceled during the design phase.